Big steps forward for solar park O&M

IPN O&M has addressed the operation and maintenance of large solar parks, a field of rapidly increasing importance internationally. In the project, the partners have developed a computer-driven framework for optimized operation and maintenance of solar parks. The goal has been to create a system that both increases production and reduces costs associated with operation and maintenance.

Marstein, Erik Stensrud

July 21, 2021

IFE's department for solar power systems has for three years worked in the IPN project «Solutions and strategies for operation and maintenance of utility-scale PV power plants» (IPN O&M). The project has been led by Scatec. In addition, Prediktor and Equinor have been partners in the project. IFE has been the research partner in the project.

In the project, IFE has contributed to the development of a number of new methods for determining deviations from normal production related to soiling, degradation and errors. By dealing with these factors in a cost-effective way, solar power plants can improve production. The methods are based on autonomous analysis of enormous amounts of data that is generated at all times in the various power plants, in addition to drone-based diagnostic campaigns in the field. IPN O&M has been at the forefront internationally.
The project has, among other things, contributed to:
• Strengthening IFE’s research group for PV systems.
• Development of sets of instruments, data filtering tools and methods for data analysis.
• Development of data-driven algorithms for determining soiling and timing of field washing operations.
• Development of data-driven algorithms for troubleshooting and diagnostics for solar panels and converters.
• A large number of scientific publications and several highly visible contributions at international conferences.
• Education of 1 PhD candidate (Åsmund Skomedal)
• Education of 1 M.Sc. candidate (Øystein Øvrum)
• Education of a Fulbright Fellow from the United States (Scott Adler)
The most important findings from the project are summarized in this film:

Solutions and strategies for O&M of utility-scale solar power plants.mp4 on Vimeo

The project has been very successful and several of the methods will be implemented in existing and future solar parks in Scatec’s and Equinor’s portfolio.

Marstein, Erik Stensrud

Solar Power Systems,

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