Automated installation of grid-scale photovoltaic modules

Going forward the balance of system cost for grid-scale photovoltaics (PV) is projected to be an increasing fraction of the total cost for PV that dominates the manufacturing cost of a panel. Automated installation of PV hardware through lean and line manufacturing ideas has the potential to significantly impact and reduce the balance of system cost as well as reduce the time to grid. Installation of mechanical and electrical PV hardware is the most time consuming portion of grid scale PV site construction, making it a clear target for innovation and optimization in an effort to reduce cost and time to grid. This project looks at applying and analyzing the impact of manufacturing techniques such as prefabrication, off-site commissioning, and temporary on-site assembly lines in an effort to decrease the installation cost and time of hardware for grid scale PV.

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