Avoid Solar Farm Operations and Maintenance Issues
01/27/2017
Tagged In: O&M, Solar Farms

The performance, and ultimate profitability of a solar installation depend upon the competence and experience of the O&M team. O&M is a critical solar industry sector needed for all commercial and utility scale PV power plants.

Proactive Preventative Maintenance Plan

Through a proactive preventative maintenance plan (link to “What’s Missing” blog), the O&M team stays updated on potential issues and are sometimes able to stem off major failures. With smaller repairs, an O&M provider maintains its solar installations in good working order.

Corrective Maintenance Plan

While it is impossible to prevent all potential failures or damages that can occur on a solar farm, there are issues that can be avoided. If a solar monitoring system sets off an alert indicating an outage, the response time of the O&M team can also impact power generation. As important as a preventative maintenance plan, a well-developed corrective maintenance plan can reduce costly downtime.

Any time a string or entire array is offline or experiencing periods of underperformance due to an O&M issue, the result is a loss of energy loss.

Performing Comprehensive Inspections

As part of a preventative maintenance plan, consistently identifying and documenting areas of improvement and correction helps uphold system integrity. Checklists for inspections are used to assure potential issues aren’t overlooked including environmental factors, equipment and other general issues. Here are some of the items that are regularly managed during an environmental inspection:

  • Vegetation Abatement
  • Panel Shading (trees and other obstructions)
  • Natural Damage
  • Ground Erosion
  • Dirty Panels
  • Animal Abatement

Here are some of the items regularly managed during an equipment inspection:

  • Shorted Cells
  • Cell Browning/Discoloring
  • Defective Trackers
  • Transformer Leaks
  • Inverter Damage
  • Broken Conduit
  • Combiner Box Damage

There are additional items that are needing to be inspected as well, like:

  • Vandalism Damage
  • Perimeter Fence Damage

Miller Brothers Solar creates a customized plan to fit your individual solar farm needs. Because we work in many different states, we learn the environment and how it would effect a farm’s O&M. It’s hard avoiding everything, but being proactive can keep production running up to its potential. Reach out to us if you should have any questions.