This case study highlights how MindView 6 mind mapping software was used to manage a solar panel installation project in San Diego, California. Electricity rates continue to increase in San Diego. Current rates range from 0.17 to o.40 $/kWh depending on the amount of electricity used. In early 2014, my wife began researching the costs of solar panels. We were surprised to learn that solar panels were now more efficient and affordable. After evaluating a number of solar panel companies, we selected Stellar Solar to install the solar panels. Stellar Solar made sure to fast track the installation so we would receive a Federal Tax credit for 2014.
I recommend that you use Stellar Solar for your solar panel project. I am impressed with their professionalism and construction workmanship. Stellar Solar is a San Diego based solar company that has been voted the best solar company in San Diego in 2011, 2013, and 2014 by readers of the UT San Diego. Stellar Solar was founded in 1998, and since then has installed over 100,000 residential solar and commercial solar panels on over 2,000 San Diego homes and businesses. They have extensive experience and are a reputable company. Checkout their website for additional information. Please do not hesitate to contact me at james.franklin@PMmapping.com if you need additional information or need help with your solar panel project.
For this project, I was the customer, sponsor, and end-user. I received emails from the Stellar Solar which outlined the project scope, schedule, and external stakeholder requirements. After reviewing the various emails, I decided to create a mind map and include the email content in the text editor. MindView 6 was used to create the Project Planning Map, WBS Map, and Project Schedule Map to manage the solar panel project. I teach a Project Management class at UCSD Extension and this would be an excellent case study to teach students project management concepts.
The solar panel system consists of 30 solar panels on a south facing roof. Pre-construction deliverables for this project included a design package, homeowners association approval, and City of San Diego Permit. The design package included construction drawings and specifications. Construction deliverables included racking, and mounting equipment, solar panels, microinverters, electrical system, control module, and testing. Post construction deliverables included an operations and maintenance manual, and as-built drawings. A City of San Diego permit to operate and a San Diego Gas and Electric net metering agreement were required prior to system operations.
MindView was an excellent tool to plan and manage this project. One of my favorite features of MindView is to use the text note to integrate scope details into the wbs. I copied scope information from the various emails into the text editor and also added additional content as I gained knowledge of this project.
The solar panel system was fully operational on January 24, 2014 and is generating up to 50 kilowatt-hours per day in accordance with design requirements. I have an app which shows the kilowatt-hours generated each day. It is fun to review the graph which shows the amount of energy generated each day. San Diego has a perfect climate and is an ideal city for solar panels. With the solar panels, we are now saving money and helping the environment. My monthly electricity bill is zero and I receive an email each month which shows the number of trees I am saving. The screen shot below is from the MyEnlighten Ipad app. This app shows the energy generated by month, day, and hour. On August 5, 2015, the solar panels generated 48.8 kilowatt-hours of energy. The total energy generated to date is 21.7 megawatt-hours. I also use the PowerTools app by candi. This app shows the net energy generated and takes into account the energy used during the day.
Are you planning to install solar panels? Checkout the following resources:
Expertise.com – Home Solar Panels: Pros, Cons, and Hidden Costs
Do not hesitate to contact me if you would like help with your solar panel project.