Cost-Effective O&M for Commercial Systems
O&M is one area that presents some opportunities. Many of the cost-effective O&M considerations that impact cost and revenue—such as performance optimization, system up time and operational efficiency—relate directly to inverter and monitoring system selection.
The performance ratio for a commercial PV system compares the actual energy production to its theoretical energy-generating potential. This ratio, typically expressed as a percentage, quantifies the conversion efficiency of a PV system, as calculated based on measurement of irradiance, temperature and ac output. A basic goal of O&M activities is to ensure that a PV system’s actual output is as close as possible to its theoretical potential.
Reduce mismatch. One of the ways that system integrators and O&M providers can improve the performance ratio in a commercial system is to eliminate power losses caused by module mismatch. Increasing MPPT granularity is an effective means of reducing and potentially eliminating mismatch losses. All else being equal, string-level MPPT incurs fewer mismatch losses than inverter-level MPPT, and module-level MPPT reduces mismatch losses even further. Module-level power electronics (MLPE) effectively mitigate mismatch risks associated with system shading, differential aging, new roof obstructions and soiling.
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