OUR SERVICES

BRIGHTENING THE WORLD FOR MORE THAN 22 YEARS

Our Engineers with their professional and experienced team will provide the consultancy services to the solar power plant developers from project conception to project commissioning.

We show commitment to facilitate solar power project developers and offer highly flexible services for project development in synchronization with Government renewable energy policies.

Solar Power Plant services include

What is a Prefeasibility Report?
A prefeasibility report is a document that provides preliminary inferences on the technical and economic feasibility of a project. Rather than conduct detailed technical and economic studies, prefeasibility research does a first level evaluation of a project, using the most important evaluation parameters.
Prefeasibility reports are useful because they provide a first-level inference at low cost and within a short duration. On the other hand, detailed feasibility studies take much longer and take many months for completion.
Typically, companies exploring large projects conduct prefeasibility research first and decide on a full feasibility study later, based on the inferences of the prefeasibility report.

A prefeasibility report comprises the following

  • ArialMarket review of the renewable energy source in India.

  • Current and future potential for the renewable energy source in India

  • Details on capital and operational costs and first level break-downs of these costs.

  • Details on the possible technologies for the renewable energy and the availability of these technologies in India.

  • Details on the production of Solar Power Project.
  • Additional feasibility details such as land requirements, and raw material/energy resource availability.

  • Government policies and incentives.

  • Bottlenecks and barriers.

     

  • Solar Irradiance Analysis and Project Financial Feasibility Report.

  • We provide end to end services for the project completion.

Preparation of Detailed Project Report

Detailed project report is prepared for the investment decision-making approval, but also execution of the project and also preparation of the plan. Detailed project report is a complete document for investment decision-making, approval, planning. Detailed project report is base document for planning the project and implementing the project.

Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) are the outputs of planning and design phase of a project. DPR is a very detailed and elaborate plan for a project indicating overall programme, different roles and responsibilities, activities and resources required for the project. To be more precise, A DPR is a final, detailed appraisal report on the project and a blue print for its execution and eventual operation. It provide details of the basic programme the roles and responsibilities, all the activities to be carried out and the resources required and possible risk with recommended measure to counter them.

The success of project is measured on the basis of:-

 

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Project

Whether the project was completed on time.

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Cost of Project

Whether actual cost of project was within reasonable limits of escalation.

null

Completion of The Project

Whether after completion of the project it was able to deliver the products of desired quality and in adequate quantity to clients satisfaction at profitable costs.

null

Project Gestation Period

Whether the project gestation period was within planned duration.

The main sub-division in a DPR

General Information of the project

null

Background and the experience of the project promoters

null

Details and working result of industrial concerns already owned and promoted by the project promoters.

Details of the proposed project

  • Plant capacity

  • Technical knowhow/ tie-ups.

  • Management teams for the project.

  • Details of land, and plant and machinery.

  • Details of infrastructural facilities

  • Raw material requirement/ availability.

  • Effluents produced by the project & treatment procedures adopted

  • Labour requirement and availability.

  • Schedule of implement of the project

  • Project cost

  • Means of financial projects.

  • Working capital requirement/arrangements made

  • Profitability and cash flow estimates

  • Mode of repayment of loans.

  • Government approvals. Local body consents and statutory permissions.

  • Details of collaterals security that can offered to the financial institutions.

What is Project Finance

Project finance is the financing of long-term infrastructure, industrial projects and public services using a non-recourse or limited recourse financial structure. The debt and equity used to finance the project are paid back from the cash flow generated by the project. Project financing is a loan structure that relies primarily on the project’s cash flow for repayment, with the project’s assets, rights and interests held as secondary collateral. Project finance is especially attractive to the private sector because companies can fund major projects off-balance-sheet.

SOLAR EPC SERVICES

The EPC Vertical consists of design and development team through specialized multiple software’s, for building the solar power plant project report. Our range of services includes testing and simulation of the system, analyzing the various aspects such as tilt angle, shadow effect, structure design etc.
This allows us precisely design of each and every system component. Consequently, solar power plants become more efficient and reliable with enhanced life span.We monitor the execution of the SPV project, coordinating with all construction phases right form procurement and quality tests.With the result of close co-ordination, we achieve the target within deadlines specified. This saves several units of electricity for large-scale PV power plant. 
Sunomatic Power is a head quartered at Noida, NCR with branch offices in major northern India cities viz. – Chandigarh, Karnal, Dehradun ,Indore, Fatehabad, Mandi and banda. Sunomatic Power offers various ranges of services for Grid Connected KW scale & MW Scale.

 

For Residential Rooftop solution KW scale projects in various segments:

RESIDENTIAL SECTOR
Independent House
High rise society/apartments
Farm Houses
Luxury Villas

COMMERCIAL SECTOR
Showroom Applications
Petrol Pumps
Shopping Malls
Small offices.

 

INDUSTRIAL SECTOR:
Industries / Factories
Big Corporate offices
Warehouses

 

HOSPITALITY SECTOR :
Boutique Hotels

Restaurants/Food Park
Big Hotels
Marriage Halls

 

HOSPITAL SECTOR :
Small/big Hospital
Research Institutes
Educational Sector

Schools:
Institutes and Colleges

Universities
Training Centre’s

Sunomatic Power offers MW scale solutions for ground mounted PV plants including various services viz –

Site Survey and feasibility report generation through software
Signing of Power Purchase Agreement ( PPA) for RESCO/OPEX Ground Mounted Solar projects.
Preparing and presenting Detailed Project Report (DPR).
Selling of PPA to private industrialist and large corporate houses.
Project Development and Consultancy Services from scratch.
Leasing and Financing of land for project development.
Arranging various NOC and Approvals for pre and post project stage.
EPC Solutions for installation and commissioning of Solar PV plant.
This includes supply of Hot dip galvanized ground mounted structure for mounting purpose. 

Operations & Maintenance

Once the PV solar plant has been built, it needs to be efficiently operated and carefully maintained. Compared to other power generating technologies, solar PV power plants have low maintenance and servicing requirements. However, as International Financial Corporation warns, “proper maintenance of a PV plant is essential to maximise both energy yield and the plant’s useful life. Optimal operations must strike a balance between maximising production and minimising cost”.

Indeed, while solar energy does require almost no maintenance at all as compared to the other generation sources, PV solar plants are investments that are likely to last for 20–25 years or more, and that’s why in order to arrive at an accurate ROI figure, one needs to address the operation and maintenance issues. Thus, before turning to the actual process and stages of maintenance and operation, one needs to understand the issues involved in the functioning of a PV solar plant. Naturally, they can be divided into the groups according to the plant’s main components.

 

O&M Issues in PV Solar Energy

Natural Degradation

All solar cells naturally degrade over time, regardless of the environment they are in. This is called natural degradation, and is completely normal for all solar cells to experience once in operation. Depending on the material, the rate of degradation can vary. This is important to take into account in budgeting and investment planning.

The following table summarizes the degradation rates of solar panels made of different materials. Solar DAO PV plants are among the most robust ones, since the solar panels used are made of crystalline silicon which is characterized by the one of lowest annual degradation rates.

Natural degradation cannot be prevented, but must be taken into account in the planning process. It can also be covered by warranties. Usually, manufacturing companies that produce solar modules offer warranties if degradation rate exceeds certain amounts, for example, if it is more than 0.8–0.6% depending on the particular firm. The good news is that the higher quality panel, the less natural degradation.

The degradation rate must be weighed against the cost and the utility of particular materials from which the solar models are made. The following chart, provided by Scandia Labs, demonstrates the estimates for Average Utility-Scale Solar PV O&M Costs, by Technology ($/kWAC-yr), including different types of solar panels materials, as well as different types of trackers with which the panels are equipped. Here, again, crystalline silicon stands out, as do conventional solar panels as opposed to concentrating photovoltaics that uses lenses and curved mirrors to focus sunlight on the solar cells.

