Maintenance for solar
Once a corporate or state is ready to go solar, the next step is solar power plant maintenance, which is one of the major concerns plant heads have while deciding to go for on-site solar. Who will take care of the maintenance? How will it be done? How will the maximum output be ensured?
Under the Build-Own-Operate (BOO) model, maintenance of solar power plant is handled by the solar developer. This ensures maximisation of equipment life and alignment of incentives with both the parties. Solar power plants require minimal maintenance as there are no moving parts.
Here’s how preventative maintenance is performed on major components of a solar PV system:
Solar modules and solar mounting structures
- Cleaning: activity for a solar array (some solar modules connected in series), especially in India, is to keep the surface (glass) dust free. Occasional inspection and checks of the solar module ensure the performance efficiency at optimal levels.
- Defect Checking: A visual inspection of the modules is done periodically to look for possible defects such as cracks, chips, de-lamination, fogged glazing, water leaks and discoloration. If any obvious defects are found, their location is noted down in the system logbook so that they can be monitored for generation output. If the damage causes the modules to perform lower than the rated value, they should be replaced.
- Structure Stability: Solar module mounting frames & modules are examined to make certain that they are firmly secured, and mounting bolts are rust free. Junction boxes are inspected to ensure that the wires are not chewed by rodents or insects.
Inverter / charge controller:
This component is maintained by minimizing dust accumulation. A dry cloth is used to wipe away any accumulated dirt/dust. Post this, a visual inspection ensures that all the indicators such as LED lights are working and the wires leading to and from this device are not loose.
Note: If self-checks are done, the charge controller should indicate that the system is charging when the sun is shining.
Wiring and connections
Wiring installations are regularly checked for any cracks, breaks or deterioration in the insulation. Panel boxes are scrutinized to prevent the box from becoming a home for rodents and insects. Moreover, the connections are inspected for corrosion and burning.