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Commissioning & Optimization of On-Site Renewable Energy Systems
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Today, many electrical contractors and photovoltaic (PV) integrators engineer and install custom systems on a variety of existing and new construction. These systems are designed specifically to the building configurations and to required utility interconnection. Each system therefore becomes a unique challenge to design, install and commission. This paper will present a detailed review of pre-commissioning activities, followed by the formal commissioning and startup of PV systems. A step by step list of activities, including a review of compliance to the National Electrical Code®, will be presented with examples from actual completed installations. Proper understanding and installation of these systems will ensure the safety of all personnel during the commissioning and subsequent operation by the end user. One of the often overlooked benefits of the commissioning is to include the client in the overall review of the system and provide an explanation of the rational for the design, installation and operation of the system. This is not a substitute for the final hand over of the system, but rather a way for the client to become knowledgeable with the completed project. Finally, the commissioning procedure provides a view into the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the completed project. The commissioning process therefore presents a safe and thorough procedure for the final testing and evaluation of the system prior to hand over to the client.
Gardner, J.C. (2011). Commissioning & Optimization of On-Site Renewable Energy Systems. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from