  • CdTe — cadmium telluride

  • DAT — dual-axis tracking
  • CIGS — copper indium gallium selenide
  • CPV — concentrating photovoltaics
  • c-Si — crystalline silicon

  • SAT — single-axis tracking

Grounding and Lightning Protection

PV solar plant is a structure of considerable size, which is why some lightning protection is in order. The first level of such protection is the ground mount system itself, whereby the grounding system redirects the energy from the lightning into the ground and away from the panels. Depending on the foundation, different forms of grounding can be used, as summarized in the following table provided by the Desert Research Institute.

Even with a proper grounding system, a PV installation can still be at risk from lightning. Even after the lightning energy has been discharged into the ground, it can still cause a power surge within the solar panels array, which is why a surge protection equipment is in order. In some cases it is not needed, if the grounding system is effective enough to reduce the lightning strike energy.

Maintenance can be broken down in two parts:

Scheduled maintenance: Planned in advance and aimed at fault prevention, as well as ensuring that the plant is operated at its optimum level.
Unscheduled maintenance: Carried out in response to failures. Another way to classify the PV O&M approaches is to break them down into three categories, each with different cost-benefit trade offs and risk profiles:

Preventative maintenance (PM)

encompasses routine inspection and servicing of equipment — at frequencies determined by equipment type, environmental conditions, and warranty terms in an O&M services agreement — to prevent breakdowns and unnecessary production losses. Th is approach is becoming increasingly popular because of its perceived ability to lower the probability of unplanned PV system downtime. However, the upfront costs associated with PM programs are moderate and the underlying structure of PM can engender superfluous labor activity if not optimally designed.

Corrective or reactive: maintenance addresses equipment repair needs and breakdowns after their occurrence and, as such, is instituted to mitigate unplanned downtime. The historical industry standard, this “break-fi x” method allows for low upfront costs, but also brings with it a higher risk of component failure and accompanying higher costs on the backend (perhaps placing a premium on negotiating extended warranty terms). Thuough a certain amount of reactive maintenance will likely be necessary over the course of a plant’s 20-25 year lifetime, it can be lessened through more proactive PM and condition-based maintenance (CBM) strategies.
Condition-based maintenance (CBM): uses real-time data to anticipate failures and prioritize maintenance activities and resources. A rising number of third party integrators and turnkey providers are instituting CBM regimes to offer greater O&M efficiency. The increased efficiency, however, comes with a high upfront price tag given communication and monitoring software and hardware requirements. Moreover, the relative novelty of CBM can produce maintenance process challenges caused in part by monitoring equipment malfunction and/or erratic data collection.

Preventative Maintenance (PM) includes the following activities

  • Panel Cleaning
  • Retro-Commissioning (identifies and solves problems that have developed during the course of the PV system’s life.)
  • Water Drainage
  • Upkeep of Data Acquisition and Monitoring Systems (e.g., electronics, sensors)
  • Vegetation Management
  • Upkeep of Power Generation System (e.g., Inverter Servicing, BOS Inspection, Tracker Maintenance)
  • Wildlife Prevention
  • Site maintenance (e.g., security, road/fence repair, environmental compliance, snow removal, etc.).

Corrective/Reactive Maintenance typically includes

  • On-Site Monitoring
  • Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) usually consists in Active Monitoring — Remote and On-Site Options Equipment Replacement (Planned and Unplanned) and Warranty Enforcement (Planned and Unplanned).
  • Critical Reactive Repair (high priority, addresses production losses issues)
  • Warranty Enforcement
  • Non-Critical Reactive Repair (addresses production degradation issues)

Contracts & Obligations

1. Key Contractual Provisos (KCP)
KCPs in O&M contracts impact the O&M budgeting considerations and approaches, and typically include:

  • ervice-level agreements (SLA) — specify compliance timeframes for responding to and resolving a range of plant conditions, based on equipment type and issue severity level.
  • Availability or “uptime” guarantees — define the percentage of time that a system must be fully able to produce electricity. Availability guarantees are typically set at 97–99% per year.
  • Performance ratio and yield guarantees — stipulate plant performance levels (e.g., a minimum amount of energy delivered) according to measured solar irradiation at a site, based on system design and modeled plant behavior — which can be variable, thus introducing risks.
  • These guarantees account for Force Majeure events and warranty defects.
  • Production guarantees — state annual plant production levels, independent of weather conditions. Insurance coverage can be used to mitigate weather risk, though it can be an expensive policy to underwrite.
  • Performance incentives — reward/penalize for plant performance that misses, meets, or exceeds projected production levels.
  • Energy-based contracts — links plant production (kWh/yr) with O&M service provider revenues so that associated expenses are calibrated according to low (fall/winter) and high (spring/summer) revenue periods.

2. O&M Contract Contents
The purpose of an O&M contract is to optimise the performance of the plant within established cost parameters. To do this effectively, the O&M contract should clearly set out:

    • Services to be carried out by, and obligations of, the contractor.
      Frequency of the services.
    • Obligations of the owner.
    • Standards, legislation and guidelines with which the contractor must comply.
    • Payment structure.
    • Performance guarantees and operational targets.
    • Methodologies for calculating plant availability and/or performance ratio.
    • Methodologies for calculating liquidated damages/ bonus payments in the event of plant under- or overperformance.
    • Terms and conditions.
    • Legal aspects.
    • Insurance requirements and responsibilities.

3. O&M Contractor Services and Obligations
The O&M contract should list the services to be performed by the contractor, including the following entries:

  • Plant monitoring requirements.
  • Scheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Unscheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Agreed targets and/or guarantees (for example, response time or system availability figure) Reporting requirements (including performance, environmental, health and safety, and labour relations reporting).
  • The contractor should also be contractually obliged to optimise
  • plant performance. Additionally, it should be stipulated that all maintenance tasks should be performed in such a way that their impact on the productivity of the system is minimised.

The O&M contract will also typically define the terms by which the contractor is to:

    • Provide, at intervals, a visual check of the system components for visible damage and defects.
    • Provide, at intervals, a functional test of the system components.

Ensure that the required maintenance will be conducted on all components of the system. As a minimum, these activities should be in line with manufacturer recommendations and the conditions of the equipment warranties.

  • Provide appropriate cleaning of the modules and the removal of snow (site-specific).
  • Make sure that the natural environment of the system is maintained to avoid shading and aid maintenance activities.

 

Replace defective system components and system components whose failure is deemed imminent.

  • Provide daily (typically during business hours) remote monitoring of the performance of the PV plant to identify when performance drops below set trigger levels.

 

In an O&M contract, the obligations of the owner/ developer are generally limited to granting the O&M contractor access to the system and all the associated land and access points, obtaining all approvals, licences and permits necessary for the legal operation of the plant providing the O&M contractor with all relevant documents and information, such as those detailed above, that are necessary for the operational management of the plant.

Operations & Maintenance

Once the PV solar plant has been built, it needs to be efficiently operated and carefully maintained. Compared to other power generating technologies, solar PV power plants have low maintenance and servicing requirements. However, as International Financial Corporation warns, “proper maintenance of a PV plant is essential to maximise both energy yield and the plant’s useful life. Optimal operations must strike a balance between maximising production and minimising cost”.

Indeed, while solar energy does require almost no maintenance at all as compared to the other generation sources, PV solar plants are investments that are likely to last for 20–25 years or more, and that’s why in order to arrive at an accurate ROI figure, one needs to address the operation and maintenance issues. Thus, before turning to the actual process and stages of maintenance and operation, one needs to understand the issues involved in the functioning of a PV solar plant. Naturally, they can be divided into the groups according to the plant’s main components.

 

O&M Issues in PV Solar Energy

Natural Degradation

All solar cells naturally degrade over time, regardless of the environment they are in. This is called natural degradation, and is completely normal for all solar cells to experience once in operation. Depending on the material, the rate of degradation can vary. This is important to take into account in budgeting and investment planning.

The following table summarizes the degradation rates of solar panels made of different materials. Solar DAO PV plants are among the most robust ones, since the solar panels used are made of crystalline silicon which is characterized by the one of lowest annual degradation rates.

Natural degradation cannot be prevented, but must be taken into account in the planning process. It can also be covered by warranties. Usually, manufacturing companies that produce solar modules offer warranties if degradation rate exceeds certain amounts, for example, if it is more than 0.8–0.6% depending on the particular firm. The good news is that the higher quality panel, the less natural degradation.

