Solar PV plant documentation is crucial for an in-depth understanding of the design,configuration and technical details thereof. it is the asset Owner’s responsibility to providethose documents and if not available, they should, as best practice, be recreated at theasset Owner’s cost.
Before assuming any maintenance and/or operational activities, it is important to understand in-depth the technical characteristics of the asset. there are two important aspects related to the management of this information:
- Information type and depth of detail / as-built documentation
- Management and control
Moreover, for quality / risk management and effective operations management a goodand clear documentation of contract information, plant information, maintenance activitiesand asset management are needed over the lifetime of the plant. This is what is called here:
- Record Control (or records management) nowadays, there are different DMSs availableand described by a series of standards (ISO) that can be implemented. this is animportant requirement that would allow any relevant party to trace any changes duringthe lifetime of the plant’s operation and follow up accordingly (e.g. when the O&MContractor changes, or the teams change, or the plant is sold etc).
Information type and depth of detail / as-built documentation
The documentation set accompanying the solar PV plant should, as a best practice, containThe documentation set accompanying the solar PV plant should, as a best practice, containthe documents described in the annex. the iEC 62446 standard can also be considered tocover the minimum requirements for as-built documentation.In general, for optimum service provision and as a best practice, the O&M Contractorshould have access to all possible documents (from the EPC phase). the Site OperatingPlan is the comprehensive document prepared and provided by the plant EPC, which laysout a complete overview of the plant location, layout, electrical diagrams, components inuse and reference to their operating manuals, EH&S rules for the site and certain further topics. all detailed drawings from the EPC need to be handed over to the O&M Contractorand being stored safely for immediate access in case of PV plant issues or questions andclarifications with regards to permits and regulation.Operations is about remote monitoring, supervision and control of the PV power plant.It also involves liaising with or coordination of maintenance activities. The below sectionsgive an overview of Operations tasks and requirements.
Management and control
Regarding the document control, the following guidelines should be followed:
- Documents should be stored either electronically or physically (depending on permits/regulations) in a location with controlled access. an electronic copy of all documents should be available for all documents.
- Only authorised people should be able to view or modify the documentation. alogbook of all the modifications should be kept. as a best practice, such a logbook should contain minimally the following information:
- Name of person, who modified the document
- Date of modification
- Reason of modification and further information, e.g. link to the work orders and serviceactivities
- Versioning control should be implemented as a best practice. involved people shouldbe able to review past versions and be able to follow through the whole history of the document.
A key point is that necessary data and documentation are available for all parties in ashared environment and that alarms and maintenance can be documented in a seamlessway. Critical to the Operations team is that the maintenance tasks are documented back toand linked with the alarms which might have triggered the respective maintenance activity(work order management system log). Photographs from on-site should complement thedocumentation (when applicable) – photo documentation. tickets (ticket interventions)should be stored electronically and made available to all partners. the asset Owner shouldalso maintain ownership of those records for future referencesTo learn from the past and ongoing operation and maintenance and to then be able toimprove performance via for example Predictive Maintenance in the following years, itis crucial that all data is stored and that all workflows and alarms are stored to createautomatic logbooks of operation and maintenance and alarms. Such data collectiontogether with those acquired by the monitoring tool can be used for further analysis andfuture recommendations to the client. Such analysis and the respective outcomes shouldalso be recorded.Last but not least, there should be a proper documentation for the curtailment periodsas well as the repairing periods when the plant is fully or partly unavailable. this will all berecorded by the monitoring system to be able to measure lost energy during maintenanceactivities. For this, having the correct reference values at hand is crucial. For importantexamples of input records that should be included in the record control.As in the case of the as-built documentation, all records, data and configuration of themonitoring tool and any sort of documentation and log that might be useful for a properservice provision must be backed up and available when required. this is also importantwhen the O&M Contractor changes.
Artcile Credits: SolarPower Europe, O&M Best Practices Guidelines Version 2.0