Entries by Efrem Tagliamonte

Importance of Accurate As-Built Drawings

As an Owner’s Engineer, PV Pros often supports clients by making strategic decisions about how best to repair, re-power, or optimize the performance of operational solar assets. In this role, our team of experts and engineers often relies on record drawings that the installing contractor handed over to the owner upon project completion and acceptance. […]

Climate-Specific Design Considerations

To ensure optimal system longevity and performance, project stakeholders must be attentive to environments and locations that subject PV system components to unusual structural stresses. It is also important to account for the potential long-term performance impacts of these exposures. The most common examples of climate- or location-specific conditions that influence design considerations are seismic; […]

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Connector Mismatch

PV connector mismatch is one of the most common solar project deficiencies. In our work as an Owner’s Engineer, PV Pros identifies mismatch connectors on roughly 25% of our clients’ projects. While PV connector mismatch is a persistent and potentially severe problem, it is also entirely preventable with proper design, documentation, and due diligence. What […]

Optimizing I-V Curve Tracing Activities

Through our work as an Owner’s Engineer, PV Pros has extensive experience evaluating, inspecting, and commissioning PV power systems. While I-V curve tracing is an essential tool in these efforts, it is not necessarily the best tool for every job. Moreover, some common pass-fail metrics involving I-V curve tracing may not be adequate to achieve […]

Using Aerial Imaging in Lieu of Boots on the Ground

The strategic and efficient use of resources for PV system commissioning and operations and maintenance (O&M) are critical to optimizing solar PV power system revenue and profitability. Through our work as an Owner’s Engineer, PV Pros has formalized procedures for ensuring installation quality, and identified opportunities to streamline inspection and commissioning activities while minimizing risk.  […]

When to use PVsyst, HelioScope, and SAM

At PV Pros, our project managers and engineers use photovoltaic simulation software developed by PVsyst, Folsom Labs, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). By having access to and experience with multiple complementary tools, we are able to select the best software for specific applications—depending on the use case, target audience, or project stage. Here […]

The Cost of Quality – A Solar IE’s perspective

There is a well-known business adage called the “Cost of Quality”. This is a sliding scale that says, the closer to completion a project gets, the more expensive it is to fix quality issues.   Quality comes in the form of Time (schedule) and/or Cost ($$$).  Project Management textbooks call these the “triple constrains” as […]

Spring Time for Preventive Maintenance

Spring cleaning also applies to solar! After harsh exposure to winter’s snow, ice, and rain, systems benefit from routine inspection and maintenance. This ensures performance will be optimal as the season progresses. Why is this important for owners and financiers? The solar peak generation season is April through September. Unplanned outages in this season costs […]

ASTM E2848 Capacity Test for Beginners

Capacity and performance ratio tests are used to demonstrate the performance of PV plants to buyers or lenders and de-risk their acquisition.   One popular test is ASTM 2848-13 “Standard Test Method for Reporting Photovoltaic Non-Concentrator System Performance”. The goal of this test is to compare the ratio of a modeled system vs the actual system performance, and the system should perform the […]