O&M plans ensure reliable operation, low maintenance costs, and performance
over 20+ years. A significant factor in every O&M plan is the field
serviceability of the equipment. Field services refer to any service and repair
conducted at a customer site where the equipment is installed. When talking
about field-serviceability in solar, the serviceability of solar inverters
describes to which extent a technician can repair them on-site instead of
exchanging an entire inverter.
Basically, by repairing an inverter within one truck roll, you can cut the
number of truck rolls in half. Because you can troubleshoot and fix the system
within one truck roll, there is no need to return with an exchange unit. By having
spare part kits on your truck, you avoid wait times for parts or exchange
units. Especially in times of supply chain disruptions and shortages, this
provides a significant benefit.
The cost for one truck roll is $250 or more for transportation and hours
Let's assume an installation company installing 20 residential systems per month and an annual business growth rate of 5%. The typical failure rate of power electronics is 2%. When using a field-serviceable inverter instead of module-level power electronics (typically not field-serviceable), the O&M cost savings accumulate to over $1.1 million over 25 years. That amount of money can make a tremendous difference to installer businesses.
top of the cost savings, field serviceability also helps delight your customers
as they prefer to have fewer visits from a technician and less downtime of
their system. Instead of losing production while waiting for the exchange unit,
the system produces again after the first visit.
better than one truck-roll is no truck-roll.
Remote software updates might fix some problems and eliminate the need for a truck roll. With inverter software becoming increasingly powerful, many more options for remote troubleshooting and remote service are also available.
When choosing an inverter, make sure to assess the field serviceability of the equipment and the O&M programs provided by the manufacturers, which ideally empower you to conduct proactive service and field repairs profitably.
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