Unlocking Solar PV Potential By Maximizing O&M Services

Solar PV O&M service providers grapple with persistent issues: equipment downtime and operational bottlenecks. These hurdles hinder efficiency and profitability. Learn how digital transformation can help change this around for O&M providers.
16 minutes

Unlocking Solar PV Potential By Maximizing O&M Services

Solar photovoltaic (PV) plants stand out as major contributors to sustainable power generation. However, to ensure their longevity and effective operation, maintenance (O&M) services are indispensable. However, therein lies the challenge: do solar O&M service providers truly deliver contractual energy availability, or are they merely scratching the surface? Moreover, can they guarantee the long-term success of solar PV plant operations amid increasing energy requirements and an evolving technological landscape? These questions underscore the critical need for innovative solutions and robust strategies in the realm of solar O&M. Let’s delve into key strategies to extract the utmost value from O&M services in solar PV plants.

What Is O&M in Solar?

Solar operations and maintenance (O&M) encompasses activities ensuring optimal performance and longevity of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. It involves corrective maintenance addressing breakdowns and condition-based maintenance leveraging data. 

O&M services include performance monitoring, – warranty administration, and preventative measures like module cleaning and vegetation control. 

Integration with third parties involves commissioning, SCADA upgrades, parts replacement, and re-roofing support. Effective O&M maximizes energy production, minimizes downtime, and mitigates risks inherent in solar PV systems. Scheduled maintenance for every piece of equipment follows the OEM recommended plan, ensuring timely inspections and servicing to uphold system efficiency and reliability.

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Driving Efficiency and Success in Solar PV O&M: Key Focus Areas

Reduce Losses and Improve Generation

The factors contributing to energy losses and suboptimal generation are paramount but can prove challenging. Variations in environmental conditions, equipment inefficiencies, and operational constraints are key contributors to reduced output. To address these challenges, continuous monitoring and advanced data analysis are essential to optimize energy production and minimize losses. Manual work order management and relying solely on reactive maintenance approaches can indeed pose significant challenges in optimizing energy production and minimizing losses.

Accelerate Technology Adoption in Operations

Transition to digital and automated processes encounters hurdles such as resistance to change and integration complexities. Overcoming these obstacles necessitates strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and investment in robust digital infrastructure. By embracing digitalization and automation, operators can streamline operations and enhance efficiency, paving the way for improved performance. A platform that scales with your operational growth becomes an imperative here. Moreover, it has to be flexible and efficient.

Evaluate the Effectiveness of Operations

Assessing operational effectiveness requires reliable metrics and in-depth data analysis amid the complexities of solar PV operations. Data governance is essential for accuracy and reliability in analysis. It ensures data integrity and informed decision-making. When this is done using Multiple devices with multiple data sources, it provides inaccurate data. Hence, a unified platform is required to centralize data and analyze it. Overcoming this challenge involves the implementation of comprehensive monitoring and analytics solutions. These tools enable operators to gain valuable insights into performance trends, facilitating informed decision-making and continuous improvement.

Ensure Regulatory Compliance and Warranty Management

Frameworks and managing warranties can be intricate tasks. Properly managed warranties help control costs by ensuring that defective components are repaired or replaced by the OEM at no additional expense to the asset owner. Warranties often include performance guarantees. Monitoring and enforcing these guarantees ensure the equipment operates optimally, meeting expected energy production levels. O&M providers play a crucial role in managing these warranties, coordinating with OEMs to ensure timely repairs and replacements. Moreover, compliance with industry standards and warranty terms is imperative to mitigate risks of penalties and legal issues. Overcoming these challenges demands a thorough understanding of regulations, effective documentation practices, and proactive engagement with regulatory authorities and suppliers.

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Prescinto: An End-to-End Solution for O&M 

Prescinto addresses these challenges encountered by O&M teams in the renewable energy sector by leveraging advanced technologies. The platform enables real-time comparisons between theoretical and actual solar PV plant performance, facilitating quick identification of deviations and inefficiencies. Immediate fault detection alerts enable O&M teams to ensure swift issue resolution.

Centralization of Data

The platform seamlessly centralizes various data sources, including field devices, SCADA, APIs, loggers, and files, breaking down silos to ensure comprehensive data capture. With the flexibility to use Power BI tools for data analysis, Prescinto offers dynamic scalability and secure storage for managing data of any volume or complexity. Its integration with Power BI enhances data visualization, enabling automated report generation to meet your specific needs.

Baikal Module for Data Trustworthiness

Prescinto’s Baikal module ensures trustworthy data for performance analytics in clean energy plants, detecting outliers and ensuring data quality. Monitoring data quality in large clean energy plants is challenging; traditional methods may miss advanced issues, causing financial losses. Advanced tools like Baikal are crucial for detecting and diagnosing data quality issues in clean energy plants. Reliable data is foundational for informed decision-making in today’s digital landscape.

Tahoe: Identifying Underperformance

Meanwhile, Prescinto’s Tahoe is purpose-built to assist solar power plants in identifying underperformance stemming from systemic issues like soiling, clipping, curtailment, and other forms of loss. Tahoe classifies these losses into 14 loss buckets. It delivers immediate and practical insights directly from the platform to the plant owner, eliminating the need for tedious, error-prone manual data analysis.

CMMS for Automation

Prescinto’s best-in-class CMMS allows for powerful automation that streamlines work order management to schedule maintenance activities and track them effectively to ensure timely preventive maintenance. This streamlines O&M workflows and ensures drastic downtime minimization, enhancing system reliability. Moreover, Prescinto, with custom reports, dashboard, and alarm management, ensures that all key stakeholders are kept in the loop when it comes to the solar asset’s performance.

EHS Integration 

In addition, EHS integration on Prescinto provides a comprehensive solution for safety compliance, incident tracking, and risk mitigation in clean energy operations. Prescinto simplifies spare parts and inventory management by helping O&M teams keep track of equipment and spare availability. It also offers a platform to manage equipment warranties efficiently, to ensure timely claims and replacements, leading to significant cost savings.

Prescinto is a cloud-based, end-to-end digital Asset Performance Management (APM) platform designed specifically for clean energy assets. For solar assets, Prescinto has specific use cases for O&M – ranging from data centralization to automation of work order management. For O&M, Prescinto is a one-stop solution that delivers speed to value by accelerating service providers’ journey toward delivering contractual obligations – such as energy availability, MTTR reduction, and resource optimization among others. With user-friendly interfaces and customizable dashboards, Prescinto empowers O&M teams to make informed decisions and drive operational efficiencies.

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O&M service providers must consider advanced APM solutions that offer greater flexibility and customization than traditional APM providers. Many existing tools and platforms in the market are rigid and unable to accommodate specific customer requirements without significant cost and effort. In contrast, advanced APM solutions provide a high level of flexibility, allowing for easy customization to meet the unique needs of each customer. These solutions are not only more adaptable but also offer speed to value, often with a lean team and exceptional customer service.

By choosing an advanced APM solution, O&M service providers can ensure they have the flexibility and support needed to optimize their operations effectively. Emphasizing the critical role of advanced technologies in solar O&M, it’s essential to invest wisely in the right tech and tech partner to maximize O&M service benefits. With Prescinto, you gain access to the most solutions and expertise, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency in managing your solar assets.

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