Solar Operations and Maintenance (O&M)

The Northeast’s Premier Solar O&M Provider

Why is O&M important?

  • A properly maintained solar installation will produce 10% – 20% more energy over the life of the system, with payback being more than double the cost of the services
  • A faulted system can pose a significant hazard to people, animals, and property
  • Many manufacturers’ warranties require periodic preventative maintenance by factory certified technicians

Our NJ based Solar Operations and Maintenance (O&M) team has a combined 25+ years of combined electrical installation, testing, and troubleshooting experience.  Our technicians have completed OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) training programs from many prominent manufacturers, and have extensive field experience servicing the industry’s leading inverter, DAS, panel, and BoS component types.  Our team offers 24 hour on-site response times to sites in the following states: NJ, PA, DE, MD, CT, MA, and NY.

Services

 

Damaged Combiner Box

Combiner Box Fire Caused by Improper Wire Torquing

 

 

O&M Technician testing wire torquing

O&M Technician Testing Wire Terminations

Preventative and Reactive Maintenance

It is imperative to make sure that your system is properly maintained, for both financial and safety reasons. Download our newsletter to read more about O&M as Risk Management.

The Consequences of Poor Wire Management

I have done quite a few fire investigations. While the specifics of many of these investigations are confidential, there are several types of problems where poor wire management contributed to failures. All of the following practices have caused fires in the field:

  • Putting USE-2 string conductors in contact with sharp edges, creating undetected ground faults that end up short-circuiting the array
  • Not properly identifying conductors and incorrectly polarizing combiner boxes, creating array short circuits and combiner box fires
  • Improperly installing thermal expansion fittings, especially in runs that require multiple fittings
  • Not properly accounting for thermal expansion and conductor weight, causing damage at roof edge fittings and boxes
  • Not properly addressing thermal expansion of conductors inside raceways, causing damage at box fittings
  • Improperly using stainless steel wire ties, putting too much stress on conductor insulation
  • Not fully seating plug connectors
  • Putting stress on junction box and plug connectors, causing them to fail and separate (which can cause an arc if under load)
  • Using improper torque procedures on combiner box terminals (It is common for combiner box terminals to loosen over time due to improper torquing or thermal cycling and vibration on rooftops.)

New mistakes are invented every day.

—Bill Brooks, president, Brooks Engineering

Proper Preventative Maintenance procedures are designed to locate any of these potential issues (as well as many others) before they become problems.

System commissioning

Independent verification of your system’s design and installation is a critical step in your system startup plan.  Our technicians will check (among other things):

  • As-built drawings match site conditions and construction plans
  • Proper polarity has been maintained throughout the system installation (one of the most common causes of fires is incorrect system polarity)
  • Insulation Resistance:
    • Were any wires damaged during construction?
  • Racking
    • Spot check torquing of racking components
  • Wire Terminations
    • Are all terminations tightened to manufacturer’s specifications?
  • Open Circuit Voltage and Operating Current
    • Are all strings performing properly based on real time, on-site weather conditions?
    • Benchmark the system for degradation analysis down the road
O-M Team Suited Up

PV Commissioning Services

 
 
das-enclosure

DAS Enclosure Properly Wired

DAS
  • Data Acquisition Systems can be one of the most technically challenging components of a solar system.  Our O&M team members all have extensive DAS design, installation, commissioning, and troubleshooting experience.
Asset Management
  • Many system owners don’t have the time, desire, or technical background to perform daily monitoring on the health of their system
    • Our team is well versed in all major Data Acquisition Systems, and has been responsible for monitoring and maintaining over 150 commercial and utility scale solar installations totaling over 50MW DC capacity.  While under our care, these systems averaged over 105% actual output vs projected
    • We will generate monthly system reports detailing actual output vs weather adjusted projections, outages, any faults and root cause analyses, scheduled and unscheduled services or site visits, and more

Please email us at solarservice@essgllc.com for more information or to request a site visit and service consultation.

Damaged Solar Panel
O&M Technician Commissioning New Canopy
O&M Technician Commissioning New Ground Array
Damaged Combiner Box - proper maintenance would have prevented this
Fire Damage on a Roof
Panel Damaged by Falling Debris (birds love dropping things on solar panels)
Separated Conduit
DAS Screenshot - Part of an Asset Management Program