Four Solar Asset Management Best Practices
While the technical and visual aspects of solar energy are often the most noticeable, these are not the only parts that are important to the success of a solar power installation. In fact, the overall effectiveness of the solar installation depends on a more holistic approach, including the equipment and finances involved in keeping it operational. When efficiency and effectiveness are achieved by a solar installation, that is the definition of solar asset management.
There are four areas of solar asset management best practices:
1. Invest in solar power from the beginning. – Solar power systems that are built correctly the first time are more effective and more efficient. Although it may cost more initially to set up a solar system with higher quality materials and equipment, the time and material costs that come with fixing it later would far outweigh the original investment. Solar energy is built over time, dependent on the weather and the sun, so power generation is slow.
2. Look at the results for all solar power use. – When working with solar power or any other energy performance portfolio, many people look at the average data to determine success or failure. While this average does indicate the overall pattern of solar energy success, it ignores the outer reaches of the power, especially those who are not doing well. Looking at the lower end of the performance data, often referred to as the “tail,” focuses on those who are not impressed with the power or who are not benefitting from it. It is these underserved people who will leave poor reviews of the company online or who will tell others not to use solar energy.
3. Take careful and through notes during data collection. – The best way to take care of a solar power system is to anticipate potential problems and prevent them from occurring. Maintenance and repairs for solar power units can be incredibly expensive, both from a labor and parts standpoint as well as due to lost power storage and use. Operators who can anticipate issues and prevent them before they occur have a better chance of saving money in the long run on operation and maintenance costs. Keeping careful records of each small adjustment and repair can provide tell-tale information about ongoing problems and potentially devastating damage.
4. Focus on the big picture rather than the tiny details. – While it is easy to get caught up in the small details of everyday operations and tiny repairs, it is imperative with solar energy to focus on the bigger picture of solar energy advancement. Understanding the underlying problems in operations, sharing that data with other solar users and making plans for better parts and installations are very important aspects of this industry as it continues to grow exponentially in popularity.
Although solar energy collection and use is not a new method, it is one that is experiencing unusually quick development and growth. As it continues to become more and more prevalent as a reliable power source, solar power needs to be more efficient. Improved operational functionality and efficiency will come with better management of solar assets, and these four methods are the best ways to do just that.