PEANUTS "Performance analytics for utility-scale PV power plants", is an IPN project led by Scatec with Prediktor and Equinor as industry partners. IFE is the only research partner in the project with a budget of about 12 MNOK spread over three years.
IPN PEANUTS builds on strong collaboration with Scatec, Prediktior and Equinor and addresses a very central topic in a rapidly growing solar industry: performance analysis. Due to the extremely rapid capacity growth in the solar industry, most of the power plants that are in operation so far are only a couple of years old. Due to continued very rapid technology development and the transition to more efficient solar panel technologies, new power plants are most often based on young products with a few years of field exposure. Data on performance, degradation and error rates in modern solar power plants are thus a short supply.
Through unique data access and further development of a unique digital platform, IPN PEANUTS will provide our partners with critical data on performance. This is very important information: without performance data, degradation rates and error rates, it is difficult to optimize operation and maintenance. Due to rapidly falling prices for components and capital, operation and maintenance have become one of the most important factors, that still can be influenced, on the total cost of solar power.
There is great variation in the industry around methodology and level. What is the optimal, most cost-effective level for operation and maintenance in solar power plants is still an unresolved question due to lack of data. Nevertheless, it is clear that large solar parks, which can have millions of components, need digital tools and algorithms that make it possible to detect and diagnose faults automatically in a robust way. In addition, drone analyzes are included, a field the department also has good experience with, as a key element.
IPN PEANUTS is at the forefront of this development internationally. The project will expand a proprietary numerical toolbox for the condition analysis of solar parks. The project will lead to precise determination of performance, degradation, errors and incorrect development in solar parks. Based on a well-functioning platform and with access to huge amounts of data, testing and validation of all methodologies are ensured. The results will lead to increased production, reduced costs for operation and maintenance and extended life of the solar parks.