The degradation rate must be weighed against the cost and the utility of particular materials from which the solar models are made. The following chart, provided by Scandia Labs, demonstrates the estimates for Average Utility-Scale Solar PV O&M Costs, by Technology ($/kWAC-yr), including different types of solar panels materials, as well as different types of trackers with which the panels are equipped. Here, again, crystalline silicon stands out, as do conventional solar panels as opposed to concentrating photovoltaics that uses lenses and curved mirrors to focus sunlight on the solar cells.

  • CdTe — cadmium telluride

  • DAT — dual-axis tracking
  • CIGS — copper indium gallium selenide
  • CPV — concentrating photovoltaics
  • c-Si — crystalline silicon

  • SAT — single-axis tracking

Grounding and Lightning Protection

PV solar plant is a structure of considerable size, which is why some lightning protection is in order. The first level of such protection is the ground mount system itself, whereby the grounding system redirects the energy from the lightning into the ground and away from the panels. Depending on the foundation, different forms of grounding can be used, as summarized in the following table provided by the Desert Research Institute.

Even with a proper grounding system, a PV installation can still be at risk from lightning. Even after the lightning energy has been discharged into the ground, it can still cause a power surge within the solar panels array, which is why a surge protection equipment is in order. In some cases it is not needed, if the grounding system is effective enough to reduce the lightning strike energy.

Maintenance can be broken down in two parts:

Scheduled maintenance: Planned in advance and aimed at fault prevention, as well as ensuring that the plant is operated at its optimum level.
Unscheduled maintenance: Carried out in response to failures. Another way to classify the PV O&M approaches is to break them down into three categories, each with different cost-benefit trade offs and risk profiles:

Preventative maintenance (PM)

encompasses routine inspection and servicing of equipment — at frequencies determined by equipment type, environmental conditions, and warranty terms in an O&M services agreement — to prevent breakdowns and unnecessary production losses. Th is approach is becoming increasingly popular because of its perceived ability to lower the probability of unplanned PV system downtime. However, the upfront costs associated with PM programs are moderate and the underlying structure of PM can engender superfluous labor activity if not optimally designed.

Corrective or reactive: maintenance addresses equipment repair needs and breakdowns after their occurrence and, as such, is instituted to mitigate unplanned downtime. The historical industry standard, this “break-fi x” method allows for low upfront costs, but also brings with it a higher risk of component failure and accompanying higher costs on the backend (perhaps placing a premium on negotiating extended warranty terms). Thuough a certain amount of reactive maintenance will likely be necessary over the course of a plant’s 20-25 year lifetime, it can be lessened through more proactive PM and condition-based maintenance (CBM) strategies.
Condition-based maintenance (CBM): uses real-time data to anticipate failures and prioritize maintenance activities and resources. A rising number of third party integrators and turnkey providers are instituting CBM regimes to offer greater O&M efficiency. The increased efficiency, however, comes with a high upfront price tag given communication and monitoring software and hardware requirements. Moreover, the relative novelty of CBM can produce maintenance process challenges caused in part by monitoring equipment malfunction and/or erratic data collection.

Preventative Maintenance (PM) includes the following activities

  • Panel Cleaning
  • Retro-Commissioning (identifies and solves problems that have developed during the course of the PV system’s life.)
  • Water Drainage
  • Upkeep of Data Acquisition and Monitoring Systems (e.g., electronics, sensors)
  • Vegetation Management
  • Upkeep of Power Generation System (e.g., Inverter Servicing, BOS Inspection, Tracker Maintenance)
  • Wildlife Prevention
  • Site maintenance (e.g., security, road/fence repair, environmental compliance, snow removal, etc.).

Corrective/Reactive Maintenance typically includes

  • On-Site Monitoring
  • Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) usually consists in Active Monitoring — Remote and On-Site Options Equipment Replacement (Planned and Unplanned) and Warranty Enforcement (Planned and Unplanned).
  • Critical Reactive Repair (high priority, addresses production losses issues)
  • Warranty Enforcement
  • Non-Critical Reactive Repair (addresses production degradation issues)

Contracts & Obligations

1. Key Contractual Provisos (KCP)
KCPs in O&M contracts impact the O&M budgeting considerations and approaches, and typically include:

  • ervice-level agreements (SLA) — specify compliance timeframes for responding to and resolving a range of plant conditions, based on equipment type and issue severity level.
  • Availability or “uptime” guarantees — define the percentage of time that a system must be fully able to produce electricity. Availability guarantees are typically set at 97–99% per year.
  • Performance ratio and yield guarantees — stipulate plant performance levels (e.g., a minimum amount of energy delivered) according to measured solar irradiation at a site, based on system design and modeled plant behavior — which can be variable, thus introducing risks.
  • These guarantees account for Force Majeure events and warranty defects.
  • Production guarantees — state annual plant production levels, independent of weather conditions. Insurance coverage can be used to mitigate weather risk, though it can be an expensive policy to underwrite.
  • Performance incentives — reward/penalize for plant performance that misses, meets, or exceeds projected production levels.
  • Energy-based contracts — links plant production (kWh/yr) with O&M service provider revenues so that associated expenses are calibrated according to low (fall/winter) and high (spring/summer) revenue periods.

2. O&M Contract Contents
The purpose of an O&M contract is to optimise the performance of the plant within established cost parameters. To do this effectively, the O&M contract should clearly set out:

    • Services to be carried out by, and obligations of, the contractor.
      Frequency of the services.
    • Obligations of the owner.
    • Standards, legislation and guidelines with which the contractor must comply.
    • Payment structure.
    • Performance guarantees and operational targets.
    • Methodologies for calculating plant availability and/or performance ratio.
    • Methodologies for calculating liquidated damages/ bonus payments in the event of plant under- or overperformance.
    • Terms and conditions.
    • Legal aspects.
    • Insurance requirements and responsibilities.

3. O&M Contractor Services and Obligations
The O&M contract should list the services to be performed by the contractor, including the following entries:

  • Plant monitoring requirements.
  • Scheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Unscheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Agreed targets and/or guarantees (for example, response time or system availability figure) Reporting requirements (including performance, environmental, health and safety, and labour relations reporting).
  • The contractor should also be contractually obliged to optimise
  • plant performance. Additionally, it should be stipulated that all maintenance tasks should be performed in such a way that their impact on the productivity of the system is minimised.

The O&M contract will also typically define the terms by which the contractor is to:

    • Provide, at intervals, a visual check of the system components for visible damage and defects.
    • Provide, at intervals, a functional test of the system components.

Ensure that the required maintenance will be conducted on all components of the system. As a minimum, these activities should be in line with manufacturer recommendations and the conditions of the equipment warranties.

  • Provide appropriate cleaning of the modules and the removal of snow (site-specific).
  • Make sure that the natural environment of the system is maintained to avoid shading and aid maintenance activities.

 

Replace defective system components and system components whose failure is deemed imminent.

  • Provide daily (typically during business hours) remote monitoring of the performance of the PV plant to identify when performance drops below set trigger levels.

 

In an O&M contract, the obligations of the owner/ developer are generally limited to granting the O&M contractor access to the system and all the associated land and access points, obtaining all approvals, licences and permits necessary for the legal operation of the plant providing the O&M contractor with all relevant documents and information, such as those detailed above, that are necessary for the operational management of the plant.

Operations & Maintenance

Once the PV solar plant has been built, it needs to be efficiently operated and carefully maintained. Compared to other power generating technologies, solar PV power plants have low maintenance and servicing requirements. However, as International Financial Corporation warns, “proper maintenance of a PV plant is essential to maximise both energy yield and the plant’s useful life. Optimal operations must strike a balance between maximising production and minimising cost”.

Indeed, while solar energy does require almost no maintenance at all as compared to the other generation sources, PV solar plants are investments that are likely to last for 20–25 years or more, and that’s why in order to arrive at an accurate ROI figure, one needs to address the operation and maintenance issues. Thus, before turning to the actual process and stages of maintenance and operation, one needs to understand the issues involved in the functioning of a PV solar plant. Naturally, they can be divided into the groups according to the plant’s main components.

