The best way to inspect and determine the workmanship and value of a solar energy system is onsite and by looking on above and under the solar modules - look under the hood - for damage and defects.
In addition to wiring methods, when evaluating a rooftop solar energy system, the roof under the array should be qualified and evaluated. For a ground-mounted system, the soil and type under the solar array should be evaluated including soil amendments.
A. CODE COMPLIANCE AND THE SOLAR INDUSTRY
For example, local AHJ Inspections determine Code compliance (Electrical and the I codes), non local goverment AHJ inspections may include performance, workmanship, industry standard practices, contracts and the Business and Professions (B&P) code.
For micro-inverters and dc optimizer or other Module Level Power Electronics (MLPE) solutions there are other techniques in determining the number of modules in panel including manufacturing instructions, module compatibility, and maximum module to inverter ratios,
Solar energy systems impacted by shade would be unacceptable based on the cost of energy.
[Sample Inspection Photograph: There are issues in compliance to code, industry standards and best practices. Both the installer and customer were confused on why the system was not working correctly.]
B. INDUSTRY STANDARD AND BEST PRACTICES
One way to maintain a solar energy system would to physically inspect the system with periodically.
Unlike other electrical systems, a solar energy system should be well designed using various standard practices and manufacture's instructions and periodically inspected. If not, then this may result in premature failures, corrosion or other issues.