Solutions and strategies for operation and maintenance of utility-scale solar power plants

Project description:

This project brings together the technological know-how of Scatec Solar, a world-class solar PV power producer, Equinor, with an extensive Operations and Maintenance (O&M) experience from the energy industry on very large scales, Prediktor, a pioneering software developer for the PV industry, and IFE, the leading, Norwegian research group on PV technology.

The photovoltaic (PV) industry has grown at an extraordinary pace for many years. Every year since 2016, the world has added more new capacity of PV than of any other energy source, with new installations far exceeding new fossil power capacity. By the end of 2018 ~500 GWpeak of PV had been installed globally, most of this capacity is installed in large power plants as depicted below. The main reason for this growth a rapid reduction of prices in all parts of the solar industry. This means that the costs related to O&M thus becomes increasingly important in determining the competitiveness of each individual company. O&M of PV plants is therefore emerging as one of the most important R&D topics worldwide.

The main goals of this project are to 1) Improve efficiency and reduce costs of Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of utility-scale PV parks and 2) Improve performance and reliability of Scatec Solar and Equinor’s existing and future PV plants.

To achieve these goals we will develop data-intensive analysis methods, utilizing the very large data stream of production and sensor data continuously generated by the many PV power plants that are monitored, together with carefully selected experiments and improved instrumentation. This is a very exciting project for IFE, and an opportunity to apply our deep PV competence on a large scale!