 

O&M Issues in PV Solar Energy

Natural Degradation

All solar cells naturally degrade over time, regardless of the environment they are in. This is called natural degradation, and is completely normal for all solar cells to experience once in operation. Depending on the material, the rate of degradation can vary. This is important to take into account in budgeting and investment planning.

The following table summarizes the degradation rates of solar panels made of different materials. Solar DAO PV plants are among the most robust ones, since the solar panels used are made of crystalline silicon which is characterized by the one of lowest annual degradation rates.

Natural degradation cannot be prevented, but must be taken into account in the planning process. It can also be covered by warranties. Usually, manufacturing companies that produce solar modules offer warranties if degradation rate exceeds certain amounts, for example, if it is more than 0.8–0.6% depending on the particular firm. The good news is that the higher quality panel, the less natural degradation.

The degradation rate must be weighed against the cost and the utility of particular materials from which the solar models are made. The following chart, provided by Scandia Labs, demonstrates the estimates for Average Utility-Scale Solar PV O&M Costs, by Technology ($/kWAC-yr), including different types of solar panels materials, as well as different types of trackers with which the panels are equipped. Here, again, crystalline silicon stands out, as do conventional solar panels as opposed to concentrating photovoltaics that uses lenses and curved mirrors to focus sunlight on the solar cells.

  • CdTe — cadmium telluride

  • DAT — dual-axis tracking
  • CIGS — copper indium gallium selenide
  • CPV — concentrating photovoltaics
  • c-Si — crystalline silicon

  • SAT — single-axis tracking

Grounding and Lightning Protection

PV solar plant is a structure of considerable size, which is why some lightning protection is in order. The first level of such protection is the ground mount system itself, whereby the grounding system redirects the energy from the lightning into the ground and away from the panels. Depending on the foundation, different forms of grounding can be used, as summarized in the following table provided by the Desert Research Institute.

Even with a proper grounding system, a PV installation can still be at risk from lightning. Even after the lightning energy has been discharged into the ground, it can still cause a power surge within the solar panels array, which is why a surge protection equipment is in order. In some cases it is not needed, if the grounding system is effective enough to reduce the lightning strike energy.

Maintenance can be broken down in two parts:

Scheduled maintenance: Planned in advance and aimed at fault prevention, as well as ensuring that the plant is operated at its optimum level.
Unscheduled maintenance: Carried out in response to failures. Another way to classify the PV O&M approaches is to break them down into three categories, each with different cost-benefit trade offs and risk profiles:

Preventative maintenance (PM)

encompasses routine inspection and servicing of equipment — at frequencies determined by equipment type, environmental conditions, and warranty terms in an O&M services agreement — to prevent breakdowns and unnecessary production losses. Th is approach is becoming increasingly popular because of its perceived ability to lower the probability of unplanned PV system downtime. However, the upfront costs associated with PM programs are moderate and the underlying structure of PM can engender superfluous labor activity if not optimally designed.

Corrective or reactive: maintenance addresses equipment repair needs and breakdowns after their occurrence and, as such, is instituted to mitigate unplanned downtime. The historical industry standard, this “break-fi x” method allows for low upfront costs, but also brings with it a higher risk of component failure and accompanying higher costs on the backend (perhaps placing a premium on negotiating extended warranty terms). Thuough a certain amount of reactive maintenance will likely be necessary over the course of a plant’s 20-25 year lifetime, it can be lessened through more proactive PM and condition-based maintenance (CBM) strategies.
Condition-based maintenance (CBM): uses real-time data to anticipate failures and prioritize maintenance activities and resources. A rising number of third party integrators and turnkey providers are instituting CBM regimes to offer greater O&M efficiency. The increased efficiency, however, comes with a high upfront price tag given communication and monitoring software and hardware requirements. Moreover, the relative novelty of CBM can produce maintenance process challenges caused in part by monitoring equipment malfunction and/or erratic data collection.

Preventative Maintenance (PM) includes the following activities

  • Panel Cleaning
  • Retro-Commissioning (identifies and solves problems that have developed during the course of the PV system’s life.)
  • Water Drainage
  • Upkeep of Data Acquisition and Monitoring Systems (e.g., electronics, sensors)
  • Vegetation Management
  • Upkeep of Power Generation System (e.g., Inverter Servicing, BOS Inspection, Tracker Maintenance)
  • Wildlife Prevention
  • Site maintenance (e.g., security, road/fence repair, environmental compliance, snow removal, etc.).

Corrective/Reactive Maintenance typically includes

  • On-Site Monitoring
  • Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) usually consists in Active Monitoring — Remote and On-Site Options Equipment Replacement (Planned and Unplanned) and Warranty Enforcement (Planned and Unplanned).
  • Critical Reactive Repair (high priority, addresses production losses issues)
  • Warranty Enforcement
  • Non-Critical Reactive Repair (addresses production degradation issues)

Contracts & Obligations

1. Key Contractual Provisos (KCP)
KCPs in O&M contracts impact the O&M budgeting considerations and approaches, and typically include:

  • ervice-level agreements (SLA) — specify compliance timeframes for responding to and resolving a range of plant conditions, based on equipment type and issue severity level.
  • Availability or “uptime” guarantees — define the percentage of time that a system must be fully able to produce electricity. Availability guarantees are typically set at 97–99% per year.
  • Performance ratio and yield guarantees — stipulate plant performance levels (e.g., a minimum amount of energy delivered) according to measured solar irradiation at a site, based on system design and modeled plant behavior — which can be variable, thus introducing risks.
  • These guarantees account for Force Majeure events and warranty defects.
  • Production guarantees — state annual plant production levels, independent of weather conditions. Insurance coverage can be used to mitigate weather risk, though it can be an expensive policy to underwrite.
  • Performance incentives — reward/penalize for plant performance that misses, meets, or exceeds projected production levels.
  • Energy-based contracts — links plant production (kWh/yr) with O&M service provider revenues so that associated expenses are calibrated according to low (fall/winter) and high (spring/summer) revenue periods.

2. O&M Contract Contents
The purpose of an O&M contract is to optimise the performance of the plant within established cost parameters. To do this effectively, the O&M contract should clearly set out:

    • Services to be carried out by, and obligations of, the contractor.
      Frequency of the services.
    • Obligations of the owner.
    • Standards, legislation and guidelines with which the contractor must comply.
    • Payment structure.
    • Performance guarantees and operational targets.
    • Methodologies for calculating plant availability and/or performance ratio.
    • Methodologies for calculating liquidated damages/ bonus payments in the event of plant under- or overperformance.
    • Terms and conditions.
    • Legal aspects.
    • Insurance requirements and responsibilities.

3. O&M Contractor Services and Obligations
The O&M contract should list the services to be performed by the contractor, including the following entries:

  • Plant monitoring requirements.
  • Scheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Unscheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Agreed targets and/or guarantees (for example, response time or system availability figure) Reporting requirements (including performance, environmental, health and safety, and labour relations reporting).
  • The contractor should also be contractually obliged to optimise
  • plant performance. Additionally, it should be stipulated that all maintenance tasks should be performed in such a way that their impact on the productivity of the system is minimised.

The O&M contract will also typically define the terms by which the contractor is to:

    • Provide, at intervals, a visual check of the system components for visible damage and defects.
    • Provide, at intervals, a functional test of the system components.

Ensure that the required maintenance will be conducted on all components of the system. As a minimum, these activities should be in line with manufacturer recommendations and the conditions of the equipment warranties.

  • Provide appropriate cleaning of the modules and the removal of snow (site-specific).
  • Make sure that the natural environment of the system is maintained to avoid shading and aid maintenance activities.

 

Replace defective system components and system components whose failure is deemed imminent.

  • Provide daily (typically during business hours) remote monitoring of the performance of the PV plant to identify when performance drops below set trigger levels.

 

In an O&M contract, the obligations of the owner/ developer are generally limited to granting the O&M contractor access to the system and all the associated land and access points, obtaining all approvals, licences and permits necessary for the legal operation of the plant providing the O&M contractor with all relevant documents and information, such as those detailed above, that are necessary for the operational management of the plant.

