When it comes to power plant components, most people take refuge in the warranties provided by the supplier, some of these warranties extending up to even a quarter of a century. But how good are these warranties if the companies providing them are no longer in existence? Sadly, not any good. Once the company goes under, so does its service and warranty mandates.
So, ensure that your component suppliers are still in business.
And why exactly do we advise you to ensure that the components you are going to own are not from manufacturers that have gone bust?
Let’s look at the following scenario:
Your inverter manufacturer is bankrupt and subsequently, the warranty provided is also worthless. Under this circumstance, if the inverter fails, you might have to face anyone of the following issues (or in a worst case scenario, all the three!)
- Power plant remains offline for a considerable amount of time
In a usual case, when there are issues with the inverter, the manufacturer sends a technical support team to fix the issue at the earliest. But once the company in itself doesn’t exist, there is no further liability to ensure maintenance and repairs of its products. The power plant remains shut down until the stakeholder finds suitable and qualified personnel to fix the inverter and he is not compensated for the generation loss during this period
- Incompatibility issues with any replacements made
The plant infrastructure might have to be restructured in case the inverter is to be replaced and an exact replica is not available. Each inverter comes with its unique configurations and the cabling and panel ratings correspondingly might need changes with the anticipated replacement. This will lead to additional expenses over and above the inverter replacement cost.
- Lack of spare parts
Once the manufacturer goes out of business, there is little availability of spare components. So in cases where small repairs for the damaged inverter would have sufficed, the inverter in its entirety may need replacement, resulting in additional expenses in terms of buying and installing a new one.
We have enlisted issues that could go wrong if just the inverter manufacturer becomes insolvent. The same or worse could apply for panels, mounting structures or other components.
Components from manufacturers who are less likely to go under are critical when it comes to a smooth performing power plant. Make sure you do a thorough check on the companies that have supplied components to the power plant.But with even major manufacturers prone to bankruptcies these days, you cannot be completely de-risked from the above-mentioned issues. If you want to be completely risk-averse you might want to consider components that are covered by a third party insurance provider, who is bound to honor the warranties and commitments associated with the component, even if the manufacturer has gone bust.
You might want to check out these questions on Solar Power Plant Evaluation- Components:
- How well have the components been chosen?- Here
- Presence of local service support from component manufacturers?- Here
- What have been the degradation rates in panels?- Here
- How good are the inverters?- Here
- What types of monitoring solutions are employed by the power plant?- Here
- What kind of trackers is employed?How do you ensure its quality?- Here
- What are the warranty clauses attached to key components?-Here
- Can you retrofit additional components to an existing power plant to increase generation? – Here