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Designing Photovoltaic Systems: Site-Survey Tips

Part of the Photovoltaic Design & Installation For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The best way to prepare to design a photovoltaic (PV) system is to conduct a site survey. This survey helps you get familiar with the client's property so you can better evaluate which location is best for housing the PV array. Here are some tips to make your site survey go smoothly:

  • Look at your client's site via satellite image before showing up in person so you can prepare for the site survey and even fill in some site information beforehand.

  • Bring a camera, a notepad with your standard site-survey form, pens and pencils, measuring tapes, and a shade-analysis tool so you can accurately document the site and define where to place the PV array.

  • Take more pictures and video than you think you need. You'll be glad you did when you're trying to remember a specific detail days or weeks after you were on-site.

  • Give yourself plenty of time — unless you're okay with missing an important detail just because you're in a hurry.

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