I have a solar installer, what should I look out for during installation?

This article was written by one of Sunwork Energy’s engineers — Bhaskar Reddy. He has several years of providing great design and solar installation services.

India is on verge of a solar revolution. With growing demand for clean energy, the solar energy sector is also growing fast. Project development companies are investing huge finances and reducing the barriers to install a good quality Solar plant.

EPC companies are also not leaving any stone unturned to maintain their credibility. At a time like this, maintaining international standards in a key differentiator between EPCs.

There are many things that are essentially to be kept in mind before finalizing the execution and during execution. In solar power plant to get the desired result it is important to know that the design and the execution are both key.

A solar PV project engineering is divided into different segments viz. civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Data acquisition, weather monitoring — each with international standards of quality.

Ask your installer the following questions in each step:-

CIVIL ENGINEERING:

1. Are the boundary coordinates of the site and location of obstructions accurately considered?

2. What is the specified concrete mixing grade?

3. Did they submit a drawing or plan of proposed civil works?

4. Are there any penetrations to the roof? or alterations to any existing structures?

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING:

This is the most important segment in a solar PV projects, and requires high attention to work within this segment very since during drawing preparation itself.

The performance of the plant is highly dependent on this part. All designs must meet the international standards like IEC 62548 etc.

To understand better we are further dividing this category into two parts: DC Electrical and AC Electrical Engineering.

A> DC ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING:

  1. What is the orientation of PV modules on structure?
  2. What is the wattage of the modules?
  3. Do you have installation drawing?
  4. Do you have DC Cable schedule?
  5. How many experienced engineers you have in site?
  6. Are you maintaining checklists in each stage?
  7. What are the work safety precautions following?

B> AC ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING:

  1. Maintaining the cable schedule?
  2. What are the Safety items your maintaining in site?
  3. Did you check factory test reports of all equipment’s?
  4. What are the AC check lists your following?
  5. What are the Pre commissioning check lists for complete plant?
  6. Do you follow work execution schedule?

4. SCADA SYSTEM:

  1. Which type of cable using for SCADA?
  2. Do you maintain cable schedule?
  3. What are the precautions your taking in cable laying?

5. EARTHING OF AC/DC & COMMUNICATION SYSTEM:

  1. Do you maintain earth reports for AC and DC?
  2. What is the size of the cable/ strip using for earthing?
  3. What are the check lists your maintaining?
  4. Do you connected TF ES connected separate Ep?
  5. Do you maintain Separate earthing for SCADA?
  6. Do you connected all earth points of equipment’s connected to ground?

6.SAFETY:

Safety is one of the most important factors for work at the site. Since the work happens at the off-takers site, it becomes a matter of concern for not just the developer/EPC player but also the off-taker.

In many cases, people at the site are unaware of the specific and generic safety measures to be taken for solar power plant installations. We often tend to believe that actual safety measures are taken care of only during the installation process.

It is important to ensure that work happens safely and effectively to prolong the life of the system and ensure the well-being of the workers operating the system.

  1. Did you conducted Safety training before executing any project?
  2. Do you maintaining Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as safety shoes, safety helmets, reflecting jackets, gloves and safety belt, full body harnesses with permanent lifelines?
  3. What are the precautions taking, when working on roof tops?
  4. Did you checked weather condition before starting the work?
  5. Do you using grounding wire from the mounting hardware to the earth to prevent shock?

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING:

MMS MARKING AND STRUCTURE:

  1. Do you maintain the pile coordinates list?
  2. What are the checklists your maintaining for pile marking and MMS erection?
  3. Do you check structure galvanization?
  4. Do you follow the check lists in each stage in structure erection?
  5. Do you check the tilt angle of structure with inclinometer?
  6. Do you check the diagonal alignment of PV array structure?

This article was written by one of Sunwork Energy’s engineers — Bhaskar Reddy. He has several years of providing great design and solar installation services.

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