Date: December 2018
The goal of this guide is to reduce the cost and improve the effectiveness of operations and maintenance (O&M) for photovoltaic (PV) systems and combined PV and energy storage systems. Reported O&M costs vary widely based on the requirements of the system and the nature of the O&M contract, but a more standardized approach to planning and delivering O&M has the potential to both decrease costs and make those costs more predictable over time. However, the bigger payoff for improved O&M is increased performance. Actuarial data indicate that comprehensive PV-only system O&M could improve the average performance ratio (PR, adjusted for age and temperature) of systems from 91.7 to at least 95%, which is a substantial increase in revenue and environmental benefits of a PV system (oSPARC 2018). Drivers to improve O&M include the following: increase efficiency and energy delivery (kWh/kW), decrease downtime (hours/year), extend system lifetime (e.g., from 25 to 40 years for PV modules), reduce cost of O&M ($/kW/year), ensure safety and reduce risk, enhance appearance, and meet requirements of financing and warranties.
The Race to Market As the deadline to IEEE 1547.1 compliance nears, manufacturers of smart inverters will be racing to complete their UL 1741 SB certifications. With 50 companies, 1000 products, and a turn around time of 10-12 weeks to complete functional...