“O&M And Asset Management Are Key To Technical And Economic Performance Of Solar Systems" Mr. C Chaudhary, Chief Operating Officer, Amp Energy India

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Mr. C Chaudhary, Chief Operating Officer, Amp Energy India

How robust is Amp Energy India in its solar asset management unit? What are the best solar asset management practices followed today?

At Amp Energy India, we follow best industry practices in asset management for all our projects including rooftop and ground mount. We manage our assets by following prudent practices in solar asset management such as:

a) Central monitoring and management system or remote operation centre for all our assets across India.

b) Rigorous implementation of basic plant activity such as preventive and corrective maintenance with pre-set checklist. Checking the health of our plants through PV diagnostic.

c) Frequent cleaning of panels according to soiling analysis.

d) We have robust Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and accordingly we manage our assets to outperform.

What are the steps followed by Amp Energy India to optimize and improve on solar asset management standards?

Amp Energy India has high standards in terms of system quality and efficiency and follows a systematic approach of asset management to improve system efficiency and reliability. Central monitoring helps us in analysing equipment level performance across different geographical regions of our installations.

The SOP’s are defined for remedial action for individual breakdown. PV diagnostic is conducted on a year-on-year basis. Also, inventory management of complete assets is undertaken.

What can be done to increase performance while improving the lifecycle of the project?

Steps that can be taken to increase performance while improving the lifecycle of the project are:

  • Preventive maintenance in a timely manner.
  • Quality check of each and every equipment as per defined schedule.
  • Thermographic imaging and IV curve check of modules to analyse performance and degradation.
  • Chemical properties of water shall be within permissible range such that it won’t affect modules.
  • Timely equipment compliance in terms of calibration of sensors and meters.
  • Inventory management such that breakdown time can be minimised with readily available spares and reducing the cost of spares.
  • Sufficient security for large utility projects on a day and night basis.
  • Compliances as per the local regulation and CEA guidelines.

Highlight some of the significant technology advancements to improve performance efficiencies and save on costs? Is India at par with technological breakthroughs that are happening globally?

We have been successful in increasing the efficiency of our plants by real time monitoring and following best practices at Amp Energy India. Online and central monitoring system for real-time alarm and record.

Analytics can also play a major role for increasing plant performance and diagnosing equipment failure. Robotic/dry cleaning can improve performance and reduce overall cost. Automatic alert of activities with defined criticalities, management of plant inventory and corrective maintenance.

India is still in the process of adopting the best technology and industry practices from global partners since it involves cost and time.

Do you think a standardized process is required for an effective quality management system?

Yes, a standardized process is key for an effective quality management system and we at Amp Energy India have standardised Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Quality Management System (QMS).

Should the government introduce certain frameworks for ensuring asset quality maintenance?

Operation and Maintenance (O&M) and Asset Management are key to technical and economic performance of solar systems and plants. Having a set framework for O&M and Asset Management would help ensure that high quality assets are built which would in turn mitigate potential risks, improve the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) prices, and positively impact the return on investment (ROI).

  • Demonstrating transparent and responsible asset management processes that align with best practice.
  • Undertaking maintenance programs which may include conservation, rehabilitation and renewal to prolong the life of an asset and monitor and manage the asset life cycle.
  • Considering the current and future needs of the community and its ability to provide infrastructure assets which contribute to meeting these needs, ensuring legislative requirements are met, ensuring resources and operational capabilities are identified and appropriately allocated are some of the ways to do it.

How have your projects performed financially and technically in the recent past? Has the RoI been up to expectations?

At Amp Energy India, we have operating rooftop and ground mount projects across India for different segments such as Manufacturing, Pharma & Healthcare, Cement & Steel, Educational institutions, FMCG etc with different technologies of inverters, modules and PLCs.

Having said that, we monitor our projects through a central monitoring system at a single location with a dedicated team of experts and have strong OEM partners for operation & maintenance of our plants. All our plants have been performing better or equal to the estimated generation as committed to our customers and hence RoI has been in line with our expectation.

What are some of the key advantages of having good quality solar monitoring systems?

A solar monitoring system provides information about a PV system’s performance on energy consumption and generation, optimizing energy usage, and damage to the solar systems among other things.

Monitoring a solar setup is important, to understand if the solar panels are operating at an optimum efficiency which otherwise is difficult to figure out.

  • Detecting problems while sending an alert when performance is nose-diving or any others fluctuation.
  • Monitoring systems often detect problems and defects with panels, and recommend repairs to the setup.
  • Monitoring systems also offer data on historical weather-based performance, so you can know how the weather has impacted the solar production in the past, and what you might expect in the future and what action you can take to recover.
  • Track how much electricity is produced.
  • Compute and quantify your savings on electricity.
  • Compute and measure carbon reduction or off-set.
  • Increase performance
  • Reporting management and invoicing
  • Inventory management
  • Security management

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