We do hope that the evaluation tool gave you a good idea about the critical selection parameters of the main components, and how each parameter impacts performance.
First things first: The evaluation tool is best used before you finalize the purchase of your solar power system, as this is mainly a tool to evaluate your component selection.
If you are not yet in the process of purchase- You can evaluate your components even before your planned purchase. During this phase, you can learn more about each parameter, and play around with the various choices to see how they affect your hypothetical power plant.
If you are in the process of purchasing a solar power system, follow these steps before finalizing your solar power system and its components
- Interact with your vendor or system integrator to get inputs on all the parameters. These will be available in the data sheets for the corresponding component.
- Should the data or inputs not be available in the data sheet, request your vendor to provide these to you. If he is not able to provide it either, you have to choose the unfavorable choice for the parameter.
- For some parameters, it is a matter of your choice. This is the case in the case of parameters such as 3rd Party Insurance of Extended Warranties. You will need to select the right alternative based on your choice.
- Once you are able to get these data and made your decisions on parameters such as insurance and warranties, use the evaluation tool to make the right selections for each parameter for all the four components.
- Based on the results, you will have a reasonably good idea of how your solar power plant performance is likely to be, and on what parameters it needs to perform better.
- Discuss with your vendor on each parameter that is not doing well. For instance, if your solar panel does not have an Anti PID feature, discuss with your vendor on whether you could get a panel with this feature as it could make a significant difference to the performance and output.
- After you have been able to get all the features you wanted for all the four components, use the latest inputs to once again evaluate the components using the evaluation tool. Ensure that with these, your Overall Performance of the system is High and Generation Increase Over Benchmark is as close as possible to 25%.
- For high a performance selection, the The evaluation tool might indicate that the Cost Increase could be high. Note however that you might be able to bring down costs to acceptable levels with a bit of bargaining. At the same time, do remind yourself that high quality almost comes with at least a slightly higher cost so be reasonable in your price expectations!
- Congratulations - Once you are satisfied with the overall performance, the likely generation increase and the costs, go ahead and finalize your solar power plant components. You have now taken an informed decision that a 25 year lifetime asset deserves.
Here's PV Savvy wishing you the best for a high performance solar power plant!
And do let us know what you think about the PV Savvy evaluation tool, and how we can improve it, by sending a note to firstname.lastname@example.org