31
January

Failures on photovoltaic systems



photovoltaics-systems-failures

The push for energy independence, the possibility of saving money and the increase in environmental awareness in recent decades has certainly contributed to a steady increase in the spread of PV plants that create energy from renewable sources.
Photovoltaic is certainly one of the protagonists, if not the main, given its extremely flexible nature to adapt to all situations: from the roofs of small private homes to large industrial complexes, exploiting land or shelters otherwise discarded or little used and so on.

A photovoltaic system is composed of a few essential components and although technology has grown up in this sector, especially in materials, it remains extremely easy to identify them. We have photovoltaic modules, composed by a series of solar cells, the inverter that converts the current from continuous to alternating, the transformer for voltage modification, the switchboards and other small components such as cables, connectors etc.

A proper preventive maintenance is important to keep the photovoltaic system operational, but despite this, faults and problems can always happen; let’s analyze three typical situations.

Failure of the photovoltaic module(s):
Failures to photovoltaic modules, affecting the entire module, or just some cells, do not imply the plant shutdown as they always affect one or only a portion of the photovoltaic system. The failure can be caused by a damage to the cells for hot spots or due to elements that cause dirt on the glass, causing temperature differences, or damage to the external structure, such as backsheet chalking. You may also experience minor damage such as damage to fuses and connecting cables.

The technician called on-site, once the visual inspection is completed in search of macro damages due to atmospheric agents, through diagnostic tools on the production and transmission of energy will identify the module that does not produce energy, will be careful to check all wiring the switches and fuses, and replace those that do not work or clean them or fix the loose ones. In the most serious cases it will be necessary to replace the whole module.

Problems and faults of the inverters:
The real heart of every photovoltaic system is the inverter. This component, as mentioned, is dedicated to transforming the energy of cells and modules into alternating current capable of being used by domestic and industrial systems. With the advance of technology the inverters are equipped with diagnostic displays that indicate the state of health of the system, what it produces and when action is needed because it is not performing properly. When anomalies occur, it is therefore easier for the customer to realize it (even better is to have a remote video surveillance system) and to take action with the maintenance service of the photovoltaic system.
If the inverter does not produce the right amount of energy, the main problems can be:
– A blown fuse
– A switch tripped
– Broken wires and / or connections
– Too high load

Not considering the possibility of breaking the inverse itself, as can easily be guessed from the above list, the other problems are easily solved by an efficient service of the photovoltaic system maintenance.
If the inverter is not producing the correct output, the technician will first use the voltmeter and dc ammeter to check and record the input voltage and current DC current level of the inverter. On the AC side, it will check the inverter output voltage and current levels. As mentioned earlier, many of these systems have a display that indicates the current inverter and system performance and, using this information, it will be possible, once the intervention is completed, check the current total kilowatt hour (kWh) and note this value compared to the one recorded during the last inspection.

Load related issues:
detecting low voltage or incorrect load is a symptom of a problem with the photovoltaic system. The specialized technician will take care to check with the voltmeter and other diagnostic tools that the correct voltage is present and identify the anomalies will proceed to check the integrity of the components such as fuses and switches. The cleaning of the components and the verification of the connections will be unavoidable as well as the following shutdown test and restart of the system to check if fuses and switches jump again once restarted.

Articoli correlati

2018 Renewable energy statistics in Italy
23 July 2019
The legislation of photovoltaic systems in Italy and the new FER 1 Decree
8 July 2019
Challenges of Utility Scale Solar PV Projects
3 June 2019
Self-consumption and electricity sales options for photovoltaic systems
25 May 2019
The advantages of industrial rooftop photovoltaic systems
20 May 2019
The importance of choosing a qualified solar EPC contractor
3 May 2019
How much energy does a solar photovoltaic panel produce?
1 April 2019
Utility Scale Solar farms are seeing exponential growth
20 March 2019
MENA Solar Energy Outlook 2019
23 January 2019
Enerray’s expanding business in MENA
9 January 2019
Algeria starts its renewable energy future with a 150 MW solar PV tender
17 December 2018
Oman will build the largest solar park in the region
12 November 2018
Utility Scale Solar PV Parks in UAE and Gulf Area
17 October 2018
Commercial and industrial rooftop solar systems in UAE and Gulf Area
25 September 2018
Design and construction of photovoltaic shelters
20 September 2018
In Dubai is borning a sustainable city powered by renewables
30 August 2018
Tunisia plans to improve its economy and invest in green energy
28 August 2018
MENA Region Solar Energy Oulook 2018
24 July 2018
The Benban Solar Park shines Egypt’s renewable energy targets
17 July 2018
Shams Dubai program and DEWA’s initiatives to increase solar power in Dubai
22 June 2018
Solar power, an optimal source of energy in places where there is lack of water
11 June 2018
How a PV system works?
30 May 2018
Socio-Economics Benefits from Renewable Energies – MENA Region
22 May 2018
What are the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy?
18 May 2018
The transition to a fully renewable powered energy system in Southeast Asia
14 May 2018
How does solar energy work and how can it be converted into electricity ?
10 May 2018
The transition to a fully renewable powered energy system in Latam
20 April 2018
The transition to a fully renewable powered energy system in the MENA region
30 March 2018
A global transition to 100% renewable electricity is feasible
26 March 2018
Photovoltaic Energy spreads in the emerging economies. Focus on Latam countries
15 February 2018