As a direct response to the alarming rise in catastrophic fire events involving improperly installed rooftop Photovoltaic (PV) arrays, 30 Forensic Engineering developed its industry leading Renewable Energy Group in 2010. It was determined through root cause analysis that PV system failures were found to be not only predictable; but preventable.
According to Michael Guest, Practice Lead of the Renewable Energy Group, “using our unique knowledge of failure analysis, the most comprehensive PV installation QA/QC processes in Ontario was developed to inspect and test PV systems immediately after completion to provide independent, third-party verification of systems before problems arise. De-risking projects in this manner provides several ancillary benefits to system owners, building owners and project developers.”
Being the only ‘pre-loss’ group at 30 Forensic Engineering, the Renewable Energy team comprises of master electricians, electrical engineers, structural engineers and a host of additional experts. These experts apply a deep knowledge of electrical codes, construction techniques, remediation and of course, renewable energy installations to form a true multi-disciplinary approach.
- Quality control inspection and testing of solar panel arrays
- Deep knowledge of electrical and construction codes
- Perfect record: zero failures since inception
The Ontario Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program was launched in 2009 to encourage the development of renewable energy technology. The rapid onset of FIT resulted in an unprecedented PV boon, whereby thousands of arrays were installed by contractors with inadequate PV experience. The Renewable Energy Group at 30 Forensic Engineering, Canada’s leading multi-disciplinary forensics firm, has the expertise required to provide pre-loss inspections to our clients.
The Ontario PV market is complex and developers typically rent the roofs of buildings to develop arrays. This creates inherent conflict between system owners, building owners and their tenants. System owners wanting to maximize profits are reluctant to properly maintain the array or roofing system. Tenants are concerned that the addition of a PV array will result in business interruption either from a leaking roof or a fire event. Building owners are caught in the middle, wanting to increase revenues without loosing tenants or incurring additional maintenance costs.
“Yesterday’s shortcuts will be tomorrow’s nightmares”.
For more information on how to de-risk your renewable energy projects, please contact: