Module-level monitoring is a contemporary and important tool for Solar PV System owners and O&M companies to improve financial performance and reduce risk in owning and operating a large-scale solar system. The accuracy and insight from this new advancement, coupled with intelligent cloud-based analysis and diagnostics, bring many opportunities to detect hidden problems, improve energy output and improve efficiency in O&M activities. Although this comes with increased upfront costs, the increased energy production can significantly offset these additional costs.
Why is it important?
In the present scenario, the Performance Ratio (PR) of Solar PV system has increased significantly as compared to 35 years ago. However, as the source of energy production, solar panels lose performance over time due to various reasons. It is estimated that 0.6% of PV modules stop working properly in a year. If the faults are not solved immediately, they continue causing losses in the remaining time.
Although there are inverter-level monitoring and routine inspections by O&M staffs, hidden problems may easily go undetected. Moreover, accurately identifying the root causes of underperformance is time-consuming and requires high labour cost. Therefore, for O&M activities, the challenge is how to find faulty modules precisely and quickly. With a module-level monitoring system, the resulting data enables intelligent cloud software to identify panel faults, triggers an alarm, diagnose the root cause, and recommend O&M activities.