Operation and Maintenance – The critical success factor for solar PV plant performance

The solar PV plants in India are entering a phase of maturity. The total installations will exceed 2 GW by the end of the year, and about half of the installations would have completed more than 1 year of operations by that time. As the plant becomes older, Operation and Maintenance (O&M) becomes more and more important for improving the performance of the plant.
In this article I had written for Intersolar India, some of the basics and a few important aspects of  Solar PV O&M are highlighted. The entire article is available here.
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6 thoughts on “Operation and Maintenance – The critical success factor for solar PV plant performance”

  1. Quite interesting to know the real grey areas w.r.t. components that one needs to take care. While the selection of the inverter & operating the same under recommended conditions can lead to a lower failure rate, it would be really interesting to know what leads to failure of the AC subsystems ? Could this really be an installation issue OR has it to do with the components including cables themselves ?

  2. In fact the whole installation is based upon an optimum plant design which includes various combinations of the module height, angle, cable joints, junction boxes and of course apart from inverters and modules, per se. It is also very important to have a very robust system of preventive and curative maintenance system. Few investors realize the revenue and profit generating life of the Plant at 25 years. They give the EPC to unskilled and unprofessional EPC companies. If the Plant is properly designed and constructed and effective O&M is maintained, I do not see any reason why an investor should not earn a very handsome profit, even more than 20% Equity IRR.

  3. In current scenario, installation of Solar Power projects are mainly influenced by Tax-saving sale of project; wherein judgement for Solar PV project is taken based on financial calculations, ROI, IRR etc. (instead of technical factoring of the project).
    Operation & Maintenance shall be considered as most important criterion to judge real performance of the Solar project for 25 years of the life.
    CA Yogesh Birla
    Birla Wealth & Project Management Co.
    (Solar Project Div.)
    Jodhpur (Rajasthan)

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