Solar Power Consultancy

Our Engineers with their professional and experienced team will provide the consultancy services to the solar power plant developers from project conception to project commissioning.

We show commitment to facilitate solar power project developers and offer highly flexible services for project development in synchronization with Government renewable energy policies.

Solar Power Plant services include

What is a Prefeasibility Report?
A prefeasibility report is a document that provides preliminary inferences on the technical and economic feasibility of a project. Rather than conduct detailed technical and economic studies, prefeasibility research does a first level evaluation of a project, using the most important evaluation parameters.
Prefeasibility reports are useful because they provide a first-level inference at low cost and within a short duration. On the other hand, detailed feasibility studies take much longer and take many months for completion.
Typically, companies exploring large projects conduct prefeasibility research first and decide on a full feasibility study later, based on the inferences of the prefeasibility report.

A prefeasibility report comprises the following

  • ArialMarket review of the renewable energy source in India.

  • Current and future potential for the renewable energy source in India

  • Details on capital and operational costs and first level break-downs of these costs.

  • Details on the possible technologies for the renewable energy and the availability of these technologies in India.

  • Details on the production of Solar Power Project.
  • Additional feasibility details such as land requirements, and raw material/energy resource availability.

  • Government policies and incentives.

  • Bottlenecks and barriers.

     

  • Solar Irradiance Analysis and Project Financial Feasibility Report.

  • We provide end to end services for the project completion.

Preparation of Detailed Project Report

Detailed project report is prepared for the investment decision-making approval, but also execution of the project and also preparation of the plan. Detailed project report is a complete document for investment decision-making, approval, planning. Detailed project report is base document for planning the project and implementing the project.

Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) are the outputs of planning and design phase of a project. DPR is a very detailed and elaborate plan for a project indicating overall programme, different roles and responsibilities, activities and resources required for the project. To be more precise, A DPR is a final, detailed appraisal report on the project and a blue print for its execution and eventual operation. It provide details of the basic programme the roles and responsibilities, all the activities to be carried out and the resources required and possible risk with recommended measure to counter them.

The success of project is measured on the basis of:-

 

null

Project

Whether the project was completed on time.

null

Cost of Project

Whether actual cost of project was within reasonable limits of escalation.

null

Completion of The Project

Whether after completion of the project it was able to deliver the products of desired quality and in adequate quantity to clients satisfaction at profitable costs.

null

Project Gestation Period

Whether the project gestation period was within planned duration.

The main sub-division in a DPR

General Information of the project

null

Background and the experience of the project promoters

null

Details and working result of industrial concerns already owned and promoted by the project promoters.

Details of the proposed project

  • Plant capacity

  • Technical knowhow/ tie-ups.

  • Management teams for the project.

  • Details of land, and plant and machinery.

  • Details of infrastructural facilities

  • Raw material requirement/ availability.

  • Effluents produced by the project & treatment procedures adopted

  • Labour requirement and availability.

  • Schedule of implement of the project

  • Project cost

  • Means of financial projects.

  • Working capital requirement/arrangements made

  • Profitability and cash flow estimates

  • Mode of repayment of loans.

  • Government approvals. Local body consents and statutory permissions.

  • Details of collaterals security that can offered to the financial institutions.

Project Financing

What is Project Finance

Project finance is the financing of long-term infrastructure, industrial projects and public services using a non-recourse or limited recourse financial structure. The debt and equity used to finance the project are paid back from the cash flow generated by the project. Project financing is a loan structure that relies primarily on the project’s cash flow for repayment, with the project’s assets, rights and interests held as secondary collateral. Project finance is especially attractive to the private sector because companies can fund major projects off-balance-sheet.

SOLAR EPC SERVICES

The EPC Vertical consists of design and development team through specialized multiple software’s, for building the solar power plant project report. Our range of services includes testing and simulation of the system, analyzing the various aspects such as tilt angle, shadow effect, structure design etc.
This allows us precisely design of each and every system component. Consequently, solar power plants become more efficient and reliable with enhanced life span.We monitor the execution of the SPV project, coordinating with all construction phases right form procurement and quality tests.With the result of close co-ordination, we achieve the target within deadlines specified. This saves several units of electricity for large-scale PV power plant. 
Sunomatic Power is a head quartered at Noida, NCR with branch offices in major northern India cities viz. – Chandigarh, Karnal, Dehradun ,Indore, Fatehabad, Mandi and banda. Sunomatic Power offers various ranges of services for Grid Connected KW scale & MW Scale.

 

For Residential Rooftop solution KW scale projects in various segments:

RESIDENTIAL SECTOR
Independent House
High rise society/apartments
Farm Houses
Luxury Villas

COMMERCIAL SECTOR
Showroom Applications
Petrol Pumps
Shopping Malls
Small offices.

 

INDUSTRIAL SECTOR:
Industries / Factories
Big Corporate offices
Warehouses

 

HOSPITALITY SECTOR :
Boutique Hotels

Restaurants/Food Park
Big Hotels
Marriage Halls

 

HOSPITAL SECTOR :
Small/big Hospital
Research Institutes
Educational Sector

Schools:
Institutes and Colleges

Universities
Training Centre’s

Sunomatic Power offers MW scale solutions for ground mounted PV plants including various services viz –

Site Survey and feasibility report generation through software
Signing of Power Purchase Agreement ( PPA) for RESCO/OPEX Ground Mounted Solar projects.
Preparing and presenting Detailed Project Report (DPR).
Selling of PPA to private industrialist and large corporate houses.
Project Development and Consultancy Services from scratch.
Leasing and Financing of land for project development.
Arranging various NOC and Approvals for pre and post project stage.
EPC Solutions for installation and commissioning of Solar PV plant.
This includes supply of Hot dip galvanized ground mounted structure for mounting purpose. 

Operations & Maintenance

Operations & Maintenance

Once the PV solar plant has been built, it needs to be efficiently operated and carefully maintained. Compared to other power generating technologies, solar PV power plants have low maintenance and servicing requirements. However, as International Financial Corporation warns, “proper maintenance of a PV plant is essential to maximise both energy yield and the plant’s useful life. Optimal operations must strike a balance between maximising production and minimising cost”.

Indeed, while solar energy does require almost no maintenance at all as compared to the other generation sources, PV solar plants are investments that are likely to last for 20–25 years or more, and that’s why in order to arrive at an accurate ROI figure, one needs to address the operation and maintenance issues. Thus, before turning to the actual process and stages of maintenance and operation, one needs to understand the issues involved in the functioning of a PV solar plant. Naturally, they can be divided into the groups according to the plant’s main components.

 

O&M Issues in PV Solar Energy

Natural Degradation

All solar cells naturally degrade over time, regardless of the environment they are in. This is called natural degradation, and is completely normal for all solar cells to experience once in operation. Depending on the material, the rate of degradation can vary. This is important to take into account in budgeting and investment planning.

The following table summarizes the degradation rates of solar panels made of different materials. Solar DAO PV plants are among the most robust ones, since the solar panels used are made of crystalline silicon which is characterized by the one of lowest annual degradation rates.

Natural degradation cannot be prevented, but must be taken into account in the planning process. It can also be covered by warranties. Usually, manufacturing companies that produce solar modules offer warranties if degradation rate exceeds certain amounts, for example, if it is more than 0.8–0.6% depending on the particular firm. The good news is that the higher quality panel, the less natural degradation.

The degradation rate must be weighed against the cost and the utility of particular materials from which the solar models are made. The following chart, provided by Scandia Labs, demonstrates the estimates for Average Utility-Scale Solar PV O&M Costs, by Technology ($/kWAC-yr), including different types of solar panels materials, as well as different types of trackers with which the panels are equipped. Here, again, crystalline silicon stands out, as do conventional solar panels as opposed to concentrating photovoltaics that uses lenses and curved mirrors to focus sunlight on the solar cells.

  • CdTe — cadmium telluride

  • DAT — dual-axis tracking
  • CIGS — copper indium gallium selenide
  • CPV — concentrating photovoltaics
  • c-Si — crystalline silicon

  • SAT — single-axis tracking

Grounding and Lightning Protection

PV solar plant is a structure of considerable size, which is why some lightning protection is in order. The first level of such protection is the ground mount system itself, whereby the grounding system redirects the energy from the lightning into the ground and away from the panels. Depending on the foundation, different forms of grounding can be used, as summarized in the following table provided by the Desert Research Institute.

