Solar projects are designed as per certain design principles.
When they get constructed, there would be some changes from the original design.
These changes need to be captured and fresh energy estimation needs to be done to arrive at the actual energy capability of the project.
Each project has distinct characteristics and differs from other projects.
Though all may follow some general methods of maintenance procedures, the actual procedure will differ from project to project.
It is important that we capture the process and procedures being followed during breakdown and preventive maintenance. There is a trend to attend to breakdown without even knowing what has happened in the past and what remedial measures were taken.
Think, how much more efficient one can be, if this information is available while proceeding to take up a maintenance work on an equipment.
Solar Projects sees high manpower turnover, with frequent changes of technicians and engineers often shifting from one organisation to another. This often leads to loss of information of how work was being done.
Capturing the details of work done in writing and then transferring to digital form, is often laborious and time consuming; due to which, one tends to overlook this process leading to loss of information.
Think of, how long will such work details will be stored ( one should realize that the plant life is 20+ years and during this time the data produced will be tremendous). Added to this, difficulty in easy access and recall of data makes it next to impossible to evaluate the data if is stored in traditional form.
This obstacle can be overcome if the data is captured in digital form right at the working stage.
Availability and easy access to above information helps one in drawing up incident based procedures which will help dramatically in the work. This will lead to better work practices and improve operational efficiency.
This data is a storehouse of information and as the plant age; trends of failures can be predicted leading to adoption condition based maintenance. Just think as to how much energy can be saved if one can prevent a failure/ breakdown.
Author : Radhakrishnan (RK) Mundoli
Renewable Energy Operations Specialist, Solar Project Execution, Solar Asset Management, Solar Business Consultant
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