It is increasingly apparent that a lack of comprehensive performance analysis causes profit and overall performance loss.
The typical process of monitoring performance involving operations and maintenance (O&M) teams carrying out annual performance checks on samples of PV panels can be expensive and lack the detail to understand your whole solar array. If unsampled panels are damaged or defective and remain undetected - issues will linger. The more time defects are left unidentified and unresolved, the higher likelihood that warranties will begin to expire and profits will decline, challenging your position in the market.
How can you keep your plans performing optimally and cost-effectively?
Assessing the health of your panels at the string level is the most efficient way to test your entire solar array.
We have created a comprehensive analysis process that can recurrently assess all strings to identify which are causing performance losses. Quintas Analytics Asset Health Analysis at String Level will help you to identify performance issues, control O&M response and keep your solar plant performing optimally without needing to purchase extra hardware or expand your workforce.
1. What is Asset Health Analysis at String Level?
The Asset Health Analysis at String Level is one of the most comprehensive analyses we can carry out via online remote monitoring, thanks to the data obtained from a SCADA report. This type of analysis improves PV Project and O&M activities by enhancing the data needed to make critical decisions about maintenance to ensure long-term plant viability and financial reliability.
A comprehensive analysis of asset health at the string level is essential to intercept faults and minimise production losses for your PV project. A string-level evaluation is also crucial to understand the impact of the detected defects, find problems that justify warranty repairs, and minimise production losses at a level of detail that simple SCADA readings cannot identify. Locating faults at the string level makes it much easier for the person in charge of O&M activities to solve the issue quickly onsite.
2. How do we perform the Asset Health Analysis at String Level?
Our team use an automated plant performance diagnosis system to evaluate string currents against reference values contained in the datasheets of photovoltaic panels for specific periods to assess availability, deviations, and tendencies for each string current. This analysis provides a deep understanding of the string’s behaviour, the underlying faults and their location to ensure any defects can be communicated to the installation owner and quickly addressed by the O&M team, following recommended remedial actions.
Performing an asset health analysis at the string level involves reading the string currents monitored in the SCADA and comparing the actual behaviour of the PV panels installed onsite with the expected behaviour according to the reference values provided by the manufacturer’s technical datasheet. This process allows our analytics experts to categorise significant deviations impacting performance.
Behavioural analysis of string currents compared with reference values allows us to detect, trace and analyse multiple faults causing detected deviations, such as unavailability issues caused by inverter, combiner box and string disconnections.
Our asset health analysis also identifies communication and performance issues caused by deviations from the manufacturer’s reference current values. Deviations typically indicate the existence of hot spot issues affecting specific PV panels, decreasing the current of the entire string and the performance of the asset.
3. Quantify issues, locate them, and follow up!
As important as detecting and categorising issues at the string level is quantifying them to ensure the installation owner understands the impact on total production losses. Faults detected through our Asset Health analysis at String Level services are quantified by estimated production losses based on actual irradiation and affected peak power. Effectively quantifying defects leads to more accurate operational decision-making.
To quickly address the detected defects, we must correctly locate them in the production tree. We aggregate detected issues at the combiner box and inverter level to ensure the operator can obtain the best picture of the location of any defects and their impact on the production tree.
Automating plant performance diagnosis at the string level involves using software and algorithms to automatically collect and analyse data from the solar system, reducing the need for manual inspections and ensuring this process is recurrent. Through regular automated monitoring, the installation owner can better understand the evolution of the health status of their assets and how effectively the O&M team address detected issues.
Quintas Analytics offer a 12-month string-level evaluation for only 100€/MWp. Take advantage of the most detailed analysis of the health status of your assets today! Download our demo report to discover all the benefits our analytics solutions can offer you.