Even with a proper grounding system, a PV installation can still be at risk from lightning. Even after the lightning energy has been discharged into the ground, it can still cause a power surge within the solar panels array, which is why a surge protection equipment is in order. In some cases it is not needed, if the grounding system is effective enough to reduce the lightning strike energy.

Maintenance can be broken down in two parts:

Scheduled maintenance: Planned in advance and aimed at fault prevention, as well as ensuring that the plant is operated at its optimum level.
Unscheduled maintenance: Carried out in response to failures. Another way to classify the PV O&M approaches is to break them down into three categories, each with different cost-benefit trade offs and risk profiles:

Preventative maintenance (PM)

encompasses routine inspection and servicing of equipment — at frequencies determined by equipment type, environmental conditions, and warranty terms in an O&M services agreement — to prevent breakdowns and unnecessary production losses. Th is approach is becoming increasingly popular because of its perceived ability to lower the probability of unplanned PV system downtime. However, the upfront costs associated with PM programs are moderate and the underlying structure of PM can engender superfluous labor activity if not optimally designed.

Corrective or reactive: maintenance addresses equipment repair needs and breakdowns after their occurrence and, as such, is instituted to mitigate unplanned downtime. The historical industry standard, this “break-fi x” method allows for low upfront costs, but also brings with it a higher risk of component failure and accompanying higher costs on the backend (perhaps placing a premium on negotiating extended warranty terms). Thuough a certain amount of reactive maintenance will likely be necessary over the course of a plant’s 20-25 year lifetime, it can be lessened through more proactive PM and condition-based maintenance (CBM) strategies.
Condition-based maintenance (CBM): uses real-time data to anticipate failures and prioritize maintenance activities and resources. A rising number of third party integrators and turnkey providers are instituting CBM regimes to offer greater O&M efficiency. The increased efficiency, however, comes with a high upfront price tag given communication and monitoring software and hardware requirements. Moreover, the relative novelty of CBM can produce maintenance process challenges caused in part by monitoring equipment malfunction and/or erratic data collection.

Preventative Maintenance (PM) includes the following activities

  • Panel Cleaning
  • Retro-Commissioning (identifies and solves problems that have developed during the course of the PV system’s life.)
  • Water Drainage
  • Upkeep of Data Acquisition and Monitoring Systems (e.g., electronics, sensors)
  • Vegetation Management
  • Upkeep of Power Generation System (e.g., Inverter Servicing, BOS Inspection, Tracker Maintenance)
  • Wildlife Prevention
  • Site maintenance (e.g., security, road/fence repair, environmental compliance, snow removal, etc.).

Corrective/Reactive Maintenance typically includes

  • On-Site Monitoring
  • Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) usually consists in Active Monitoring — Remote and On-Site Options Equipment Replacement (Planned and Unplanned) and Warranty Enforcement (Planned and Unplanned).
  • Critical Reactive Repair (high priority, addresses production losses issues)
  • Warranty Enforcement
  • Non-Critical Reactive Repair (addresses production degradation issues)

Contracts & Obligations

1. Key Contractual Provisos (KCP)
KCPs in O&M contracts impact the O&M budgeting considerations and approaches, and typically include:

  • ervice-level agreements (SLA) — specify compliance timeframes for responding to and resolving a range of plant conditions, based on equipment type and issue severity level.
  • Availability or “uptime” guarantees — define the percentage of time that a system must be fully able to produce electricity. Availability guarantees are typically set at 97–99% per year.
  • Performance ratio and yield guarantees — stipulate plant performance levels (e.g., a minimum amount of energy delivered) according to measured solar irradiation at a site, based on system design and modeled plant behavior — which can be variable, thus introducing risks.
  • These guarantees account for Force Majeure events and warranty defects.
  • Production guarantees — state annual plant production levels, independent of weather conditions. Insurance coverage can be used to mitigate weather risk, though it can be an expensive policy to underwrite.
  • Performance incentives — reward/penalize for plant performance that misses, meets, or exceeds projected production levels.
  • Energy-based contracts — links plant production (kWh/yr) with O&M service provider revenues so that associated expenses are calibrated according to low (fall/winter) and high (spring/summer) revenue periods.

2. O&M Contract Contents
The purpose of an O&M contract is to optimise the performance of the plant within established cost parameters. To do this effectively, the O&M contract should clearly set out:

    • Services to be carried out by, and obligations of, the contractor.
      Frequency of the services.
    • Obligations of the owner.
    • Standards, legislation and guidelines with which the contractor must comply.
    • Payment structure.
    • Performance guarantees and operational targets.
    • Methodologies for calculating plant availability and/or performance ratio.
    • Methodologies for calculating liquidated damages/ bonus payments in the event of plant under- or overperformance.
    • Terms and conditions.
    • Legal aspects.
    • Insurance requirements and responsibilities.

3. O&M Contractor Services and Obligations
The O&M contract should list the services to be performed by the contractor, including the following entries:

  • Plant monitoring requirements.
  • Scheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Unscheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Agreed targets and/or guarantees (for example, response time or system availability figure) Reporting requirements (including performance, environmental, health and safety, and labour relations reporting).
  • The contractor should also be contractually obliged to optimise
  • plant performance. Additionally, it should be stipulated that all maintenance tasks should be performed in such a way that their impact on the productivity of the system is minimised.

The O&M contract will also typically define the terms by which the contractor is to:

    • Provide, at intervals, a visual check of the system components for visible damage and defects.
    • Provide, at intervals, a functional test of the system components.

Ensure that the required maintenance will be conducted on all components of the system. As a minimum, these activities should be in line with manufacturer recommendations and the conditions of the equipment warranties.

  • Provide appropriate cleaning of the modules and the removal of snow (site-specific).
  • Make sure that the natural environment of the system is maintained to avoid shading and aid maintenance activities.

 

Replace defective system components and system components whose failure is deemed imminent.

  • Provide daily (typically during business hours) remote monitoring of the performance of the PV plant to identify when performance drops below set trigger levels.

 

In an O&M contract, the obligations of the owner/ developer are generally limited to granting the O&M contractor access to the system and all the associated land and access points, obtaining all approvals, licences and permits necessary for the legal operation of the plant providing the O&M contractor with all relevant documents and information, such as those detailed above, that are necessary for the operational management of the plant.

Third Party SolarPower Project Inspections

Operations & Maintenance

Once the PV solar plant has been built, it needs to be efficiently operated and carefully maintained. Compared to other power generating technologies, solar PV power plants have low maintenance and servicing requirements. However, as International Financial Corporation warns, “proper maintenance of a PV plant is essential to maximise both energy yield and the plant’s useful life. Optimal operations must strike a balance between maximising production and minimising cost”.

Indeed, while solar energy does require almost no maintenance at all as compared to the other generation sources, PV solar plants are investments that are likely to last for 20–25 years or more, and that’s why in order to arrive at an accurate ROI figure, one needs to address the operation and maintenance issues. Thus, before turning to the actual process and stages of maintenance and operation, one needs to understand the issues involved in the functioning of a PV solar plant. Naturally, they can be divided into the groups according to the plant’s main components.

 

O&M Issues in PV Solar Energy

Natural Degradation

All solar cells naturally degrade over time, regardless of the environment they are in. This is called natural degradation, and is completely normal for all solar cells to experience once in operation. Depending on the material, the rate of degradation can vary. This is important to take into account in budgeting and investment planning.

The following table summarizes the degradation rates of solar panels made of different materials. Solar DAO PV plants are among the most robust ones, since the solar panels used are made of crystalline silicon which is characterized by the one of lowest annual degradation rates.

Natural degradation cannot be prevented, but must be taken into account in the planning process. It can also be covered by warranties. Usually, manufacturing companies that produce solar modules offer warranties if degradation rate exceeds certain amounts, for example, if it is more than 0.8–0.6% depending on the particular firm. The good news is that the higher quality panel, the less natural degradation.

