HelioVolta Awarded DOE Grant

March 3, 2023

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We’re thrilled to share that the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded HelioVolta (another!) grant to expand asset management capabilities within SolarGrade, our fieldwork management platform for renewable energy assets.

Our team is leveraging our latest award to partner with experts at Sandia National Laboratories on SolarFax, a new analytics tool within the SolarGrade platform. To learn more about the latest round of Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Awards (SBIR/SBTTR) awards for solar energy topics, click here to visit the DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office website.

What is SolarFax?
SolarFax provides a complete picture of solar project health and performance by unifying disparate PV asset data streams. It’s like a Carfax report that describes a vehicle’s history – but for solar projects.

The data that goes into SolarFax includes:

  1. Non-metered safety and reliability metrics that technicians collect in the field using SolarGrade.
  2. Metered energy production data, weather data and other supervisory control and data acquisition (“SCADA”) metrics generated by monitoring systems installed at project sites.

Why SolarFax Matters
As projects change ownership over their lifetimes, asset health is understood through technical due diligence, but purchasing a project based only on energy meters and inverter signals is like buying a car and only focusing on its mileage.

Reliability issues (for example, PV module hot spots, backsheet yellowing, faulty connectors, or even rodent infestations!) are not easily discerned from SCADA data, but they can dramatically affect the long-term health of a PV asset and reduce energy yield over time.

Understanding project performance and asset history, such as major component repair, asset thermal events, and maintenance history, is increasingly vital for asset purchases, especially as systems age.

We’re excited to accelerate our work on SolarFax and look forward to sharing updates as progress unfolds. To learn more about this grant and others awarded for solar energy technologies, visit the DOE website.

Featured Resources

The Ultimate Safety Guide to Solar Connectors

A comprehensive guide on safety and installation best practices for solar connectors.

The SolarGrade PV Health Report

An analysis of PV system health based on >60,000 health data points from field inspections.

PV System Fire Prevention

An overview of the root causes of PV systems fires and fire prevention tactics.

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