O&M in Solar

Operations and Maintenace services are key for most solar systems. Traditionally the utility scale solar segment had established O&M companies servicing these large scale solar systems.

O&M has not been a mature service in the residential and commercial segments of the solar industry. Generally O&M has been offered by the local solar installers as a secondary offering. And in many cases, O&M has not really been offered as a product or service by these installers but instead were included in the original installation service under the 5 or 10 year installer’s warranty.

With the market reaching a higher levels of maturity, new O&M companies are being formed all around the nation. This article by SolarPro Magazine highlights one such company: Amicus O&M Cooperative

Energy Toolbase

Energy Toolbase is an industry leading software platform for analyzing and proposing the economics of solar PV and energy storage projects.

Here is a demo of their platform:

And here is a more recent demo of their solar + storage functionality:

Solar + Storage by Enphase

Here are two videos featuring Enphase Storage Systems.

In this first video, Youtube publisher ThisOldHouse is featuring a Hawaii home with a solar plus (Enphase) storage system.

This video is published by Enphase, a leading manufacturer of micro-inverters and solar storage systems.

The 3 Questions:

Ownership. Roof space. Electric rates. Yes, these are the three important criteria that matter to determine if solar energy makes sense for anyone.

The answers to the below 3 questions will determine if and how to add a solar system to your property:

1) Do you own your building or not?
2) Do you have the right amount of sunny roof (or other) space on your property?
3) Where do you live, how much electricity do you consume and how much do you pay for electricity? 

Go to Question 1 >>

Where to place my solar panels?

After ownership of property, the second important question is where to locate your solar system. Most property owners locate their solar system on the roof of their building. Some locate it on a field or on a yard close to their building. There are really two important criteria to satisfy when evaluating the location of solar system:

1) No shading: Is the roof (or the field) space where the solar system will be laid getting any shading or not? Ideally you want no shading on your roof (or whichever surface your panels are laid on). If there is partial shading for a small portion of the day that might be acceptable. In such cases, any solar installer should be able quantify the effect of shading using a site shading analysis tool.

2) The correct angle to the sun: Does your roof or property allow you to lay your panels with a slant such that they are tilted to be facing the sun for most of the day. This means you want a south facing tilt if you are in the northern hemisphere. And vice versa. A north facing tilt if you are in the southern hemisphere. Usually the correct tilt degree is equal to the latitude you are located on.  In other words, a 90 degree tilt on the poles and no tilt on The Equator.

If you can satisfy the above 2 criteria, then the final criteria to satisy before going solar, would be the economics of your investment.

Find out here if going solar will save you money and how much >>