Advantages of Operation & Maintenance

Introduction

PV panels are designed to generate electricity for more than 25 years and are being developed globally in a growing number of larger-scale plants.
Uninterrupted quality assurance and ongoing monitoring of performance are the cornerstone of their long-term reliability.
The top-quality operation and maintenance (O&M) services mitigate any potential risks, extend the useful life of the system and maximise production of energy.
As a result, they improve the weighted cost of electricity and profits from electricity sales agreements (feed-in tariff, PPA), shortening the depreciation period of the investment.

The leading trends and innovations shaping today’s O&M market centre around its digitisation, paving the way for further optimisation.
Applications using artificial intelligence and digital twins allow for automated performance prediction, trouble-shooting and data-based decision-making.
Meanwhile, air-borne monitoring techniques using drones dramatically improve the speed and cost of supervision.

O&M strategy

Every integrated O&M strategy is based on three pillars:
predictive, preventiveand corrective maintenance.

Predictive maintenance uses monitoring data in real time and data acquired manually to prioritise and optimise maintenance.

Preventive maintenance includes routine equipment inspections to prevent failures and production losses.
A well-organised preventive maintenance program can reduce the possibility of unscheduled downtime of the PV system.

Corrective maintenance addresses unscheduled equipment failures and is considered an unscheduled period of interrupted operation.
Predictive and preventive maintenance aim to minimise the length of these interruptions.

Safeguarding optimal power generation

O&M services play a decisive role in preventing and addressing performance problems that may impede power generation.

Services are broken down as follows:

    1. Regular inspections and monitoring: Regular checks identify early signs of potential problems, allowing for timely intervention.
    2. Panel cleaning and maintenance: Removal of dirt, dust and plant matter ensures the panels operate at maximum efficiency.
    3. Inverter maintenance: Inverters are vitally important components, and proper maintenance is essential to sustaining optimal power conversion.
Efficiency and availability factors

The goal of a successful O&M strategy is to maximise the efficiency factors and availability indicator.

The efficiency factor (performance ratio-PR) indicates the performance of the PV installation.
It is calculated as a ratio of AC energy generated over the amount of theoretical AC generation capacity the solar park would have under ideal conditions.
It quantifies the total effect of faulty equipment and energy efficiency relative to the PV plant’s potential output.
The PR can be used to compare PV systems, regardless of size or solar resource.

The availability factor is the percentage value that expresses the time during which the potentially available energy installation actually supplies energy to the grid.

Meeting warranty and compliance requirements

Many solar PV cells are accompanied by a manufacturer’s warranty that lists specific terms and conditions that must be met to ensure validity.
Observing O&M timelines and best practices is essential to maintaining the warranty’s validity, as manufacturers frequently require proof of regular maintenance to honour the warranty.
Failure to meet these requirements could result in warranties being voided and a financial burden for the system’s owner.

Selecting a suitable O&M partner

The selection of the right O&M partner is vitally important for taking advantage of the full potential of your solar PV system.
Reliable providers bring their expertise, experience and successful track record to the table.
A reliable partner will have a deep understanding of the latest standards, technologies and best practices in the industry, ensuring that your system works at its best throughout its life cycle.

Advice on evaluating and selecting the right partner:

    1. Check credentials: Request certifications, licences and industrial connections that demonstrate the provider’s commitment to quality and professionalism.
    2. Experience is important: Give priority to providers with a proven track record and experience in managing systems similar to yours.
    3. References and reviews: Look for references and read reviews from previous clients to get an idea about customer satisfaction and reliability.
    4. Adapted solutions: Consider whether the provider offers individualised O&M solutions in line with your specific needs and goals.
    5. Safety protocols: Make sure the provider strictly adheres to safety protocols to protect both your personnel and investment.
    6. Technological capabilities: Assess the use of advanced monitoring and diagnostic tools for effective system management.
Conclusion

Operation and Maintenance (O&M) services ensure optimal energy performance, longevity and return on investment of solar PV systems. It is not just a routine expense, but a strategic investment with long-term benefits.

O&M is a fundamental component of your strategy for PV systems, since it does not only involve the timely resolution of problems, but also the optimised energy generation and protection of your investment.

MGD Energy is No.1 in energy net metering projects in Greece.
It has 13+ years of experience with major power generation projects, net metering systems (230+ net metering projects) and O&M services (300 projects all over Greece).

The company provides comprehensive O&M services with technical support points in every corner of the country.
MGD Energy clients can monitor their solar plants around the clock no matter where they are through the MyMGD PV Plants application.

Contact us today to learn more about the services that protect your investment.

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