The existing photovoltaic parks in Romania are required to optimize their activity and to increase the life of their equipment for keeping alive the hope of recovering the investment. At the same time, new investments in photovoltaic power generation systems are required by technological improvements, and for all these experienced partners as well as maintenance, control and monitoring service providers are needed. We spoke about all this with Mr. Lauru Bădiță, O&M România Photon Energy Country Manager, one of the speakers invited in the Energy Breakfast Club event, dedicated to photovoltaic industry on April 24, in Bucharest.
What is the contribution that experts in operation & maintenance can make to overcoming difficulties faced by PV plants owners from Romania?
Photon Energy has ten years of experience in photovoltaic markets in over 10 countries on two continents. It has built more than 50 MW of photovoltaic power plants and has its own 26 MWp portfolio. We provide operation & maintenance services to 216 MW of solar power worldwide and it goes far beyond trimming vegetation and replacing damaged modules. Based on our experience, photovoltaic power plants very often operate under their production potential due to repeated technological failures and poor construction. A key parameter of technical service is therefore the emphasis on preventing failures to minimize production and revenue outages. O&M in the Photon Energy concept is a complex management of the PV power plants in technical, economic and administrative terms. For the faultless operation of the power plant we have developed a unique tool for monitoring and diagnosing the operation called Photon Energy Command.
In your view, what should professional monitoring be able to provide for a photovoltaic power plant?
Modern analytical tools should be able to evaluate all electrical parameters, their dependencies and trends. A number of failures should be detected at the symptom stage and ideally reduce risk through predictive analysis. Such a software solution should definitely evaluate data for production forecast, provide a smart alarm system, reporting and notification according to customer needs, and secure data handling. It should be readily available for field technicians and it should, of course, be a good tool for management and due diligence in order to see whether the power plant produces to the maximum of its potential and thus yields appropriate revenues.
What guaranties are provided by a professional O&M?
Among others, Photon Energy provides a warranty for serviceability, a response time guarantee from failure notification to technical assistance, service warranty according to valid legislation, and professional liability insurance.
It is the photovoltaic energy an answer to the needs of big consumers (industrial, commercial spaces, office buildings)? What about residential consumers?
Definitely yes. Renewable sources, including photovoltaics, are becoming one of the most important pillars of the energy mix. Photovoltaic energy is an ecological alternative to fossil fuels because it reduces CO2 emissions, it is economical because it competes with the price of conventional electricity and it increases energy independence, especially when it comes to energy storage in batteries. This applies to both consumer groups. For private homes, photovoltaic energy becomes more affordable with the falling cost of solar panels.
This interview firstly appeared in the printed edition of energynomics.ro Magazine, issued in March 2018.
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