Monitoring down to the module
PV module manufacturing has developed dramatically over the last ten years, introducing new processes and components to the industry. Several studies have recently exposed a potentially widespread issue with certain back sheet materials and their likelihood of early failure. This failure mode of PV modules alongside others presents a real challenge for asset owners, developers, and investors. They are likely to want to answer questions like, Am I exposed to these issues? If I do have an exposure, how do I measure how big it is? And when will it start impacting plant performance? Without being able to answer these questions, it’s impossible to manage the risk they present. Introducing a module risk management system will help companies answer these questions.
Module risk management
The sheer volume of modules on a typical plant and the varied nature of the different degradation mechanisms means that concise recording of the module population state-change is an enormous logistical and data volume challenge. A challenge that digitisation can help manage. Solar companies can manage data better using one online repository to record images and measurements from ground-based and aerial tests. It is paramount that this digital platform understands the geospatial and electrical position of every module on the solar plant. Once in the repository, the module population health can be easily understood through data source correlation and statistical analysis, thus powering informed decision making.
How digitalisation can help – Smart mapping and digital twins
Systemic degenerative issues can take many forms and can occur at any time in asset life. Fully digitising the asset down to the module record is key in reducing the cost and impact of systemic degenerative issues. Digitisation enables accurate and reliable record-keeping, which in turn provides a view of the bigger picture to better understand your solar plant’s health. Introducing a 360 module monitoring regime as part of the O&M scope is highly recommended. Capturing historic data in a digital thread helps you build efficient action plans to manage and reduce the impact of issues on plant performance. SolarGain Pro’s digital twin allows asset managers and O&Ms to understand the severity of the issue across modules, batches, and assets. A digital module risk management system means you can credibly quantify the issue and its impacts to support module manufacturer conversations and claims.
Our SolarGain Pro platform is used by our customers to reduce their exposure to early module failure and protect their assets for the future.
- Spotlight on a solar scandal – E&T Magazine
- An Overview of Backsheet Materials for Photovoltaic Modules – NREL and DuraMAT
- SolarGain Digital Twin