The degradation rate must be weighed against the cost and the utility of particular materials from which the solar models are made. The following chart, provided by Scandia Labs, demonstrates the estimates for Average Utility-Scale Solar PV O&M Costs, by Technology ($/kWAC-yr), including different types of solar panels materials, as well as different types of trackers with which the panels are equipped. Here, again, crystalline silicon stands out, as do conventional solar panels as opposed to concentrating photovoltaics that uses lenses and curved mirrors to focus sunlight on the solar cells.

  • CdTe — cadmium telluride

  • DAT — dual-axis tracking
  • CIGS — copper indium gallium selenide
  • CPV — concentrating photovoltaics
  • c-Si — crystalline silicon

  • SAT — single-axis tracking

Grounding and Lightning Protection

PV solar plant is a structure of considerable size, which is why some lightning protection is in order. The first level of such protection is the ground mount system itself, whereby the grounding system redirects the energy from the lightning into the ground and away from the panels. Depending on the foundation, different forms of grounding can be used, as summarized in the following table provided by the Desert Research Institute.

Even with a proper grounding system, a PV installation can still be at risk from lightning. Even after the lightning energy has been discharged into the ground, it can still cause a power surge within the solar panels array, which is why a surge protection equipment is in order. In some cases it is not needed, if the grounding system is effective enough to reduce the lightning strike energy.

Maintenance can be broken down in two parts:

Scheduled maintenance: Planned in advance and aimed at fault prevention, as well as ensuring that the plant is operated at its optimum level.
Unscheduled maintenance: Carried out in response to failures. Another way to classify the PV O&M approaches is to break them down into three categories, each with different cost-benefit trade offs and risk profiles:

Preventative maintenance (PM)

encompasses routine inspection and servicing of equipment — at frequencies determined by equipment type, environmental conditions, and warranty terms in an O&M services agreement — to prevent breakdowns and unnecessary production losses. Th is approach is becoming increasingly popular because of its perceived ability to lower the probability of unplanned PV system downtime. However, the upfront costs associated with PM programs are moderate and the underlying structure of PM can engender superfluous labor activity if not optimally designed.

Corrective or reactive: maintenance addresses equipment repair needs and breakdowns after their occurrence and, as such, is instituted to mitigate unplanned downtime. The historical industry standard, this “break-fi x” method allows for low upfront costs, but also brings with it a higher risk of component failure and accompanying higher costs on the backend (perhaps placing a premium on negotiating extended warranty terms). Thuough a certain amount of reactive maintenance will likely be necessary over the course of a plant’s 20-25 year lifetime, it can be lessened through more proactive PM and condition-based maintenance (CBM) strategies.
Condition-based maintenance (CBM): uses real-time data to anticipate failures and prioritize maintenance activities and resources. A rising number of third party integrators and turnkey providers are instituting CBM regimes to offer greater O&M efficiency. The increased efficiency, however, comes with a high upfront price tag given communication and monitoring software and hardware requirements. Moreover, the relative novelty of CBM can produce maintenance process challenges caused in part by monitoring equipment malfunction and/or erratic data collection.

Preventative Maintenance (PM) includes the following activities

  • Panel Cleaning
  • Retro-Commissioning (identifies and solves problems that have developed during the course of the PV system’s life.)
  • Water Drainage
  • Upkeep of Data Acquisition and Monitoring Systems (e.g., electronics, sensors)
  • Vegetation Management
  • Upkeep of Power Generation System (e.g., Inverter Servicing, BOS Inspection, Tracker Maintenance)
  • Wildlife Prevention
  • Site maintenance (e.g., security, road/fence repair, environmental compliance, snow removal, etc.).

Corrective/Reactive Maintenance typically includes

  • On-Site Monitoring
  • Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) usually consists in Active Monitoring — Remote and On-Site Options Equipment Replacement (Planned and Unplanned) and Warranty Enforcement (Planned and Unplanned).
  • Critical Reactive Repair (high priority, addresses production losses issues)
  • Warranty Enforcement
  • Non-Critical Reactive Repair (addresses production degradation issues)

Contracts & Obligations

1. Key Contractual Provisos (KCP)
KCPs in O&M contracts impact the O&M budgeting considerations and approaches, and typically include:

  • ervice-level agreements (SLA) — specify compliance timeframes for responding to and resolving a range of plant conditions, based on equipment type and issue severity level.
  • Availability or “uptime” guarantees — define the percentage of time that a system must be fully able to produce electricity. Availability guarantees are typically set at 97–99% per year.
  • Performance ratio and yield guarantees — stipulate plant performance levels (e.g., a minimum amount of energy delivered) according to measured solar irradiation at a site, based on system design and modeled plant behavior — which can be variable, thus introducing risks.
  • These guarantees account for Force Majeure events and warranty defects.
  • Production guarantees — state annual plant production levels, independent of weather conditions. Insurance coverage can be used to mitigate weather risk, though it can be an expensive policy to underwrite.
  • Performance incentives — reward/penalize for plant performance that misses, meets, or exceeds projected production levels.
  • Energy-based contracts — links plant production (kWh/yr) with O&M service provider revenues so that associated expenses are calibrated according to low (fall/winter) and high (spring/summer) revenue periods.

2. O&M Contract Contents
The purpose of an O&M contract is to optimise the performance of the plant within established cost parameters. To do this effectively, the O&M contract should clearly set out:

    • Services to be carried out by, and obligations of, the contractor.
      Frequency of the services.
    • Obligations of the owner.
    • Standards, legislation and guidelines with which the contractor must comply.
    • Payment structure.
    • Performance guarantees and operational targets.
    • Methodologies for calculating plant availability and/or performance ratio.
    • Methodologies for calculating liquidated damages/ bonus payments in the event of plant under- or overperformance.
    • Terms and conditions.
    • Legal aspects.
    • Insurance requirements and responsibilities.

3. O&M Contractor Services and Obligations
The O&M contract should list the services to be performed by the contractor, including the following entries:

  • Plant monitoring requirements.
  • Scheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Unscheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Agreed targets and/or guarantees (for example, response time or system availability figure) Reporting requirements (including performance, environmental, health and safety, and labour relations reporting).
  • The contractor should also be contractually obliged to optimise
  • plant performance. Additionally, it should be stipulated that all maintenance tasks should be performed in such a way that their impact on the productivity of the system is minimised.

The O&M contract will also typically define the terms by which the contractor is to:

    • Provide, at intervals, a visual check of the system components for visible damage and defects.
    • Provide, at intervals, a functional test of the system components.

Ensure that the required maintenance will be conducted on all components of the system. As a minimum, these activities should be in line with manufacturer recommendations and the conditions of the equipment warranties.

  • Provide appropriate cleaning of the modules and the removal of snow (site-specific).
  • Make sure that the natural environment of the system is maintained to avoid shading and aid maintenance activities.

 

Replace defective system components and system components whose failure is deemed imminent.

  • Provide daily (typically during business hours) remote monitoring of the performance of the PV plant to identify when performance drops below set trigger levels.

 

In an O&M contract, the obligations of the owner/ developer are generally limited to granting the O&M contractor access to the system and all the associated land and access points, obtaining all approvals, licences and permits necessary for the legal operation of the plant providing the O&M contractor with all relevant documents and information, such as those detailed above, that are necessary for the operational management of the plant.

Quality Assurance Services

Operations & Maintenance

Once the PV solar plant has been built, it needs to be efficiently operated and carefully maintained. Compared to other power generating technologies, solar PV power plants have low maintenance and servicing requirements. However, as International Financial Corporation warns, “proper maintenance of a PV plant is essential to maximise both energy yield and the plant’s useful life. Optimal operations must strike a balance between maximising production and minimising cost”.

Indeed, while solar energy does require almost no maintenance at all as compared to the other generation sources, PV solar plants are investments that are likely to last for 20–25 years or more, and that’s why in order to arrive at an accurate ROI figure, one needs to address the operation and maintenance issues. Thus, before turning to the actual process and stages of maintenance and operation, one needs to understand the issues involved in the functioning of a PV solar plant. Naturally, they can be divided into the groups according to the plant’s main components.

