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"Is my PV plant generating maximum possible power?" – Part 2

  In Part-1, we started answering the above question by first identifying the components involved in the power flow in a solar plant. For most of these components, it is straight-forward to determine if they are contributing to the generation shortfall. Determining if and how much the PV Solar String contributes to the shortfall is the tricky part of the question. In Part-2, we dive into this aspect…         We will start by re-examining Fig-1 from the previous blog – curves (based on real-life....

"Is my PV plant generating maximum possible power?" – Part 1

Solar plant owners often wonder if their plant is generating the maximum possible power and giving them the best returns. They are referred to the plant’s PR number, but, the PR is a very top-level figure. There are many layers to the PR number. Like an onion, we need to peel off the various layers to get the answer the plant owner is seeking. This series of blogs attempts to do this. Let us start by looking at how the power flows in a Solar plant and the major assets or equipment involved.....

String Monitoring Solutions from Megamic

One of the most important assets in a Solar plant is, of course, the array of PV panels connected in the form of Strings. During the EPC phase, a lot of attention is paid to the strings like: - Selection of PV panels with the right specifications and costs,  - Optimizing their location and orientation accounting for site layout, topology and latitude However, one area that gets less focus or priority is ‘Monitoring the Strings’. Project cost pressure often leads to implementation of a....
Jan 22

Monitoring Solutions for Solar Rooftops

The Government of India has set an ambitious target for Solar Rooftops (SRT) of 40 GW by 2022. As of today, huge gap exists between the target and actual installed numbers due to multiple reasons. Despite challenges such as higher initial cost of ownership and unfavorable government policies, commercial and industrial users with large unutilized roofs are increasingly stepping forward to take advantage of SRT to serve their local consumption, reduce diesel consumption and minimize dependence on....

SCADA Restoration of Solar Plants

In our interactions with Solar plant owners/operators, we came across this customer who was agitated. Large parts of his solar plant had suddenly become invisible to him in his SCADA dashboard ! Even more distressing was the fact that several months had passed with no solution in sight.   Utility scale Solar plants use expensive SCADA solutions to keep track of Generation and the working of all key assets in the plant.  The assets monitored typically consist of Inverters, Energy meters,....

Distributed Rooftop Solar Monitoring using Megamic's wiseNET Technology

Recently; a customer approached us for a Remote Monitoring Solution for their distributed Rooftop Solar installation in a large educational campus. The challenges posed were the installtion was spread across 13 building in the campus( with 16 inverters) and no interconnecting wires were allowed!  ....

SolarNxt - Remote Monitoring SCADA with Performance Analysis

Most of the Indian Solar PV Plants have not crossed 10 years since their installation. As plants age, there is a gradual degradation of performance as expected by design of upto 1%. Any degradation in yield more than 1% indicates that one or more components in the plant such as Inverters / Solar Modules or even DC Bus cables are beginning to show signs of under performance.  An efficient way to diagnose or pin point source of under performance is by data analysis. For data analysis, we need....

Mythbuster: Remote Monitoring of Solar Plants is not worth its Expense !

From a Solar PV Plant owner perspective, the benefits and value addition of installing Remote Monitoring Systems in Solar PV Plants far outweigh its recurring costs.   A simple calculation explaining the RoI associated with annual costs of Monitoring follows: Example Plant Capacity: 1 MW Monitoring Costs Per MW: Rs. 15,000 /- Tariff assumed: Rs. 3 /- Annual Plant Generation for 1MW in Units (approx.): 13.1 Lakh Units Annual Plant Generation for 1MW in Rupee Terms (approx.): Rs. 39.3 Lakh Yield....

String Monitoring Evolution !

  Did you know that a typical 1MWp Solar Power Plant can have upto 180 Strings spread across an area of 5 acres or more ?   To make the definition of a String clear, it is the series combination of 22 to 24 Solar PV panels. This ofcourse is assuming that the standard PV panel used is 230W rated with 30V approx. of MPP voltage. With a head count of about 4-5 onsite technicians, it is humanly a challenge for the onsite team to inspect and visually check each String cables/connections on a daily....