Earlier this year, on a routine survey of our Providence Solar Farm, Silicon Ranch Regional Manager of Power Plant Maintenance, Davin Smith and his team noticed that some of the clips holding source circuit bundles and module leads had failed.
How? As Davin put it, “changes in weather have a way of exposing or bringing about issues that weren’t necessarily a problem before.” In this case freezing rain had attached to the bundle adding extra weight, while also freezing certain module leads, causing gravity to not work in our wire management’s favor during the tracker’s movement. To compound on the issue the plastic clips and the metal racking system on which they were attached do not contract and expand at the same rate. Eventually the clips on this particular rack gave-way to the weight and began to sag, while the individual leads began to snag during tracker operation among other compounding technical issues.
Not only does that not look good, but it will “lead to ground fault potential, and we have to be cognizant of the livestock that we have on our sites as part of our Regenerative Energy® platform,” notes Davin.
The solution, Davin presents to Nick an alternative to the plastic clips—a PVC covered aluminum zip-tie—which he refers to as the “New Kid in Town.”
Our long-term ownership approach puts our team members in a position to bring solutions to potential problems before they get out of hand, while also emphasizing remediations that will last the life of the plant. That same ownership model enables immediate insight and learning opportunities to refine the design of our future projects. A big thanks to Davin here for providing us with an opportunity to demonstrate this approach and how we are making solar do more.