IronRidge: Test Engineer

Validating residential solar mounting hardware

 

I helped ship more than 10 products while working at IronRidge over the course of two years. As a test engineer, I designed and executed test programs to develop and move concepts through validation stages, and into production.

Accomplishments

  • Validated over ten IronRidge products

  • Rectified hardware manufacturing issues with vendors while overseas

  • Made purchasing decisions for over $20k in equipment and materials for the test lab

  • Designed and built mechanical test fixtures 

 
 
 
Leading Testing for IronRidge's Flagship Product

 

I led the test program for IronRidge’s largest product launch to date, the Universal Fastening Object (UFO). My responsibilities for this launch included designing and executing tests for the product, managing timelines with UL certification, and supporting ramp up and production. I also rectified hardware manufacturing issues with vendors while in China & Taiwan during product validation testing.

Product Family

Rail

Splice

Grounding

Lug

Rail

Fastener

A selection of products I validated

UFO

UFO Solar Panel Installment Detail

Many of my evaluation efforts were aimed at minimizing the time required to install the fastener.

Solar panel: opaque

Solar panel: transparent

UFO Fastener

My testing efforts guided design improvements for the product. Many of the product's design revisions addressed ties between physical design features and their manufacturing processes. 

UFO Product Evolution

UFO Predecessor 1

UFO Predecessor 2

UFO

Prototype

UFO

First Article

 
 
 
Developing Test Methods

 

I assessed components’ performance with respect to: structural integrity, electrical bonding (grounding), usability, and environmental resistance (moisture, temperature and UV).  I evaluated aluminum, steel and polymer components, in addition to product coatings.

Accelerated Aging (UV)

Accelerated Aging (humidity)

Electrical Bonding

Installed hardware

(electrical continuity through rail)

Component-Level Loading (Instron)

(compression)

Assembly-Level Loading (unloaded)

Assembly-Level Loading (loaded)

Structural

Integrity Testing

 
 
 
see more work
 
 
 
Designing Test Fixtures

 

I designed a set of structural loading fixtures for our Instron. I used finite element analysis to design some of the assemblies to transfer 10,000 pound loads with minimal deflection. I made the fixtures to allow for quick and repeatable testing.