Solar Plant Operations & Maintenance (O&M)
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To Maximize Solar Plant Performance, Start Thinking Long Term

At the point when sunlight based resource supervisors open their notorious pockets to contract with a drawn out O&M organization, the chance to expand sun based plant execution is frequently ill-fated from the beginning. With a restricted store network of basic new parts, a contracting work pool causing work cost increments, and the approaching acknowledgment that the monetary models might be founded on excessively forceful displaying, it's not difficult to swear by momentary fixes.

Preventative Vs. Corrective Maintenance

Asset owners know that preventative maintenance for solar projects is table-stakes for solar asset management — for long-term system health, corresponding asset value and ensuring that critical warranties on expensive equipment are not voided. As the WoodMac webinar suggests, preventative maintenance alone isn’t enough to maximize long-term solar plant performance and obtain the most value from an asset.

Corrective maintenance issues regularly arise, whether they impact availability. As an example, Borrego O&M manages over 1,000 PV sites totaling 1.2 GW across the United States. With these project sites under its care, Borrego has successfully executed 2,100 corrective O&M services needed in 2021 so far. These reactive issues occurred in approximately 57% of the Borrego fleet. In other words, half of the project sites under Borrego care required 4.2 “unplanned” services by the end of Q3-2021.

In Borrego’s experience, when corrective maintenance is prioritized over preventative care, we see a 2% overall raw availability increase in site performance.

There is a wide range of corrective O&M issues that we commonly see working on over 1.2 GW of large-scale solar power plants. The majority are system outages, utility and non-utility caused. Other common problems include failed termination, external damage, inverter failures with total replacement needed, and failed breakers, fuses or other internal components. These commonly occurring issues are some of the most significant causes of lowered system production, and they typically fall outside the scope of most preventative maintenance packages.

O&M Issues in Solar PV Plants

All of the Solar power cells degrade naturally after a certain time of period, whatever the environment they are planted in. It's a natural degradation of all kinds of solar cells once they are implanted in operations. Yes it's completely true that the rate of degradation can vary according to the material used in the manufacturing of solar panels . This is important to take into account in budgeting and investment planning.

The below given table gives you the idea of degradation rates of solar panels/Cells and made of their different materials. It’s clear now from the below given table.

Types Of Solar PV Modules Rate of Degradation Per Year(% Percentage)
Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) 0.87
Monocrystalline Silicon (sc-Si) 0.36
Multicrystalline Silicon (mc-Si) 0.64
Cadmium telluride (CdTe) 0.40
Copper Indium gallium diselenide (sc-Si) 0.96
Concentrator 1.00

Why is JETSOR Solar Plant Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Master?

Jetsor Solar has complete industry experience and over 15+ years expertise in the design, installation, operation & maintenance of solar PV energy systems. We have successfully installed a large number of Solar Power projects across India. We additionally look after a number of utility scale solar plants across the Country. Work with Jetsor to optimize your plant's power generation and maximize your return on investment.



Services Provided by JETSOR For Solar PV Plant Maintenance

As far as solar PV systems’ uptime management is concerned, the companies involved in solar panel operation and maintenance offer:

  1. Data interpretation and collection of data in real time
  2. Monitoring of energy production on a consistent basis
  3. Critical as well as non-critical repairs
  4. Analysis of trends and KPIs in order to ensure continuous improvement
  5. Selection of specific key performance indicators to minimize cost while delivering the best possible system performance in the face of varying conditions
  6. Management of inventory, spare parts, etc.
  7. The tracking of solar power generation logs and updating document service histories
  8. Optimization of balance between yield, cash flows and costs of scheduled maintenance, etc.
  9. Remote or on-site sensing of the various environmental conditions impacting the PV system being maintained
  10. Assessment of components and inverters to ascertain whether they have to be repaired or restored
  11. Identification of safety issues, etc.


