Solar installations in the first nine months of 2020 was 1.7 GW, which is a 68% decline in comparison to the same period of 2019. The total installation capacity of solar energy in India stood at approximately 37.4 GW at the end of Q3 2020. Even though there was a decline in the installation capacity, the solar sector continued to focus on maintaining the efficiency of the existing assets to optimize power generation, and O&M teams played a key role in it. O&M teams of Teqo at various locations across India continued to work on-site along with maintaining all the necessary precautions.
Who performs O&M?
The O&M of a solar PV system is carried out by qualified solar technicians who are thorough with the systems and the PV components, and are also aware of all the safety procedures. The cleaning of the panels and the agro maintenance near the panels do not necessarily require qualified technicians but the employees that performed these tasks are trained in the skill to avoid any physical damages to the panel. The solar technician take care of the following PV maintenance processes:
- Visual inspection
- Verification of the PV system’s operations
- Taking corrective actions
What are the processes involved in solar asset maintenance?
There are multiple processes involved in the maintenance of solar panels; here are some of the common ones:
- Regular cleaning of solar panels and proper maintenance of the land around it
- Consistent check of all thermal-based components
- Tracing of IV curves and thermal imaging
- Diagnosis in case of low power production
- Management of warranties
- Annual servicing of HT side equipment
- Testing and maintenance of circuits
- Measurement of earth value
- System check flagged by the acquired data
What are the services offered by O&M companies?
A solar plant has a lifespan of 25 to 30 years, but this is only possible if it is maintained properly. Thus, it is mostly suggested to appoint an O&M team to maintain and maximise the performance of the plant. Here are some of the service offered by solar panel O&M companies:
- 24X7 monitoring of the solar plant
- Real-time collection of data and its analysis
- Repair of faulty or critical devices
- Delivering the best possible performing system irrespective of the conditions
- Selection of KPIs to minimize costs
- Tracking solar power generation logs and updating the solar plant’s performance history
- Remote sensing of environmental conditions around the plant that can impact its performance
- Real-time alarm or notification of an issue
- Monitoring of energy production
- Keeping a log of inventories, spare parts, etc.
- Maintaining an efficient balance between performance, cash flows and costs of scheduled maintenance
- Assessment of inverters, devices and components for repair and restoration
Why are solar PV O&M companies important?
When you buy a car, you know that it will require proper maintenance, and for that you turn to an expert as you are not completely aware of its inner workings. Similarly, many organizations around the world have invested in solar plants but are unaware of its technical aspects. But they know that to monetize their investment and make a profit they need to maintain the plant. This is where O&M companies come into the picture. These companies are appointed on a contract basis and they offer many of the services mentioned earlier.
In India, there are many solar plant maintenance companies, one of them being Teqo, who have specialized tech equipment, skilled technicians and qualified experts to keep the plant up and running to optimize plants’ performance.