Solar energy is absolutely great, but it only works when the sun is out and the PV equipment is operating properly. We can’t control the sun but hey, at least we can make sure that our plants are in the best position to get energy from it!
There are some root causes for solar underperformance that we encounter on a daily basis with customers using our technical asset management and optimization system. We summarized below the main causes for performance issues that we are usually exposed to in PV assets.
Normal Equipment Wear and Tear
- Module degradation; including potential-induced degradation (PID), soldering in modules and connection boxes, back sheet and thin film issues
- Inverter wear-out
- Sun tracking system malfunctions
- Wear-out and local failures in other equipment (BoS) such as irradiance sensors, fuses, connectors and cables.
Human-related Issues Derived from Lack of Analysed Data
- Ineffective operations which are not data-driven – mainly lack of specific cleaning, grass cutting, snow clearing, etc.
- Ineffective manual repairing or long response times
- Improper or incomplete installation of equipment
- Untimely or impartial preventive maintenance
- Additional service issues
Environmental Effects That Are Not Directly Related to the PV Asset
- Any form of overgrown vegetation, such as grass, shrubs or trees
- Industrial agricultural pollution
- Soiling issues
- Local impact of animals, such as rodents, birds, sheep, etc.
With daily use of solar diagnostics systems that use AI to normalize and analyse the PV asset data, such as our own DeepSolar™, it is possible to identify very specific performance issues, making the assets more efficient and getting the most from the sun.