Date: December 2015
This guide considers Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of photovoltaic (PV) systems with the goal of reducing the cost of O&M and increasing its effectiveness. Reported O&M costs vary widely, and a more standardized approach to planning and delivering O&M can make costs more predictable. More efficient planning and delivery of O&M offers to reduce the cost from a range of $0 to $40/kW/year to a more uniform $10/kW/year. But the bigger payoff for improved O&M is increased performance. Actuarial data indicate that comprehensive O&M could improve the average performance ratio of systems from 88% to 94%, which is a substantial increase in revenue and environmental benefits of a PV system. Drivers to improve PV O&M include the following: increase efficiency and energy delivery (kWh/kW), decrease downtime (hours/year), extend system lifetime (say from 25 to 40 years), reduce cost of O&M ($/kW/year), ensure safety and reduce risk, enhance appearance, and meet requirements of financing and warranties.