Site visits are a crucial part of any solar project, as they help ensure not only a smooth installation, but also the long-term effectiveness of the system. Let’s find out more about site visits, why they’re important, and the precautions being taken in the wake of COVID-19.
A site visit is an in-person inspection of a proposed location for a solar project completed by a solar professional — usually the project engineer. The goal is to examine the site for structural and environmental factors that play a role in determining the system’s size, design, and position on the property, as well as identifying any safety concerns relevant to an installation. Economic factors, such as the percentage of the site’s annual electricity costs the system will offset, are also taken into account. Solar developers use these findings to create a detailed project proposal, and ultimately design the system.
Site visits are important because they reveal details that can affect the installation or performance of the solar system. One example is solar access, or how much sunlight the site receives year-round. This information is critical since the more time a solar panel spends in the shade, the less energy it produces. Utility poles, chimneys, or vegetation such as trees can all produce unwanted shading, and noting such impediments during a site visit allows developers to mitigate their effects when designing the system. Site topography and roof orientation are also important — in the northern hemisphere, solar panels should be mounted facing south to ensure optimal sunlight exposure.
Technical assessments are made during site visits as well, most notably scoping out potential locations for equipment. This includes identifying potential interconnection points and inspecting the area between them and the proposed solar array for encumbrances. Finally, the solar professional conducting the site visit will investigate any potential constraints for accessing the site, discuss when the system can be installed, and note any other technical requirements of the project.
Since site visits are done in person, special precautions must be taken to limit possible transmission of COVID-19. At PowerFlex, strict policies have been implemented to ensure the health and safety of both our clients and our employees. In addition to following CDC guidelines during site visits, such as maintaining 6 feet of social distance and wearing a face covering at all times, PowerFlex requires employees to conduct temperature checks at home prior to visiting a work site. Employees who exhibit symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, or have been in close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19, are required to stay home. Conducting site visits is a key part of the process, and we’ve established new best practices to maintain the safety and health of all involved parties.
Year after year for over a decade, PowerFlex has provided high-profile clients like Target, ASICS, and Bloomberg L.P. with turnkey solar and energy storage solutions that help lower energy costs and meet sustainability goals. Contact us today for a free consultation, and see what going solar can do for your business.