PV System Operations and Maintenance Fundamentals

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One-page summary report cover of PV Sytem Operations and Maintenance Fundamentals

As the photovoltaic (PV) market grows and matures, the industry’s focus is shifting from manufacturing PV module technology, inverters, and components to properly and safely operating and maintaining installations. PV installation lifetimes are expected to be 25 years or more, so safe and proper maintenance is an integral part of successful and reliable operation. Regular operations and maintenance (O&M) is key to maximizing system production and return on investment (ROI), and as PV systems evolve to higher voltages, the need for qualified service personnel and clear safety procedures is becoming increasingly important.

This preliminary O&M guide is intended to help qualified individuals safely maintain and inspect PV systems. It identifies currently recognized major safety requirements during PV servicing and repair and provides details for a number of O&M tasks. Within the broader PV community, there are currently three working groups focused on this issue. It is expected that they will publish a comprehensive O&M guide in the next few years. In the meantime, this report serves as an introduction to O&M for PV installations.

This introductory report includes practical guidelines for PV system maintenance and options for inspection practices for grounded PV systems. This report does not cover bi-polar, ungrounded, stand-alone, or battery backup systems.

Why the Report is Important

Clear, detailed O&M guidelines help ensure a safe working environment for technicians and optimal PV system production and ROI for owners and investors.

Key Findings

Key findings of this introductory report include: