What if it was easier to monitor solar power plants?
Despite appearances, solar power plants require intricate planning in order to be monitored correctly. A reliable monitoring system is a necessary tool to maintain control of the solar plant, so any minor or major malfunction, failure, or defect can be quickly detected. Unfortunately, most solar plants operate with a monitoring system that is only able to monitor inverters. Inavitas Solar can communicate with almost all devices, giving plant decision-makers more comprehensive information.
Uninterrupted power generation is critical for solar power plants. Without this, the solar plant is at risk for factors like equipment damage and loss in power generation, which translate to a loss in revenue.
INSOS Energy Investment Consultant Co, a consultancy and engineering company, owns 20 solar energy sites, totally more than 90 MW around the Anatolian Region, Turkey. This case study is about 2 of Konya sites, commissioned in 2016, 12 power plants with a total capacity of 12 MW, consisting of 480 inverters of 25 kW each from SMA. To manage all of this, a comprehensive monitoring system was needed.
INSOS was noticing voltage fluctuations due to seasonal power demand and site design when nearby agricultural sites would reduce irrigation frequency in the winter time. This caused low energy demand, which led to an increase in voltage instability. The two solar sites were also connected to the power grid via the same feeder in spite of a long distance in between. These factors contributed to losses in power generation. For example, you can see voltage fluctuation causing inverters to shut-down in solar sites from below Inavitas solar screenshot.
INSOS recruited Inavitas Solar to implement their platform to monitor inverters, LV switchgears, transformers, MV switchgear, energy meter and weather station.
With the help of Inavitas Solar, the technical team was able to detect and monitor the voltage instability. This was aided by sophisticated alarms and communication systems. Inavitas updated users on a real-time basis, enabling power plant owners to take necessary actions on time, and increase system performance.
The technical team was able to find a solution to help stabilise the voltage and stop power generation losses by applying an on-load tap changer transformer. Without Inavitas Solar providing an effortless way to view and analyse site data, they wouldn’t have been able to readily identify a solution. Distribution company thanked INSOS for their solution.
Conventional products in the market typically only monitor inverters, opening the possibility of a problem going unnoticed for longer periods of time, or until it becomes larger. Inavitas Solar provided a way for INSOS to quickly detect and respond to failures, with many devices in the system. They avoided having system issues waste money and resources by implementing Inavitas Solar monitoring platform. On average, Inavitas can increase a solar plants performance ratio by 2% – 4%, through the implementation of the platform alone.