Solar Thermal System Design For Professional Engineers

Today I just want to make a quick rant observation about people who design solar projects, in particular, solar thermal.

Having participated in a number of  solar thermal projects over the past few years, I have seen projects put out for bid by many agencies, city and county governments, colleges etc.  What I see as a common theme is for the RFP to be incomplete and even contradictory. It’s often clear that the person tasked with buying such a system has no clue about it.

But much worse,  some of the PEs  that specify the system designs are one day likely to face embarrassing questions and wind up with E&O issues.  Look, it’s not difficult but it is very specialized and if you don’t have personal experience with this stuff,  you need to get some help.

There are courses you can take, consultants you can hire. I’d bet that more than one system manufacturer would be happy to give you free training, or at least check over your design and point out the problems before you publish it.

IDEA – float a draft design and spec to a few of the manufacturers who provide the type of equipment you are requesting and let their engineers give you some feedback before you finalize it.

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