Can the Internet of Things (IoT) help provide preventative maintenance to allow for the timely replacement of faulty modules and enhance the efficiency and performance of long-term power production? PES looks at how this technology can help improve return on investment.
Inverter outages at commercial and utility-scale solar installations are the cause of 81% of call-out service tickets requiring costly field-based technical interventions. This data is based on greater than one-third of all non-residential US solar facilities during 2020. The latter resulted in interruptions to significant portions of power-generating capacity at each affected site.
This phenomenon is measured in terms of annual Gross Availability. Notably, these service interventions vary in duration from days to weeks and even months as a function of the time to correctly diagnose and locate the cause of inverter shut-down, or ‘tripping’. This may include faults at the level of the inverter, one or more solar panels, combiner boxes, cabling and or racking defects.