The Australian arm of the world’s largest PV maker, Yingli Solar, has announced a new digital quality control program aimed at raising the benchmark for the nation’s rooftop solar industry.
Yingli4You, launched by Yingli Green Energy Australia on Tuesday, is described as an educational, incentive, technical and project management package to help the module maker’s partner installers to raise industry standards.
Made up of a website and iPhone app – Y4U – the program acts as an integrated digital storage tool for all technical and site information, to help streamline project management.
Installers can maintain a database of installations, add location-based tags to installation images and orientation and pitch image grabs. They can also log Yingli inventory via a barcode reader and verify the compliance of a solar PV installation against Clean Energy Council (CEC) standards.
The move by Yingli follows the introduction, in May, of a voluntary solar audit program, which tests the quality and composition of photovoltaic panels where they are made, ensuring the products being installed on Australian rooftops are of a consistently high standard.
The Positive Quality program – launched with the backing of Yingli Solar, among others – is being coordinated by the Australian Solar Council, in an industry-led effort to increase public confidence in switching to solar.
The Clean Energy Council has also recently launched its own solar consumer guide, to help ensure households and businesses install the PV system best suited to their needs.
The guide, launched last month at Clean Energy Week in Sydney, takes prospective customers through a seven-step process to help them choose the appropriate rooftop solar system and avoid common pitfalls.
As Yingli Green Energy managing director Daman Cole said in a statement on Tuesday, the overarching goal of measures like these has been to increase the confidence of Australian households and businesses in investing in solar PV, while giving installers a more stable business foundation to work from.
“Solar PV installers face tremendous cost and time pressures and the Yingli4You Partner Program will provide our partners with a competitive advantage that helps them streamline their operations and grow their businesses,” Cole said.
“This will ultimately increase the confidence and assurance of residential and business customers who know they are investing in quality solar PV panels that are being installed by highly skilled installers.”
To be a part of the program, installers will have to undergo specialised annual training from GSES, on completion of which they will receive up to 75 points towards their CEC Continuous Professional Development (CPD) accreditation renewal.
The program also offers a service guarantee that compensates installers for their time to manage approved warranty claims, ultimately improving the level of support available to all customers.
“Until today, installers have had to rely on manual processes to document solar installation projects,” said Cole. “With our Y4U app and website, we are providing a single, integrated source of information and the ability to capture data and manage projects from one environment. This reduces the hassle installers and administrators face in managing multiple projects and provide them with the peace of mind knowing their customer projects and installation details are securely stored and accessible from any location.”
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