Martin's Blog

  • Testing PV systems: Forget ‘fit and forget’

    16 July 2014, 10:30

    Martin Cotterell looks at performing a periodic verification (condition report) on the DC side of the system.

  • Fire safety and solar: evaluating new products

    09 May 2014, 07:13 | Comments (1)

    I am currently working on an aspect of PV installation standards that invokes a lot of interest and debate – fire safety.

  • G83/2 deadline: are you ready?

    14 February 2014, 09:00 | Comments (1)

    From 1 March, solar arrays installed with inverters that do not comply with G83/2 may lead to the DNO refusing to connect your project. Martin Cotterell explains what installers should be looking out for and how to prepare for the new requirements.

  • Solar MOTs: are they a waste of time?

    31 January 2014, 10:51 | Comments (1)

    Where do you sit; are service and maintenance visits to a solar PV system a necessary and worthwhile exercise, or just a waste of money? This was the question posed to me today by a customer. My answer was: “Well that depends on the system, the installer and the way the system is behaving.”

  • You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

    03 January 2014, 12:26 | Comments (2)

    Now I don’t know if you were affected by the power cuts over the holiday period, but some of the media coverage regarding the power outages made me consider the attitude we have to our electricity supply.

  • PID and functional earthing

    26 November 2013, 13:23 | Comments (3)

    Potential Induced Degradation (PID) is a topic that’s been around the PV industry for a while, but until fairly recently I had not been paying it that much attention.  This changed for me at Solar Energy UK 2013 in Birmingham when a manufacturer giving a talk said they had seen evidence of PID reducing output in a particular system by 60% - yes 60%!

  • So what’s gone wrong?

    26 September 2013, 10:28 | Comments (2)

    In his latest blog, Martin Cotterell looks at the various methods that installers can employ to identify problems with an installed system.

  • Getting ready for PV storage

    15 August 2013, 12:07 | Comments (4)

    Small-scale PV storage has not yet taken off in the UK. However, the necessary technical and commercial drivers could kick in soon and rapidly change this situation, and when they do, we need to be ready, says Martin Cotterell

  • How the MCS shade procedure was developed

    03 June 2013, 15:52 | Comments (3)

    Following on from last week’s blog which looked at how to implement the new MCS shade assessment guide, Martin explains why MCS chose the new shade procedure.

  • Shade assessment guidance

    30 May 2013, 11:32 | Comments (8)

    Since the launch of the new Solar PV Guide, questions about the shade assessment procedure are easily the most common.  The good news is that MCS will shortly be publishing some guidance on their website to help installers better understand what is required and how to perform the evaluation.

Martin Cotterell

Sundog Energy, Founder, Chairman and Technical Director

Martin Cotterell is the Founder and currently Chairman and Technical Director of Sundog Energy. Founded in 1995, Sundog Energy has grown to be one of the leading PV companies in the UK, with clients from all sectors from housing to large public and commercial projects. Sundog has installed some of the UK’s most innovative PV systems, including currently a 240kWp glass-glass PV system on Kings Cross Station. Read more about Martin Cotterell →

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