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PV Plant Monitoring Provides Significant Advantages

 

A large number of organizations and households rely on generating power from the sun. Regardless if they are PV plant owners, installers, EPCs, portal operators, investors, asset managers or insurance companies, everyone expects to have flawlessly operating photovoltaic plants without any yield losses. However, how can these expectations be fulfilled? The answer is a sophisticated Operations & Maintenance solution (O&M) and services for PV plant monitoring.

Operations & Maintenance is a process that helps to maximize the efficiency of PV plants. It can be started during the planning and financing phase of a PV plant and extends throughout the operating lifetime. During the operating lifetime, the goal is to reduce the frequency of errors as much as possible and to resolve any potential faults as quickly as possible. If a malfunction occurs at a plant, it is immediately detected, identified, reported when necessary, and quickly resolved with the help of professional plant monitoring. If an installer or EPC does not act as a portal operator and has delegated plant monitoring to an external portal operator then malfunction alerts can be forwarded to a third-party. This eliminates lengthy downtimes and the resulting yield losses. The entire process is described in precise detail in the current O&M Guidelines from Solar Power Europe. Solare Datensysteme GmbH (SDS), the manufacturer of the Solar-Log energy management system, was also involved in drafting the guidelines.

Solar-Log WEB-4U is a service provided by Solare Datensysteme GmbH which makes the process even more efficient. This service considerably expands Solare Datensysteme GmbH’s range of services as a solution provider in the area of PV plant monitoring and management since the experts from SDS take care of proactively monitoring PV plants for the portal operator. Solar-Log WEB-4U is based on proven Solar-Log technology that consists of the Solar-Log WEB Enerest online portal and Solar-Log devices. All incoming error messages are analyzed and evaluated by experts. Portal operators are proactively contacted and informed so that if it is necessary, measures can be promptly taken to resolve the problem. This makes their job easier and allows them to focus more on their main tasks. When there is a problem at a PV plant, the experts from SDS send the responsible portal operator a comprehensive information package. The package contains valuable information and details about the particular problem and recommendations on how to solve it.

Portal operators are not the only ones to benefit from Solar-Log WEB-4U. By providing detailed information and experience, potential improvements for PV plants become clear. An even stronger focus is placed on the trouble-free operation of PV plants which in turn, increases the service and security for PV plant owners. EPCs save time when it involves resolving a problem and communicating the options to the portal and plant operators since all of the required information has already been optimally prepared by SDS. Continuous monitoring and logging allow transparent reports to be generated at any time for investors. By reducing potential downtimes and service costs and improving service at the same time, customer satisfaction, revenues and profitability are increased for installers, EPCs, portal operators, and investors. In case of a damage claim, it can be helpful to submit the logs to the insurance company to speed up the process. Additionally, the forecast values can help asset managers to determine the best time to perform maintenance work.

"Professional and objective PV plant monitoring plays a decisive role in the O&M process. Without monitoring, the resulting steps for troubleshooting cannot be made or the problem is detected much too late. Solar-Log WEB-4U saves a lot of time and effort for all of those involved, especially at large plants. Furthermore, the efficiency of the O&M processes is increased and that has a positive effect on the optimal operation of PV plants," said Silvia Blumenschein-Schuetz (Solar-Log VP Sales).


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