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OPDE starts up innovative Control Centre to manage solar farm operation in real time

The OPDE group-dedicated to the promotion, development, construction and operation and maintenance of solar photovoltaic plants, has launched at the RÍOS company-part of the Group, a new Data Control Centre at its headquarters in Fustiñana (Navarra) from where it is possible to monitor and manage in real time, all the inverters and trackers on solar farms promoted by the Group in Spain and Italy.

The new Control Centre is designed and implemented entirely by the RÍOS company, and was set up as an additional service to support current operations and maintenance offered to customers by the Group and does so with the aim of fully optimizing the management of solar parks promoted by the company. Located for the moment in Spain and Italy, the Centre monitors more than 7,000 trackers and 21,000 solar photovoltaic solar farm inverters which obtain some 73 MW of power.

The company expects shortly to incorporate more photovoltaic solar plants to cover the 100 M, which is installed. In addition, they will be incorporated in plants not built by the Group but where operation control and optimized maintenance is required. Noteworthy is that MECASOLAR has supplied until 2009 more than 180 MW of solar trackers.

Its main advantage is its real-time knowledge provided at the Group’s central unit of all the information related to the operation, performance, status and incidences at the solar farms. Making it possible to respond within hours to any incident or alarm occurring at any of the inverters or trackers, thereby improving their performance and productivity.
Another advantage of the Control Centre is the detailed large amount of information provided by each of the solar farms.

Its applications include, enabling the PR (Performance Ratio) to be calculated as well as statistics on the availability of the farm, monthly and quarterly reports can be sent to consumers and businesses and annual surveys can be carried out on the farm’s operation and possible incidences, with the aim of studying them and introducing the suitable corrective means to minimize them.
The OPDE group through the company RÍOS, will launch Control Centres similar to the one in Fustiñana in the United States and Italy to monitor the operation of the wind farms promoted in both countries. It is also studying the option of making its Control Centres available to other developers and photovoltaic solar power generation companies.

The operation of the Control Centre software, which works via the Internet and is integrated into Google Earth – enables data on the trackers and the inverters from the parks to be stored every 5 minutes as well as managing any real-time alarm. The recorded data relates to the azimuth and zenith position of each tracker, status of the detectors, status of the tracker and the wind speed and direction, radiation from the sensors in each solar plant, temperature, moisture, production data of the inverters, etc.

Thus, the Control Centre collects information emitted by all the parks and monitors each one of the parks on different windows providing detailed information about each one of them. This information is organized into different sections: General ( today´s energy, total energy, radiation, current power, alarms, wind speed and direction, ambient temperature); Alarms, Stations, Trackers, WebBox and Meteorology.

At the same time as an incident occurs and an alarm goes off on the farm, the alarm is registered in the Control Centre and on the configured mail accounts, as well as being recorded on the database. Instantly, the Control Centre reports the incident to the professional in charge of the maintenance on the solar farm in question to minimize the time to solve the incident in question.
In addition the system has access to the surveillance cameras at each solar plant -covering both the perimeter of the plant and the inside of it, thus enabling all the data and information of what is happening to be seen at all times.

The OPDE Group
The OPDE Group (www.opde.net), consists of the OPDE, MECASOLAR, PROINSO and RÍOS. The first is specialized in the promotion and global construction of solar photovoltaic plants. MECASOLAR focuses its activity on the design and manufacture of solar trackers and fixed structures. PROINSO is dedicated to providing REC and TRINA modules, fixed structures and tracking, as well as SMA inverters, becoming the first international distributor of these leading global brands in the sector, with over 100 MW and 140 MW of modules inverters supplied. RÍOS is the company responsible for Civil Works, engineering and installation work, low, medium and high voltage work as well as plant maintenance.

OPDE currently employs 300 people. Plants promoted and built directly by OPDE in 2004-2009 period, have a total capacity of 115 MW, which will produce the equivalent annual energy consumption of 75,466 households (225 GWh).

OPDE Group companies in 2008 exceeded €560 million of consolidated turnover and, currently, the solar photovoltaic company is strategically committed to internationalization. It has tracker factories in the U.S. (California), Greece and Italy, countries where it has its own companies