Solar PV Quality Management (QM)

Photograph of solar panels in the foreground, reflecting the sunlight.

With a service life of more than 20 years, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems must deliver power consistently and constantly. IBTS’s quality assurance testing validates the production and safety of installed systems, as well as local jurisdiction and utility responsiveness.

Using accurate data collection and consistent reporting, IBTS can verify the quality of installed PV systems, as well as their compliance to code and conformance with design criteria. Our national inspectors use advanced, web-based inspection technology to perform field inspections for residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar PV systems.

We offer public- and private-sector clients several quality management services to help verify the reliability, safety, and “bankability” of installed solar PV systems and support the overall growth of the renewable energy industry.

Our solar PV quality management work includes:

Verifying Installation Quality: Our field inspectors verify installations meet best practices and code compliance. Inspections are documented accurately and reliably in the field using our web-based inspection technology, and our synchronized database allows near real-time analysis. We also offer customized field quality control (QC) inspections to meet specific needs and requirements.

Vetting Qualified Installers: IBTS provides customers with an outsourced service to vet potential solar partners. We use onsite visits to verify quality of work and safety, as well as Shade Analysis verification of “as installed” solar availability to ensure compliance with design values and minimum criteria allowed for rebates.

Improving Quality: Consistent data collection and reporting allows IBTS experts to gather the information needed to accurately identify the causes of several common problems with solar products and installations. Once we understand the cause and effect of these issues, we can develop an improvement plan. IBTS also offers process improvement suggestions and provide consultation if a problem arises.

Reassuring Investors: As a nonprofit organization able to provide national quality assurance, IBTS brings the impartiality and expertise needed to confirm the quality and correctness of installations. Our involvement reassures investors of their return, and encourages further investment in solar financing companies.

Enhancing Economic Development and Renewable Energy: Slow permitting through local jurisdictions, delayed field inspections, and a lack of technically-qualified staff have stunted Solar PV installation growth and increased solar soft costs. We work with our partners to provide an efficient process and seamless support that fosters growth and stability of the renewable energy industry.

At the local jurisdiction level, we provide field inspection to facilitate local and utility inspections, in addition to plan review. Local building departments across the country outsource their plan review and engineering services to IBTS, eliminating the expense of carrying these specialists internally.

IBTS also provides desktop photo reviews, commercial project final/annual inspection and commissioning, data analyses, plan reviews, and rebate/system performance verification.

Solar PV Quality Management Training: IBTS integrates training into our quality assurance programs to your community or organization can run more efficiently and effectively. We review the results of our inspections with our clients to ensure the same mistakes don’t happen again. We can also train local code officials on best practices for inspection on project installations.

Partnership with the Solar Quality Initiative: IBTS is engaged in the Solar Quality Initiative, an industry-driven effort to implement standards for solar system installation, operations and maintenance. IBTS and the Solar Quality Initiative are in the process of developing the Solar Quality Credential Program for solar providers.

To qualify for credentialing, a provider must have the internal management systems and processes in place to comply with best practice requirements.

Companies that demonstrate compliance are reviewed and approved by an independent third-party, like IBTS. Once credentialed, these solar providers can publicize this important designation to their customers and financial backers.

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