There are many issues that could significantly impact the performance of you solar PV plant. Of course, you will want to know how to prevent these, so the article below outlines some of the potential issues you may face during both the construction and operational phases of your PV plant. Once you’re aware of such risks, and by taking steps to prevent them, the performance of your assets will not be negatively impacted.

Construction phase

  • The transportation of the equipment to the location of the plant is a very important point, especially for PV modules because they are very fragile and can be exposed to internal cell breakages.
  • Deformation of the land/roof in which the plant will be installed can lead to fatal damages. That’s why adequate floor/roof load studies must be carried out.
  • Special attention should be paid to the installation of the modules because wrong installation or the mounting structures can cause breakage, or wrong orientation of the PV modules.
  • Inappropriate commissioning of the inverters can drive to wrong set up of inverter parameters, with subsequent losses.
  • Cables should not be forgotten. Tight or loose cables can lead to under-performance or hot spots in junctions, as well as cables exposed to UV sun irradiation, which will cause them damage.
  • No existing grounding system, wrong material combination or not proper installation will expose plant equipment to electrical defects or lightning strikes, which can seriously damage the installation.

After the plant’s completion, as-built files must be delivered to the owner to allow safe maintenance of the plant during the long period corresponding to the operation of the plant.

Operation phase

An efficient and thorough monitoring system is essential for the correct operation of the plant. This is in order to react as fast as possible to detect, track and identify any issues in performance. In non-utility scale PV installations, it is common not to install monitoring systems in order to reduce costs and even enlarge installations.

Regular inspections, as well as an appropriate maintenance of the system, according to the type of installation, will limit production losses due to a defect. Therefore, the expertise of the maintainer is important to consider.

How can Greensolver help?

Greensolver can guide you throughout the different stages of the project with a proved experience of 3.7+ MW of wind and solar assets in operation and 21+ GW of advisory worldwide.

As a team of accredited and experienced construction and asset managers, as well as engineers and advisory consultants, Greensolver is best placed to offer advice on preventing or rectifying solar PV plant issues. The goal is to ensure your assets are performing to the highest standard.

By Clément Vinet– Technical Asset Manager