SEBANE's Solar O&M Seminar: Residential and Commercial Applications

November 9, 2018

Title image courtesy of Tom Jones, New England Unmanned Aerial Services.

“Focused content, focused audience,” said one attendee about SEBANE’s seminar centered around asset management and operations and maintenance (O&M). The day-long event was chock full of talks and panel discussions designed to educate about innovative ways to improve the performance of PV systems.

Seventy-five solar developers, installers, and investor/owner-operators gathered at Foley Hoag in Boston’s seaport for breakfast, coffee, and a keynote by Cedric Brehaut, the Vice President of Products at Omnidian. His talk followed the theme of “solar without fear.” After explaining just what O&M means, exactly, he covered the tectonic shifts that are occurring in the industry and the business development opportunities that come along with them.

Brehaut was followed by SEBANE’s second guest speaker, Chuck Kurnik of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), who spoke about best practices for O&M of PV systems. He highlighted the fact that solar, in comparison to other sources of power generation, is relatively low-maintenance. This benefit becomes even greater with proper O&M practices, Kurnik said.

In between presentations from guest speakers and event sponsors, attendees were able to ask questions of the panel of experts. The audience seemed particularly engaged because “the panelists were a diverse cross section of our field,” wrote one attendee.

Event sponsors were able to present about their range of services and how they each fit into the bigger picture of solar O&M. Cliff Kalinowski of Sunsystem Technology explained the business of in-house versus third-party O&M. Steve Bianchi of Solect Energy gave the commercial O&M perspective, and how his company overcomes challenges with advanced technologies. Stephen Lapointe of PowerDash was able to inform attendees about their analytics, alerts, and apps that provide practical solutions for portfolio analysis within solar O&M.

 Panelists rom left to right:  Cedric Brehaut  of  Omnidian ,  Kevin Clark  of  Solar-Log ,  Teff Reed  of  SolarEdge ,  Stephen Lapointe  of  PowerDash ,  Steve Bianchi  of  Solect Energy ,  Tom Jones  of New England Unmanned Aerial Services,  Charlie Olness  of  eGauge ,  Chuck Kernick  of  NREL , and  Cliff Kalinowski  of  SunSystem Technology . The panel was moderated by  Scott Howe , SEBANE Board Treasurer and Partner, Senior Vice President of Sales at  Solect Energy  (center).

Panelists rom left to right: Cedric Brehaut of Omnidian, Kevin Clark of Solar-Log, Teff Reed of SolarEdge, Stephen Lapointe of PowerDash, Steve Bianchi of Solect Energy, Tom Jones of New England Unmanned Aerial Services, Charlie Olness of eGauge, Chuck Kernick of NREL, and Cliff Kalinowski of SunSystem Technology. The panel was moderated by Scott Howe, SEBANE Board Treasurer and Partner, Senior Vice President of Sales at Solect Energy (center).

One attendee shared that the program consisted of a “great group of very bright collaborators, [and] knowledgeable presenters.” Adding to this value, after lunch Teff Reed of SolarEdge explained how to “know before you go,” his company’s solution to decrease the amount of trucks rolling and cut costs through O&M practices. Kevin Clark of Solar-Log followed by introducing the audience to his company’s data monitoring systems, specifically designed for normalizing and harnessing critical performance data points. Attendees were excited to see “the drone guy” step up to speak when Tom Jones of Unmanned Aerial Services took the podium. In addition to bringing a drone for the audience to examine, he explained how to incorporate drones throughout the lifestyle of a solar project. Last but certainly not least, Charlie Olness of eGauge demonstrated his energy metering technology for solar O&M.

 Photo courtesy of  Tom Jones .

Photo courtesy of Tom Jones.

SEBANE thanks our speakers, sponsors, and host for helping to curate such an informative and interactive program. One attendee wrote, “The speakers were excellent and explained very technical information in clear understandable terms. I really learned a lot.” The combination of practical solutions with introductions to new innovations added to the event’s “quality of content and range of speakers and intimacy,” according to another guest. Click here to see more photos from the event!

For upcoming SEBANE events like this one, keep checking our events calendar or email info@sebane.org to be added to the list.

SEBANE is committed to curating an enriching year-round program of valuable and timely educational and networking opportunities to help our members stay on the cutting edge of our rapidly evolving industry. We welcome your suggestions and requests for future educational and networking opportunities!

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Susan Howe