Site: Secure Storage, Brewster Massachusetts
Want to know exactly what happens during a commercial solar panel installation? Here are some images, videos, and step by step commentary on a 692,080 watt solar power installation at Secure Storage in Brewster, MA. For further detail see the series of blog posts describing exactly how these commercial solar panels developed from idea to final connection.
Hardware used: Hanwha Q Cell solar modules, Solectria Inverters and Snap Racking racking. Installed by Sunworks.
First, we had to visit the site and collect important information.
After a whole lot of paperwork (see the blog posts to really get a grasp on this), various pieces of hardware start to show up. There’s racking, and solar modules, and connectors, and wire, and even more hardware here and there.
Organizing the work process:
Now you gotta start rolling out all the equipment in a nicely orchestrated dance between various groups of experts. You have electricians laying out solar racking, grounding the hardware, inspectors watching over connections, drivers moving hardware from staging to deployment, so much gets done to build this 20 year lego set. To get going, you gotta get setup first…
The racking goes down first. Thousands of pieces of aluminum tied together, patience and precision in the layout, engineered to minimum weight and last for decades, focused on saving labor and competing on price at every level. Solar racking is so nice.
Solar modules and wiring:
Once you get the racking down, you start doing the pretty work – laying our solar modules and running wiring. Solar module laying is quite fulfilling, as everyone of course identities solar power with the quite vain solar modules. Over two thousand modules in total delivered.
Really though, a lot more attention ought be given to inverters – and at the highest end of the industry this is happening. Because truly, the solar inverter is the most active piece of hardware out there. Solar modules, once delivered, quietly do their job. Racking, stays stable for decades, copper wiring and transformers – stoic, but that inverter needs a lot of love and attention to work as hard as it does every day. Much respect.
Maintaining your business during installation:
Keeping a business running while the construction goes on is so very important, and certain jobs must be done fast. Business continuity is of the utmost, and we do our best to do the work that might affect your customers in a highly coordinated matter. Communication is key.
Connecting to the grid:
Somehow, all of this electricity has to go from the buildings rooftop, into the power grid. That involves a medium voltage crew to build out a lot of unique switchgear. The electricity utility will visit a few times as well, including installing a couple of our own poles. There’s copper run under ground, and powerlines run over head. We’re just here to install the facts ma’am!
And at the end, we have a beautiful creation. The commercial solar panel installation is complete.
Solar Monitoring and Operations & Maintenance:
And heading out into the following decades, you the customer can monitor the output of your investment to understand exactly what’s going on – 24 hours a day, from anywhere on earth. Check out the live production of our system (which is shown below).
Sunworks, our contractor for this project, offers a 25 year warranty with system monitoring as the lynchpin. You’ll be given a list of basic upkeep tasks to do on a schedule, and of something does happen – expect a visit or two in the first couple of years as
We’ve also got a couple of short videos for you to enjoy – we really love this stuff!