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Cycle 5 (2015 Deadline)

Development of comprehensive performance evaluation and operations and maintenance strategy for the Indian solar sector

PI: Dibin Chandran (, World Institute of Sustainable Energy
Partner: Deepak Sagi, John F. Welch Technology Center, GE/India
Project dates: December 2016  - March 2019

Project Overview:

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Seminar Inauguration welcome speech by Mr. Sanju Thomas, Head, Center for Solar Energy- WISE
This project is aimed at developing a strategic plan and methodology for carrying out performance evaluation and operations and maintenance (O&M) activities for solar power projects in India. Current practices and strategies follow common conventional methods like data collection, analysis, and scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Although most of the country's current power production is from conventional energy resources, there are plans to increase the contribution of non-conventional power sources in the future. Sharp fluctuations in production from these non-conventional sources would have an impact on the total performance of the power grid, so in this context it is better to handle predictive maintenance and performance forecasting in a strategic manner.

The main objectives of the project are (1) development of a performance evaluation strategy considering all relevant factors, (2) development of standard O&M methods, (3) capacity building of government and private stakeholders for the long-term implementation of the strategies, (4) design of policy recommendations based on the project outcomes, and (5) provision of support for the Government of India to achieve its 2022 solar target.

Documentation of the performance evaluation method and O&M strategies for solar power projects should be useful in measuring performance guarantees, as an assessment of system performance, for verification of the performance model that can be applied to a new system. Although the measurement of this performance metric might appear to be straightforward, there are a number of subtleties associated with variations in weather and imperfect data collection that complicate the determination and data analysis.

The performance assessment is most valuable when it is completed with very low uncertainty and when the subtleties are systematically addressed; currently no standard exists to guide this process.

In the Indian scenario, a single performances analysis including O&M strategy will not make any difference because of the geographical complexity of the country and the different climate conditions found in each major region. Up to now, there has been no region-specific analysis, development of performance evaluation standards, or creation of O&M manuals in India.

This team's novel approach in performance evaluation and O&M strategy preparation should help to make a direct impact on the methods and strategies used by solar photovoltaic customers and developers during the implementation phase, while the indirect impact will be on government authorities, helping them to adjust policies accordingly. This research should have an impact on technology solutions so as to strengthen power production from solar photovoltaics at both the utility and small captive project scales.

Summary of Project Events

In this reporting period ending March 2018, according to the analysis done from site data, major issues facing by solar PV power projects have been listed. Detailed literature survey and practical analysis has been started for these listed site issues.

The PI and his team analyzed the soiling effect of solar PV panels. These include effect of soiling, types of cleaning, quantification of soiling by calculating ‘Soil Ratio” etc. Technical document prepared out of study has been submitted for publication. Parallel to this topic project members started studying Shadow effect and PR calculation including shadow correction factor. They have prepared technical document for shadow analysis which will later have an internal review. The team also started planning for the capacity building activities, and utilization of conference budget. The project outcomes will be more focused on the technical(O&M and performance evaluation) aspects of solar PV projects with few policy recommendations. Considering the weightage of the technical
aspects of outcome, the deliverable will be more useful for project operators, system integrator, state and central government renewable energy departments etc. Hence to increase the outreach of the project deliverable they are planning to have three / four capacity building workshops /conferences to be organized in different regions of the country in the next 3-6 months.
Last week of this month project members presented a technical presentation on Solar PV related topics at Bihar, India. To increase outreach of this project they have planned to develop a website which will contain all research outcomes and contents of workshop/conferences. The project website will be developed through in-house manpower with part of the conference budget. Development of website will be done from April 2018 to November 2018 and will be kept operational for two years for wider and long duration outreach of the project activities.

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Mr. Dibin Chandran and Prof. Anil Kottantharayil during the O&M Seminar in Pune

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