In order to increase investor confidence and long-term viability of solar systems, establishing best practices for PV system installations and operations is paramount. This is where the role of Quality Control comes into play. The primary purpose of Quality Control is to ensure that solar installations and maintenance procedures are implemented at the highest possible standards in order to optimize performance and minimize costs.
What is Quality Control?
Quality control is simply a tool that can assess the quality of a company’s products and services against a predetermined parameter. QC is a vital requirement to build a successful business that is able to fulfil customer demands and expectations.
How can QC Practices benefit providers and consumers?
Implementing effective QC can be beneficial for the consumer in various ways.
- It encourages quality consciousness
- It helps increase customer satisfaction
- It enables effective utilization of resources at all stages of PV deployment
The Stages of Performing QC
The first stage where QC is performed is the conceptual phase. Here, the most important aspect is design verification. The expected output of the PV system is tested through computerized simulations that depict the system’s ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions. Next comes the installation stage where various QC tests are performed including pre dispatch inspections, visual controls, dimensional controls and damage controls. In the final commissioning stage, the PV system is tested for its performance and output. Test runs are carried out to ensure that production has followed the correct procedures and start up time has been saved. This stage of QC continues throughout the lifespan of the system (assuming an O&M contact has been signed) and includes regular monitoring and inspections of the PV site to ensure maximum productivity.
It is essential for a solar EPC company to implement Quality Control at all phases of the solar contract. These quality practices are employed by EPCs and contractors in order to mitigate the risks and costs associated with poor quality. Performing Quality Control checks regularly and systematically with pre-determined specifications that can gauge whether each phase of solar installation fulfils the required standards.