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I'm wondering if people can pass their thoughts on or point me to a BS standard or other guidance regarding periodic inspections on PV systems (including DC side). I'm mostly looking for recommended inspection intervals for domestic systems (if you would just carry out alongside EICR) and whether inspecting the frame and roof array would be expected to be carried out during this also? IE if you do, do you physically check the frame and fixings, or could you use a camera pole or other means?
There doesn't seem to be much guidance out there that goes into specifics and just wondering what others do
BS EN 62446-1 might be what you're looking for in regards the PV array itself, which effectively stipulates retesting and reinspecting the array, with BS7671 covering the AC (and DC) installation. Functional tests of the anti-islanding system (i.e. G83/G98 for smaller projects) would be expected. On top of this would be the inverter and framing system manufacturer's recommended maintenance regimes.
It is as ever a matter for the contract though: If you've only been asked to provide an EICR for the installation generally to BS7671 that's different to a specific request to perform a maintenance survey on the PV array.
In the latter case a visual of the rooftop array would be wise at the very least, to check for fixings, debris accumulation, damaged/dirty modules etc. I normally work with larger installations where there will (should) already be provision for inspection designed in, so can't speak to whether this is actually done and how for domestics. Some will go further with thermographic surveys (often using drones) and sample mechanical checks of fixings etc. The scope does need to consider the details of the installation though: Some framing systems have torqued module clamps, others have push fittings or slide rails.
The IET Code of Practice doesn't really say much on the matter, although if you're working in that field it would be sensible to have it to hand.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for the response, much appreciated! I'm basically only dealing with domestic systems and it's because I'm starting to pull together a maintenance regime for specifically PV systems. I'm happy on all aspects regarding inspection on testing of the invertor and other equipment but just wanted to make sure the regime is robust around inspecting the roof frame and array, as I basically just want to make sure we do a good job and the paperwork is actually worth something.
I'm going to look at the IET code of practice and get a copy ordered!
Thanks for your help