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ENERGY

GET SMART: SMARTER STRATEGIES FOR OPERATING SOLAR ASSETS A Technical Advisors’ View SAFER, SMARTER, GREENER


3 ENERGY Smarter Strategies for Operating Solar Assets


CONTENTS

1. FOREWORD

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2. INTRODUCTION

9

3. UNDERSTANDING ASSET PERFORMANCE

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3.1 Beyond Performance Ratio Operational Performance Review Case Study 1: Sensor Maintenance/Positioning Issues, the Virgin Islands Case Study 2: Solar PV Plant, Spain Case Study 3: Solar PV Plant, Chile 3.2 Gathering intelligence: Physical Inspections Case Study 4: Asset Management for Solar Power Plants, France

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4. IMPROVING ASSET PERFORMANCE 4.1 Warranty Enforcement 4.2 Addressing Uncertainties Operations and Maintenance Records Case Study 5: PV Inverter performance and reliability improvement, USA

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5. ONGOING OPERATIONS PERFORMACE 5.1 Data Driven Approach: Data monitoring and analytics 5.2 Improving Solar Forecasting Case Study 6: Solar Forecasting & Smart Grids, Netherlands 6. CONCLUDING REMARKS

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Smarter Strategies for Operating Solar Assets ENERGY 4


FOREWORD 1 FOREWORD

CASE 5: USA PV Inverter performance and reliability improvement

CASE 3: CHILE Solar PV Plant

CASE 4: FRANCE Asset Management for Solar Power Plants CASE 1: THE VIRGIN ISLANDS Sensor Maintenance/ Positioning Issues

The solar industry is rapidly coming of age. The cost of electricity from solar photovoltaics (PV) has significantly decreased as the result of tireless innovation. This includes breakthroughs and evolution in technology, manufacturing, project development, construction, due diligence, and financing. New solar markets have opened up and mature markets have

5 ENERGY Smarter Strategies for Operating Solar Assets

expanded. As a more significant global energy generation source, PV is thriving and evolving new priorities. Growth remains strong and there is still a major focus on the technical challenge of successfully installing systems. But as the global installed capacity grows, the spotlight is shifting to operational factors.


CASE 6: NETHERLANDS Solar Forecasting & Smart Grids

CASE 2: SPAIN Solar PV Plant

In many global markets, PV system performance has been within the expected range, which has led to increased investor confidence. However, it has become increasingly clear that there is a material difference between performing “within the expected range” and performing “at optimum levels.” In our capacity as technical advisors, DNV GL has had the opportunity to assess operational projects and the differences in asset management approaches. This paper describes successful strategies, case studies and emerging trends that can provide benefits to all solar asset managers, investors, and owners. As vast quantities of performance data generated by solar assets are becoming available to system owners and operators, there is untapped value that can be realized by transforming this data into actionable insights. Acting on this acquired intelligence calls for smarter operations, whereby expert

management can help ensure optimal operation for maximising energy production, downtime, and reducing operations and maintenance costs. 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.

Ray Hudson Global Solar Segment Director DNV GL - Energy

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FOREWORD 1 FOREWORD

MAXIMISE ENERGY PRODUCTION ■■ How does the PV plant energy production compare to the maximum potential? ■■ Are the right performance metrics being considered? ■■ Are the PV modules performing as expected? ■■ Is performance data being trended and normalized over time? ■■ Are all inverters delivering the maximum output possible? ■■ Are maintenance times and scheduling optimized? ■■ How much underperformance can occur before alarm thresholds are tripped? ■■ Are components demonstrating any signs of unexpected degradation or potential problems? ■■ Are components meeting contracted warranties? ■■ Is the plant meeting industry performance benchmarks? ■■ Are trends in component downtime being tracked adequately? ■■ Is module soiling being managed optimally? ■■ Are irradiance and temperature sensors calibrated and maintained?

7 ENERGY Smarter Strategies for Operating Solar Assets


MAXIMISE REVENUE ■■ Is energy production meeting the offtake agreement? ■■ Is production aligned optimally with grid price scheduling? ■■ Is energy production optimised for energy trading?

MINIMISE COSTS ■■ Are unscheduled maintenance activities and failures efficiently addressed? ■■ Is the preventative and predictive maintenance schedule adequate? ■■ Is preventative maintenance anticipated based on equipment load and runtime? ■■ Are the maintenance staff located in the right place? ■■ Is the price for spare and replacement parts reasonable? ■■ Is there adequate protection against obsolescence and supplier default? ■■ How can automation reduce the need and improve the accuracy of plant inspections?

Smarter Strategies for Operating Solar ENERGY 8

Smarter strategies for operating solar assets  

Get smart: smarter strategies for operating solar assets

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