Also Energy

Best Practices for System Commissioning and Fleet Health Oversight

The extended ecosystem of the solar PV market that spans investors, owners and asset managers, EPCs and developers, and operators and technicians produces a wide range of project stakeholders, each with their own unique sets of interests and requirements. Among this diverse group there is one shared and unifying need; the accurate assessment of system performance. To help effectively and efficiently obtain this, the combination of remote diagnostics and oversight and process automation can improve the speed and accuracy for the testing associated with site commissioning and ongoing system maintenance

In the lifecycle of every PV project there are two critical times when system owners and operators require a thorough checkup of system health. The first is during system commissioning. EPCs and developers must demonstrate system performance before turning over the keys to system owners. In addition to establishing yield attainment, acceptance testing requires a wide range of device and network tests. As projects approach delivery deadlines, the pressure to expedite commissioning process in order to commence power production and avoid financial penalties increases.

The second reoccurs across the lifecycle of the project. In the ongoing effort to keep the system optimally tuned, asset operators and managers must periodically review system health to verify that performance indicators are still in line with expected values. This process allows the operators to review software configurations so they can fine-tune alert settings, helping to prioritize actionable information and avoid nuisance alerts. This type of oversight helps to avoid downtime and maximize production, leading to increased yields.

The criteria for measuring performance varies by user type but the one requirement that remains a constant is the ability for each stakeholder to obtain a complete view of the entire system and quickly and efficiently access the information that is most relevant to their specific needs. Whether an asset manager or technician is looking to pinpoint underperforming equipment, or an EPC needs to rapidly identify and correct configuration issues, or a developer has to demonstrate compliance, or an investor needs to measure planned vs. actuals, they all must have continuous access to accurate and complete system data that is presented to them in a way that is tailored to their role and specifications.

By adopting an on-demand technology architecture that can perform comprehensive remote queries through the monitoring system to survey the entire fleet in just a few minutes’ time, operators and asset managers can quickly identify and resolve issues, streamline data analysis and eliminate truck rolls. The results can help you drive increased uptime, improved performance and yield, and reduced O&M costs.