“We are aiming to develop and implement digitization platforms for all our RE assets” – Atul Pachauri, AVP, O2Power

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In an insightful interview with SolarQuarter India, Mr. Atul Pachauri, AVP, O2Power elaborates on factors that can improve the life and performance of solar projects, the best balance for achieving grid stability and contribution of RE plants to grid stabilization.

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

Current Performance and Project life improvement can be achievable with the Sustainability concept, where the O&M Operator needs to take care of the plants like an Infant. For producing the optimum Energy Generation, the O&M Operator must save each breakdown to happen. This can be achieved by timely Maintenance of the Facility where Solar Modules needs Quality Cleaning, detecting the Bypass Diode failures, module degradation, SCB/ SMBs, Inverters, Switchgear and Transformers needs Timely Maintenance with no or less deviations in DONE vs DUE dates. All this is possible when the Facility is being monitored through SMART means and not through conventional means.

In nutshell the O&M operator should Monitor, Analyze, Maintain & Manage the PV plant (plants) using Digitization.

What are the major post – commissioning project failures that often occur in the Indian solar projects?

Module Failure due to mishandling during installation (develops micro-cracks) & cable failures (DC & AC) due to inappropriate methods for laying and trench back-filling.

With geographical diversity of intermittent power, energy trading, energy storage and load management, in your opinion, what is the best balance for achieving grid stability given these tools or other tools that you are aware of?

We in India are having a vast grid where the RE power plants are connected to the State as well as Central Utilities SubStation. Precise Scheduling & Forecasting and smooth Electricity Transmission (no load-shedding) can make the Energy Management easier. Eventually, large scale RE plants should be connected for Monitoring and Control to common platforms as Power Aggregators where they can be utilized optimally for Active Power (P) , Reactive Power (Q) , Voltage (V), and frequency (f) support to National / State Grids. Straight of the Art & Standard Power Plant Controllers (PPC) should be Installed at RE plants and to be controlled centrally. In addition to that precise Scheduling and Forecasting should be done by Power Plants so that Load Dispatch Centers can manage power in & outflow optimally.

What are the key milestones you are aiming at for 2021?

Develop and Implement Digitization platforms for all RE assets, to make the dream of Sustainability and Stability a TRUE mark.

How can RE plants contribute to Grid Stabilization?

As the share of RE Energy is increasing into Indian Grid, hence the RE Generators should also contribute towards the Quality of Power Injection and be prepared for maintaining the pf (power factor) and f (frequency). This can be possible by installing a good quality Power Plant Controller, which enables the plant to run at Optimum P (Active Power), required Q (Reactive Power), V (Voltage) and f (Frequency) support to Grid. On the same time the Scheduling and Forecasting mechanism should be strong so that more precise Forecasting can be made which enables the respective SLDCs to manage the Power with ease.

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