Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for Solar Photovoltaic Systems

Jason Case

Solar Monitoring

System monitoring kiosk with real-time solar energy generation data

Solar photovoltaic systems produce energy without moving parts, loud noises or carbon emissions. They silently convert the sun’s energy into usable, renewable electricity to power businesses, educational facilities and homes. Unlike most methods of energy production that are disruptive and environmentally harmful, solar can often go unnoticed atop a roof or on an unused plot of land.Systems typically have warranties of 25+ years and continue to generate clean energy long after their quick payback periods. Yet, despite the autonomous nature of solar technology, it is important to have industry professionals provide regular check-ups to make sure everything is operating as expected.

Why is O&M important for your solar project?

Consider that you are installing a brand new solar system and are wondering how best to protect your new investment. Now is the perfect time to look into an O&M service provider to ensure the safe operation of your system while optimizing its generation. Improper operations and maintenance can void warranties, so making sure that you have a qualified team looking after the system is critical for protecting its operational lifespan.Especially if your system is older, it is important to have an O&M team assess it and provide any corrective measures quickly and efficiently. Many financial solar incentives are dependent on the system’s energy production, so it is imperative to monitor and optimize your solar generation to reap the maximum monetary benefit from your investment.

What does an O&M contract involve?

An O&M contract should encompass several basic services: remote monitoring, preventative maintenance and inspections, dispatch in case of a system alarm or service request and warranty enforcement. At a minimum, a system should undergo a yearly performance analysis, where an experienced technician performs a system-wide inspection to make sure everything is operating safely and as expected.Additional services can include solar module cleaning, snow mitigation, vegetation management (for ground-mount systems) and technical troubleshooting, as well as system upgrades as applicable.

Where can you find a trustworthy O&M partner?

PowerFlex has an O&M affiliate, MaxSolar, that we recommend to our clients and others looking for an asset management and technical services provider for commercial solar systems anywhere in the U.S. The MaxSolar team is comprised of trained, experienced and dedicated service technicians, licensed electricians, engineers and analysts.An O&M team plays an important role after a system is built, but MaxSolar can also have a hand during the installation process. The team can help conduct pre-construction site assessments, quality management and independent commissioning, as well as facilitate system retrofits and upgrades (including expansions and integrations with battery storage solutions) once the system is complete. Since they have a strong pre-existing relationship with PowerFlex, they guarantee an easy transition from the solar project developer once your system is complete.Additionally, the MaxSolar team is especially knowledgeable about the financial structures that make solar so attractive for many businesses. They are uniquely equipped to help with asset management, which includes facilitating PPA billing and financial administration, SREC and incentive management, and risk assessment and mitigation.If you are interested in finding an O&M provider for your existing or soon-to-be complete solar system, contact MaxSolar to see how they can support the productive lifespan of your investment. Call 844-629-7657 or email info@max-solar.com to learn more today.