 

O&M Issues in PV Solar Energy

Natural Degradation

All solar cells naturally degrade over time, regardless of the environment they are in. This is called natural degradation, and is completely normal for all solar cells to experience once in operation. Depending on the material, the rate of degradation can vary. This is important to take into account in budgeting and investment planning.

The following table summarizes the degradation rates of solar panels made of different materials. Solar DAO PV plants are among the most robust ones, since the solar panels used are made of crystalline silicon which is characterized by the one of lowest annual degradation rates.

Natural degradation cannot be prevented, but must be taken into account in the planning process. It can also be covered by warranties. Usually, manufacturing companies that produce solar modules offer warranties if degradation rate exceeds certain amounts, for example, if it is more than 0.8–0.6% depending on the particular firm. The good news is that the higher quality panel, the less natural degradation.

The degradation rate must be weighed against the cost and the utility of particular materials from which the solar models are made. The following chart, provided by Scandia Labs, demonstrates the estimates for Average Utility-Scale Solar PV O&M Costs, by Technology ($/kWAC-yr), including different types of solar panels materials, as well as different types of trackers with which the panels are equipped. Here, again, crystalline silicon stands out, as do conventional solar panels as opposed to concentrating photovoltaics that uses lenses and curved mirrors to focus sunlight on the solar cells.

  • CdTe — cadmium telluride

  • DAT — dual-axis tracking
  • CIGS — copper indium gallium selenide
  • CPV — concentrating photovoltaics
  • c-Si — crystalline silicon

  • SAT — single-axis tracking

Grounding and Lightning Protection

PV solar plant is a structure of considerable size, which is why some lightning protection is in order. The first level of such protection is the ground mount system itself, whereby the grounding system redirects the energy from the lightning into the ground and away from the panels. Depending on the foundation, different forms of grounding can be used, as summarized in the following table provided by the Desert Research Institute.

Even with a proper grounding system, a PV installation can still be at risk from lightning. Even after the lightning energy has been discharged into the ground, it can still cause a power surge within the solar panels array, which is why a surge protection equipment is in order. In some cases it is not needed, if the grounding system is effective enough to reduce the lightning strike energy.

Maintenance can be broken down in two parts:

Scheduled maintenance: Planned in advance and aimed at fault prevention, as well as ensuring that the plant is operated at its optimum level.
Unscheduled maintenance: Carried out in response to failures. Another way to classify the PV O&M approaches is to break them down into three categories, each with different cost-benefit trade offs and risk profiles:

Preventative maintenance (PM)

encompasses routine inspection and servicing of equipment — at frequencies determined by equipment type, environmental conditions, and warranty terms in an O&M services agreement — to prevent breakdowns and unnecessary production losses. Th is approach is becoming increasingly popular because of its perceived ability to lower the probability of unplanned PV system downtime. However, the upfront costs associated with PM programs are moderate and the underlying structure of PM can engender superfluous labor activity if not optimally designed.

Corrective or reactive: maintenance addresses equipment repair needs and breakdowns after their occurrence and, as such, is instituted to mitigate unplanned downtime. The historical industry standard, this “break-fi x” method allows for low upfront costs, but also brings with it a higher risk of component failure and accompanying higher costs on the backend (perhaps placing a premium on negotiating extended warranty terms). Thuough a certain amount of reactive maintenance will likely be necessary over the course of a plant’s 20-25 year lifetime, it can be lessened through more proactive PM and condition-based maintenance (CBM) strategies.
Condition-based maintenance (CBM): uses real-time data to anticipate failures and prioritize maintenance activities and resources. A rising number of third party integrators and turnkey providers are instituting CBM regimes to offer greater O&M efficiency. The increased efficiency, however, comes with a high upfront price tag given communication and monitoring software and hardware requirements. Moreover, the relative novelty of CBM can produce maintenance process challenges caused in part by monitoring equipment malfunction and/or erratic data collection.

Preventative Maintenance (PM) includes the following activities

  • Panel Cleaning
  • Retro-Commissioning (identifies and solves problems that have developed during the course of the PV system’s life.)
  • Water Drainage
  • Upkeep of Data Acquisition and Monitoring Systems (e.g., electronics, sensors)
  • Vegetation Management
  • Upkeep of Power Generation System (e.g., Inverter Servicing, BOS Inspection, Tracker Maintenance)
  • Wildlife Prevention
  • Site maintenance (e.g., security, road/fence repair, environmental compliance, snow removal, etc.).

Corrective/Reactive Maintenance typically includes

  • On-Site Monitoring
  • Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) usually consists in Active Monitoring — Remote and On-Site Options Equipment Replacement (Planned and Unplanned) and Warranty Enforcement (Planned and Unplanned).
  • Critical Reactive Repair (high priority, addresses production losses issues)
  • Warranty Enforcement
  • Non-Critical Reactive Repair (addresses production degradation issues)

Contracts & Obligations

1. Key Contractual Provisos (KCP)
KCPs in O&M contracts impact the O&M budgeting considerations and approaches, and typically include:

  • ervice-level agreements (SLA) — specify compliance timeframes for responding to and resolving a range of plant conditions, based on equipment type and issue severity level.
  • Availability or “uptime” guarantees — define the percentage of time that a system must be fully able to produce electricity. Availability guarantees are typically set at 97–99% per year.
  • Performance ratio and yield guarantees — stipulate plant performance levels (e.g., a minimum amount of energy delivered) according to measured solar irradiation at a site, based on system design and modeled plant behavior — which can be variable, thus introducing risks.
  • These guarantees account for Force Majeure events and warranty defects.
  • Production guarantees — state annual plant production levels, independent of weather conditions. Insurance coverage can be used to mitigate weather risk, though it can be an expensive policy to underwrite.
  • Performance incentives — reward/penalize for plant performance that misses, meets, or exceeds projected production levels.
  • Energy-based contracts — links plant production (kWh/yr) with O&M service provider revenues so that associated expenses are calibrated according to low (fall/winter) and high (spring/summer) revenue periods.

2. O&M Contract Contents
The purpose of an O&M contract is to optimise the performance of the plant within established cost parameters. To do this effectively, the O&M contract should clearly set out:

    • Services to be carried out by, and obligations of, the contractor.
      Frequency of the services.
    • Obligations of the owner.
    • Standards, legislation and guidelines with which the contractor must comply.
    • Payment structure.
    • Performance guarantees and operational targets.
    • Methodologies for calculating plant availability and/or performance ratio.
    • Methodologies for calculating liquidated damages/ bonus payments in the event of plant under- or overperformance.
    • Terms and conditions.
    • Legal aspects.
    • Insurance requirements and responsibilities.

3. O&M Contractor Services and Obligations
The O&M contract should list the services to be performed by the contractor, including the following entries:

  • Plant monitoring requirements.
  • Scheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Unscheduled maintenance requirements.
  • Agreed targets and/or guarantees (for example, response time or system availability figure) Reporting requirements (including performance, environmental, health and safety, and labour relations reporting).
  • The contractor should also be contractually obliged to optimise
  • plant performance. Additionally, it should be stipulated that all maintenance tasks should be performed in such a way that their impact on the productivity of the system is minimised.

The O&M contract will also typically define the terms by which the contractor is to:

    • Provide, at intervals, a visual check of the system components for visible damage and defects.
    • Provide, at intervals, a functional test of the system components.

Ensure that the required maintenance will be conducted on all components of the system. As a minimum, these activities should be in line with manufacturer recommendations and the conditions of the equipment warranties.

  • Provide appropriate cleaning of the modules and the removal of snow (site-specific).
  • Make sure that the natural environment of the system is maintained to avoid shading and aid maintenance activities.

 

Replace defective system components and system components whose failure is deemed imminent.

  • Provide daily (typically during business hours) remote monitoring of the performance of the PV plant to identify when performance drops below set trigger levels.

 

In an O&M contract, the obligations of the owner/ developer are generally limited to granting the O&M contractor access to the system and all the associated land and access points, obtaining all approvals, licences and permits necessary for the legal operation of the plant providing the O&M contractor with all relevant documents and information, such as those detailed above, that are necessary for the operational management of the plant.