Operations & Maintenance

How to clean PV modules of my rooftop solar plant?

There are two methods for cleaning solar PV modules: Dry Cleaning Wet Cleaning   Dry Cleaning In this method of cleaning, a brush, sponge or a cloth is used to clean the surface of the modules without using water or any other liquid. The brush or cloth must not be rubbed vigorously as it may can result in scratches on the surface of the PV module. Dry cleaning may not be suitable for tough strains such as bird-droppings, dead insects, tar etc. Wet Cleaning In this method of cleaning, water is used to eliminate dirt from the surface of the solar PV module. It is done by using a soft cloth, brush, detergent(non-abrasive) and clean water. Few recommendations for wet-cleaning of solar modules: Cleaning time: The recommended time for cleaning modules is during low light conditions when production is lowest. The best time to clean modules is from dusk to dawn when the plant is not in operation and risk of electrical shock hazard is minimum. Quality of water: The water must be free from any suspended particles that could damage the module surface. De-ionized water is preferable for cleaning the modules. If de-ionized water is not available, tapwater or rainwater can also be used Use of cleaning agent: A mild, non-abrasive, non-caustic detergent with water may be used. De-greasers, Acid or alkali detergent should not be used Removing stubborn marks: To remove stubborn dirt such as birds dropping, dead insects, tar etc., use a soft sponge, micro-fiber cloth or non-abrasive brush. Rinse the module […] Read more

What is Capacity Utilization Factor (CUF) in context of rooftop solar plants?

Capacity Utilization Factor (CUF) is the ratio of actual energy generated by rooftop solar plant over the year to the equivalent energy output at its rated capacity. CUF % = annual energy generation from the plant in kWh x 100 / (installed plant capacity in kW x 365 x 24) Minimum CUF is either defined by the state nodal agencies in their tender documents or the installer of the plant or the contractor for operation & maintenance can evaluate the minimum CUF based on the components deployed & local site & environment conditions. Like this:Like Loading... Read more

Do I have any obligations, as an owner of the rooftop solar plant, after I sign an operation & maintenance contract?

After signing the operation & maintenance contract with the contractor, the owner of the rooftop solar plant has following obligations: Information: In order for Contractor to adhere to any Project Contracts on behalf of Owner, Owner should provide Contractor with all manufacturer’s manuals, spare parts lists, plant data books and drawings, or any part thereof. Owner shall also provide Contractor with copies of all Project agreements and any amendments thereto and any other documents that define the plant’s operating requirements; Access to Plant: The Owner shall provide Contractor and its employees with access to the roof where the RTS Plant has been installed – as required for the performance of Contractor’s duties under this Contract. The Contractor shall schedule maintenance in advance with the Owner; Provision of water & Electricity: The Owner should provide water & electricity free of cost for maintenance purpose to the Contractor; Notice of Damage: Owner shall promptly notify Contractor if Owner becomes aware of any damage to or loss of the use of the RTS Plant; Periodic statutory clearances: Necessary statutory approvals on timely basis as may be required from the competent authorities like Chief Electrical Inspector approval, shall be arranged by the owner of the plant; Like this:Like Loading... Read more

How should the disputes be resolved, if arises between the owner of the plant & contractor responsible for operation & maintenance?

If any dispute arises between Owner and Contractor, the parties shall attempt to settle such dispute in the first instance through discussions. The designated representatives of Owner and Contractor shall promptly confer and exert their best efforts in good faith to reach a reasonable and equitable resolution of such dispute.  If the representatives are unable to resolve the dispute, the dispute shall be referred to the responsible senior management of each party for resolution.  If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute, either party may pursue any remedy available at law. Like this:Like Loading... Read more

What are the various classification of activities pertaining to Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of rooftop solar plant?

The various activities related to operation and maintenance of rooftop solar plant can be classified as below: Preventative maintenance: It comprises of routine inspection and servicing of equipment with a specific task periodicity of all key components. This is done ?to prevent breakdowns and unnecessary production losses. Preventive maintenance is carried out in a manner to maintain the component warranties in place. The O&M contract includes scope of services under preventive maintenance and each task periodicity. Corrective maintenance:  It covers the activities to be performed to restore component/s to a status where it can perform the required function. The corrective maintenance takes place after a failure detection either by remote monitoring and supervision or during regular inspections and specific measurement activities. Usually the contractor is obliged to comply with certain response times when there is a need of corrective maintenance. Condition-based maintenance: Condition-based maintenance implicates monitoring of equipment condition and plant operations on a real-time basis and addresses a potential problem at a very early stage to prevent downtime. This approach uses periodic measurements to detect evidence that equipment is deteriorating, with the aim of extending service life by avoiding impending problems. Like this:Like Loading... Read more

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