Data Monitoring – A must for PV Plant Reliability

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With cumulative installed capacity in India crossing 22.8 GW at the end of Q1 2018, the Solar PV industry continues to make headlines with all-time low bids, varying state policies, safeguard duties & so on.

There is one question thrown to panelists at most of the Solar PV conferences. What capacity of PV plants in India will have to be refurbished within 10 years of its life?

Well, No one has an answer, but everyone thinks that the good answer is “Most of them”.

PV Panels degrading, MMS fasteners rusting, Cable terminations giving away – it’s all happening there, faster than expected!

Monitoring all the parameters at the site and engaging with the right O&M service provider, having the accurate data collection tool i.e the Plant SCADA might save your plant from catastrophe. SCADA stands for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition; it is a computer-based control system used to gather and analyse the real-time data in industries. Purpose is to monitor and control of process and equipment. First generation Solar PV Plants in India have used traditional PLC based SCADA comprised of rugged hardware called PLCs which connected to various sensors and collected data in digital format for further processing. A Solar PV Power Plant needs mostly monitoring with few elements of controlling. Hence you do not need a complex PLC based SCADA system. There are thousands of panels, kms of cables, tons of connectors which if monitored gives information on the health and performance of the PV plant. Equipment to be controlled are typically Inverters and Breakers.

All you need is an IOT platform. EagleSun SCADATM from Avi solar is one such simple, low cost, effective monitoring and control system designed specifically for Solar PV plants. If you are using a PLC-Based SCADA its time to switch to Ultra low-cost IOT based platforms like EagleSun SCADA. Access your plant data at your convenience remotely. Choose the SCADA, not by its looks, choose the one that really helps you find the fault! Monitoring your Solar PV plant Remotely can unearth several “Power Leakage” points, which your site engineers may not figure out at all. String level monitoring will save you a fortune in long run. One of the issues we see is that Developers & EPCs have been trying out variety of SCADAs and finally are ending up logging in to different portals to monitor their plants. Having one common dashboard which can gather data from third party SCADA’s will help you get a snapshot on critical issues at site.

Avisolar’s fleet of 150+ trained O&M Engineers & Technicians have seen over 800MWs of the plant across India and we have understood the failure patterns in PV plants. Based on this experience we developed EagleSun SCADA and host of other tools like generation forecast (Sunny Cast) and O&M asset management tool (SPIDAR). If you want your plant to generate consistently for 25 years, start monitoring now.

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