Optimising maintenance and energy production is a big challenge for solar farms. 25 acres of land is required for every 5 megawatts. They often cover large areas of land, with some stretching over 100 acres. The largest solar farm in the UK is Shotwick Solar Park in Deeside, Wales and covers 250 acres.
Covering such a large area, it can be difficult to detect malfunctioning parts. For some issues, they might not always be detectable without state-of-the-art technology. Drones are increasingly being used to gather information on the production performance of solar panels and photovoltaics (PV).
The sheer size and complexity of a solar farm means external O&M is often required. A thorough inspection should be conducted at least once a year. In this guide, we’re covering what you can expect from your annual solar farm inspection.
What inspections will be carried out?
There are many insights that can’t be detected on the ground. You can reduce time-to-diagnosis on many issues using aerial inspections.
One of the key inspections carried out by O&M includes an aerial drone thermal imaging survey to detect thermal anomalies. These include the detection of hotspots and weather damage. This test can detect a malfunctioning cell or diode. It can also detect if there are any sunlight obstructions, such as a tree, building or debris. Maximum sunlight exposure is crucial to optimise the energy production across your site.
With a drone, your inspection can cover the entirety of your solar farm with fantastic levels of accuracy.
Panel performance is just one part of solar farm maintenance. Further inspections should be carried out across the site, including:
- Security fence
- Inverters, including a visual inspection of the AC/DC cabling
- On-site buildings
- Medium and high voltage facilities
- Mounting structures
- Site cleanliness
How will the findings be reported?
Detailed and concise reports should be created for all maintenance tasks. This will include keeping records of any faults and evidence of any corrective measures that have been made.
Reports will be shared with all relevant stakeholders. You will also receive a list of suggested next steps to help resolve any issues. Warranties can also be cross-checked and a claim made on your behalf if necessary.
Many insights can be collected and accessed remotely for convenience. Reporting can be supplied in any format, including on your company header paper or completed on your company’s existing report documents.
Remark Group can take on any remedial tasks, including repowering work, cabling upgrades and new solar panel installations. By opting for an annual agreement, you can factor in all your proactive and reactive maintenance requirements.
Booking your inspection
We have all the information required for any questions you may have in your pre-qualification questionnaire. Making sure we’re the best fit for your site is crucial and we’ll ensure we answer every question, providing more detail where necessary.
Communication will be clear and accessible from the offset to ensure an effective working relationship and effortless O&M.
Simply contact us to get started. You can find out more about our solar farm maintenance, monitoring and inspections. From there, we’d be happy to answer all your questions. Our professionally trained team will meet all the regulations and health and safety requirements.
We believe that a well-maintained solar farm is more productive. Speak to the O&M team at Remark Group today.