American-Made Solar Prize winning software SolarGrade focused on improving solar field work

HelioVolta SolarGrade photo

As the solar industry enters the public consciousness more and more thanks to the IRA, the spotlight will be shining even brighter on any failures or mistakes. That’s why, among all the great prize winners in the Department of Energy’s American-Made Solar Prize contest, HelioVolta’s SolarGrade software stands out. SolarGrade is a cloud-based platform that standardizes and automates solar and storage fieldwork with mobile and desktop applications — and it was built by solar professionals.

“We built SolarGrade to empower solar professionals like ourselves, who have high standards for quality, safety and performance but are under immense pressure to reduce costs and save time in a fiercely competitive market,” commented David Penalva, Co-Founder of HelioVolta, a provider of independent inspection and technical advisory services for solar projects.

“SolarGrade was selected as a winner for the fifth round of the American-Made Solar Prize because it meets an increasingly urgent need for solar-specific O&M and fieldwork tools,” commented Debbie Brodt-Giles, lead prize administrator at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Some SolarGrade features

  • Pre-built and customizable workflows that standardize on-site processes and procedures so that field teams can quickly identify problems.
  • Pre-written issue descriptions that improve field documentation and enable accurate, automated reporting.
  • Geo-referenced issue-tracking that reduces time-on-site for future service calls.

HelioVolta will leverage funding from the Energy Department competition to expand its team and accelerate software development efforts. The company aims to quadruple the existing SolarGrade user base by 2024 by implementing new features that support fieldwork across the full solar project lifecycle.

“In just a few months, we have already experienced benefits from implementing SolarGrade in our project development, construction and operational asset activities,” commented Armando Solis, Sr. Director of Engineering in the Americas for Lightsource bp. “We plan to continue utilizing the platform as it evolves and improves over time.”

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