Solar Power Plant Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC)

The way of thinking of the drawn out fruitful activity of Solar PV Plants begins with a powerful O&M methodology. A successful O&M is more than after routine obligations of module cleaning and sticking to the sun oriented support manual. It begins with having an all encompassing way to deal with the plant, supported by worldwide prescribed procedures and inside and out investigation.

In order to increase the plant’s viability & to reduce the risk, our services are structured around, “Flexible, Yet wholesome” concept. Our services offer unmatched freedom & flexibility to choose from the array of services offered

Armed with flexibility, Solar Asset Owners can experience prudent industry solar maintenance practices offered by JETSOR personnel. The diligent process is laid out to record the status of each & every component in the plant for current operation & future reference.

O&M and related services require a more holistic, value-oriented approach that is baked into the system design and procurement stages and continues forward through the life of the project. To get the maximum return on investment, the combination of a well-designed, well-built system and a prudent O&M plan offers the best chance for success.

The operational success of a solar power plant requires that all of the parties involved — system owner, building host, O&M team, and monitoring firm — agree to clearly defined roles. There are many reasonable ways to slice responsibilities, and that’s why all parties need to know their roles and expectations within the larger project maintenance strategy.

From Reactive to Proactive

Developing a proactive, site-specific O&M schedule is the first step to maximizing the long-term value of a new solar project. An ounce of prevention can save you a pound of maintenance costs. The key to doing this effectively is to determine exactly how much preventive service should be done to maximize long-term system value.

Half the battle is knowing what potential issues to look for and expect. Not every solar power system is created equally, and over the years we have seen some patterns emerge in the types of issues that impact system performance, especially among arrays built in the earlier part of the solar boom. An asset owner’s approach to these issues will help determine the long-term profitability of the investment. One of the more common issues we have seen emerge is ground faults: Poor wire management often results in the inverter receiving a ground fault that shuts it down. In order to fix the problem, we send an electrician out to the site to find the ground fault and then replace the fuse on the inverter to get the system back online.

In some situations, bad wire management can lead to ground fault after ground fault, running up long-term bills, and reducing a project’s profitability. This is true for many other O&M issues as well. If a project was not designed and built properly, the asset owners could spend years battling recurring O&M problems. Ultimately, the best way to avoid unnecessary O&M work is to ensure that the system is built right the first time.

The Value of Documentation

Our solar maintenance team will always provide reports upon completion of any maintenance service. This is vital. Effective O&M documentation that details the scope, schedule, and service history of a system can save the manager or owner time and money. Maintenance documentation can be an essential requirement when addressing warranty coverage, and many warranty holders will not provide service without it. Though documentation may require more involvement on the owner or manager’s side, it reduces risk and allows greater scrutiny and protection of your investment.

JETSOR provides AMC service for rooftop systems >= 5kWp. For systems < 5kWp, we can provide breakdown maintenance service. As part of AMC, our services include:

  • Preventive and Breakdown maintenance
  • Cleaning of solar panels

Clients can customize the AMC contract according to their requirements like frequency of inspection and cleaning visits, period of AMC, etc.

FAQ’s Related Solar Power Plant OEM (Operation & Maintenance)

What maintenance does a Solar PV system require?

The two primary aspects of maintaining a solar PV system are to regularly monitor your system’s performance through the data logger and to clean the panels about 6-10 times in a year. Beyond this, it is advisable to have your installer conduct at least two visits in a year just to check the general health of your system.

What would be the annual maintenance cost for a solar PV system?

The annual maintenance and recurring costs are almost negligible, since there are no moving parts and the input fuel (sunlight) is free. For optimum performance, the system only requires cleaning of modules and basic preventive and corrective maintenance. However, for off-grid systems where batteries are used, the maintenance costs are higher on account of battery replacement every 3-5 years. To ensure high generation and low maintenance cost, regular monitoring through data loggers is highly recommended. Typically, the maintenance costs for smaller Solar PV systems is about 2% of the initial system cost, and for larger systems is about 1% of the initial cost.

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