Now Available: On-Demand Webinar–PV Resilience, Addressing Weather Vulnerabilities

Emerging Building Technologies


PV Resilience: Addressing Weather Vulnerabilities


If you missed our last Outbrief webinar, PV Resilience: Addressing Weather Vulnerabilities, a recording and presentation slides are now available.

Many thanks to all the presenters and to the participants for their thoughtful questions, some of which are answered below:


Q: What is the most common weather vulnerability you've seen?

A: Failures with bolted joints are the most serious and pervasive problem noted in field surveys.


Q: Is there an SOW or list of items to be screened while performing maintenance of a PV system?

A: We are working on operations and maintenance (O&M) materials as well as a supply schedule solution. Meanwhile, FEMP just posted a customizable procurement template for federal government agencies seeking O&M services titled Solar PV O&M Contract Templates.


Q: Where can I find technical assistance for PV systems?

A: Federal agencies can get technical assistance by requesting help through the FEMP Distributed Energy Project Portal. Or contact Gerald Robinson directly:


Q: Has anyone used (color-changing) smart bolts instead of a torque audit to verify torque?

A: Color-changing smart bolts could work though they could be expensive. Nextracker has a good white paper on bolted joint design.


Q: Where can I find directions for torque auditing?

A: The soon-to-be published PV Resilience guide includes detailed directions for a GO/NO-GO method for torque testing. You can also find torque auditing instructions in the Pre-and Post-Storm Checklist. Sometimes racking manufacturers will provide instructions. If so, always use these.


Q: What about using a thread-locking adhesive like Loctite?

A: A thread-locking adhesive is a legitimate method, though there are trade-offs. Thread-lock adhesives don’t allow for torque auditing or re-tightening and might not survive for the long term.


Q: Is there a water resistance rating (IP code) that is recommended for the junction boxes or inverters?

A: Inverters are water tight so this shouldn’t be an issue. Junction boxes and cabinetry should be NEMA 4 or 4x. Inverter manufacturers may offer cabinet options with upgraded coatings or other options. Seek guidance from inverter manufacturers.



Reference to any specific commercial product, process or service does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof.


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