With the solar PV market experiencing huge growth due to factors such as a decline in costs of arrays, operators are still facing constraints in optimising operations.Ray Hudson, global solar segment director at DNV GL-Energy, said: “After more than a decade of dazzling growth and success, the solar industry has much to be proud of and much to look forward to. This is especially true in the area of asset optimization.”
Hudson made the comment in the global engineering consultancy's recently drafted white paper 'Get Smart: Smarter Strategies for Operating solar assets'.
The paper comprises technical advice for solar system management and is intended to help PV solar array owners to maximise energy production and revenue and minimise operational costs.
Global rollout of solar pv projects
The paper also includes lessons learnt from six case studies implemented in the US, Chile, Spain, Netherlands, France and the Virgin Islands.
The case studies cover PV inverter power performance and reliability improvement, asset management for solar power plants, solar forecasting and smart grids, and sensor maintenance and solar PV plants positioning issues. [SolarCity partners with US utility on solar and storage].
In the field of maximising energy production of solar plants, the paper provides answers to multiple questions including:
- How does the solar PV plant energy production compare to the maximum potential?
- Are the right performance metrics being considered?
- Are the PV modules performing as expected?
Solar PV maintenance
Some of the key messages presented by DNV GL in the paper include the fact that the operation of a plant as expected does not mean that the system is performing optimally.
According to the Oslo-headquartered consulting firm, before operators analyse the performance of a plant, they should complete a quality check to ensure that the data accurately reflects the true system operation.
More importantly, the firm highlights the importance of forecasting in improving grid integration and performance. In addition to forecasting, the paper states that possessing diligent records of operations and management activities of plants is essential to understanding performance issues.
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