- Article reports numerous faults in solar panel installations.
Solar installation inspection results of 100 sites in Rhode Island found 50% of large-scale projects had issues, while 83% of small projects had them - with 30% and 26% of those systems having "critical" issues, respectively.
I'm sharing this article because it is so rich in details and photos regarding mistakes in solar panel project design and installations. The faults reported sound very mundane, yet important for safety and for money reasons. They discuss both residential projects, and commercial solar farms.
The topic is in the news recently because Tesla had to shut down solar installations on hundreds of Walmart stores because some of them caused fires. The flaw was said to be inadequate wire connectors.
To me the takeaway is that this is a new and very rapidly growing industry. Training designers, project managers, and field installers about the codes is falling short. Building inspectors also need good training to spot such flaws. I suspect a shortage of adequately trained trainers.
The takeaway for PF members is that in addition to big issues like climate change, small details are also vital. Lack of attention to the small details could derail an entire industry.