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Old 10-07-2015, 07:09 PM   #1
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Default Anyone do any O&M for PV?

Just wondering if there is anyone on the boards doing O&M for PV systems? I have a pretty cool gig, I run a company that operates about 300MW of mostly large ground mounts. I am always looking for people to discuss O&M with and also always looking for quality electricians to employ!
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:21 PM   #2
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I just want to sell systems for residential I don't really want to install. Whats the tip of the day?
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:21 PM   #3
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We have a bunch of solar sites. Loose a few panels to ice and wind a year, other than that not much goes wrong. We monitor everything at the site remotely so I can watch everything real time.

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Old 10-07-2015, 09:28 PM   #4
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Do those systems have batteries? Have any pictures of battery systems, inverters, etc.?
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:11 PM   #5
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Yep, got a few batteries. All instrumented so we can see problems in advance.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:15 PM   #6
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Hear is another set.

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Old 10-07-2015, 10:19 PM   #7
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Here is a little one.

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Old 10-07-2015, 10:20 PM   #8
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What type of maintenance is needed for the batteries?
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:54 PM   #9
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I would love to go to work by helicopter.


Sent from my house using 2 cans and a string!
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
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We have a bunch of solar sites. Loose a few panels to ice and wind a year, other than that not much goes wrong. We monitor everything at the site remotely so I can watch everything real time.

Nice Doctor. I did some pretty cool remote applications for cell phone towers in rural locations about 5 years ago at my last job.

The stuff I play with these days is a lot bigger and I think I've seen everything at this point. Inverters are the biggest failure point still but I've seen... blown up medium voltage transformers, direct lightning strikes to interconnections, 100s of modules taken for a ride by a hurricane, arcing so bad it melted a 12" hole in a peace of RMC, etc. I could go on for days. Some people say solar and is simple and I don't disagree with them, but when you get into the bigger stuff your dealing with lots of problems no one has ever seen before and the ante is WAY UP on safety.

I'll post some pictures of some of our sites.
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:03 PM   #11
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I just want to sell systems for residential I don't really want to install. Whats the tip of the day?
Lep. No tips for residential. It is a volume game at this point with a bunch of massive cut throat players. Best bet is to sell quality and pick off the customers that don't by the hype around the big boys.

If you are in a market that hasn't saturated yet you can always make some sales before the big boys come to town but that has its own set of problems.

The only residential I touch these days is when my buddies want to install or need help troubleshooting their systems.
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:17 PM   #12
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Just talked to a customer that is looking at installing a co-owned grid tie system. He said they got a $3-$4 per watt price. I'm higher, just under $5. Told him to make sure "everything" is included. It's no different than any electrical job.
The devil is in the details.

When the system stops working, are these cut rate companies going to be around or even have people that can figure out why?
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:22 PM   #13
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:23 PM   #14
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:24 PM   #15
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:25 PM   #16
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Just talked to a customer that is looking at installing a co-owned grid tie system. He said they got a $3-$4 per watt price. I'm higher, just under $5. Told him to make sure "everything" is included. It's no different than any electrical job.
The devil is in the details.

When the system stops working, are these cut rate companies going to be around or even have people that can figure out why?
Backstay. I hear you bud. The big companies are mostly doing PPAs and they often have hundreds of trouble tickets open at a time. I have a friend who does residential service for a big player and he says he rarely has less than 50 open tickets assigned to him. Imagine what it would be like to be the 50th ticket on that list?

That's why I said selling quality is the only real way to go once the big players come to town.
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:28 PM   #18
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Oh and Backstay, I have seen prices drop under $2/watt for the bigger projects. Glad I'm out of the construction game, it is a tough business.
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Backstay. I hear you bud. The big companies are mostly doing PPAs and they often have hundreds of trouble tickets open at a time. I have a friend who does residential service for a big player and he says he rarely has less than 50 open tickets assigned to him. Imagine what it would be like to be the 50th ticket on that list?

That's why I said selling quality is the only real way to go once the big players come to town.
Which suppliers in your opinion are the quality supplier?
In other words what companies would you recommend going through to be a rep for their quality products?

I heard financing is a roadblock for the small guy
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:02 PM   #20
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Any of you solar gurus care to post an example or sample of your load analyis spreedsheets? ( my understanding you have to come up with an average use of all the appliances over time also)

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