How commissioning affects the long-term success of a PV asset
Commissioning is vital before any commercial solar system can be connected to the grid and transferred to the owner/operator. For some it may seem like a redundant process, however when done correctly, it ensures higher customer satisfaction, by ensuring the site’s as – built specifications safety, production, and long-term success.
When commercial PV systems are in their planning, design, and construction phases all parties intend that the system will meet production goals for decades to come. The plan is that the system will be a sustainable financial asset for the owner/operator. However, things happen along the way and even a trustworthy installer can face issues during the construction phase. There’s nothing worse to an owner/operator than a site experiencing production or safety issues from the beginning. If a system needs regular support and repairs in the first few years then ROI may be negatively impacted.
Commissioning not only checks to make sure everything is working correctly and efficiently but can give key insights on how this system will perform long-term as well as any pain points the owner/operator may face. This gives the installer an opportunity to correct any issues before ownership is transferred. Because of the relationship between the installer and the owner/operator, many owner/operators choose to utilize 3rd party commissioning to get an unbiased assessment and check of the system from a contractor that specializes in 3rd party commissioning. An experienced contractor will not only provide the necessary testing but provide accurate documentation to all parties involved. An owner/operator wants to find a contractor that:
Has a track record of success
Qualified and able to perform all site-specific tasks (such as tracker commissioning if needed)
Unbiased and knowledgeable
Can provide documentation whether it’s their own standard documents or ones provided to them.
Detailed, thorough and experienced.
Another way thorough commissioning procedures from a skilled and experienced contractor will benefit the owner/ operator is by cutting down on repair and maintenance costs down the road. Initial build quality has lasting effects on the success of a system. A site that has safety concerns and production issues in the beginning, will only become more of a liability as time passes. A detailed commissioning report will give all parties the opportunity to correct any issues now and/or at least give owners/operators a realistic viewpoint of the challenges they may face in the future.
Commercial solar commissioning, especially 3rd party commissioning, and is a procedure that is extremely valuable. Finding a skilled contractor to perform 3rd party commissioning will be vital to the initial and long-term success of a PV system.
Looking for a 3rd party commissioning contractor?
Day Electric has successfully commissioned over 500 MW nationwide. The Day Electric portfolio of projects makes the company one of the top solar PV service firms. For more information about commissioning or other services for your PV system, contact Day Electric by phone at (434) 333-0355 or online at www.dayelectricusa.com