How digitization will reshape the PV plant O&M landscape

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While the PV inverter market is relatively mature, the digitized PV industry is in its infancy.  Only a few leading equipment providers offer embedded intelligent software inside their equipment.  A digitized smart PV plant provides several distinct benefits including: improved monitoring and information to operators, higher energy yields, lower failure rates, and lower O&M costs.  All these valuable enhancements complement existing digitization of the BOS on both the DC side and the medium voltage side as well.  This means that monitoring is now possible on the complete PV plant level.

As more PV plants are connected to the grid, the need for customized management is also on the rise.digitization of the O&M activity is becoming even more critical to provide highly efficient actionable information to further improve the performance of each PV plant at competitive costs.  Web based monitoring solutions now complement traditional SCADA systems with even more analytical functions being added, thanks to the power of the cloud.

Since a PV plant has a life span greater than 20 years the back-end operations require strong relationships with equipment suppliers to ensure bankability of a PV project.  Over the past decade, Schneider Electric has built a strong knowledge base of PV plant operations, and is considered the global O&M provider with the most affiliated fleet of inverter OEMs per GTM Research Spotlight.

The transformation of O&M through digitization is happening via the integration of #IoT in equipment design, supported by SCADA, web monitoring, and data analytics.  The roles are evolving to reflect these changes; asset managers can now count on global O&M providers like Schneider Electric who can operate PV plant equipment under a single solid digital platform and enjoy lower cost of ownership and more competitive LCOE.


About the Author: Cyrille Godinot