AE 868
Commercial Solar Electric Systems



Lesson 11 Scenario

Imagine this: your crew has finished installing the PV system you designed and managed within the timeline of the project. The owner's manual is prepared and ready to be delivered. Your team is ready to connect the PV system to the utility grid. Upon arrival of the utility personnel, what are the steps to initializing the system the first time? Are there any procedures to be followed? The owner knows that because PV systems are installed outdoors, there must be some cleaning routine and checkups to ensure the system is operating at the maximum possible performance. What are the main maintenance considerations needed for any PV system? How will the owner know if the system is producing energy or not?

This lesson is a guide for PV professionals and system owners. The lesson will walk you through the basic understanding of the commissioning, operation and maintenance, and monitoring topics that relate to PV systems. This lesson prepares solar professionals to become PV system operators. Similar to any other construction that exists, O&M and monitoring are pivotal aspects of PV systems, and they are key components in driving the PV system to succeed under different operating conditions. Understanding the main concepts of O&M and system monitoring prolong the operation of PV systems and guarantee expected energy production throughout the systems' lifetimes.

Learning Outcomes

At the successful completion of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Describe steps to commissioning a PV system.
  • Identify operation and maintenance tasks involved to maximize PV system output and operation.
  • Identify monitoring strategies of array, components, and warranty coverage.

What is due for Lesson 11?

Lesson 11 will take us one week to complete. Please refer to the Calendar in Canvas for specific timeframes and due dates. Specific directions for assignments below can be found within this lesson and/or in Canvas.

Complete the following Lesson Assignments:


If you have lesson-specific questions, please feel free to post to the Lesson 11 Questions discussion forum in Canvas. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help a classmate with a question. If you have questions about the overall course or wish to share and discuss any "extra" course related commentary (interesting articles, etc.), please feel free to post to the General Questions and Discussion forum.