U.S. – Sandia-Electric Power Research Institute Partnership Publishes Solar Photovoltaic Reliability Report


Solar Photovoltaic Reliability Report

Total Maintenance Actions per Component. This “button” chart shows the total number of maintenance actions across all system components per month. Color coding is used to differentiate each component. [Note: CTRLBRD = Inverter Control Board; CRTLSW = Inverter Control Software; CPS = Inverter Control Power Supply; CYL = hydraulic cylinder; DAS = Data Acquisition System; ECON = Misc. Electrical Devices, Cables, Connectors; INV = Inverter; MAT = Inverter Matrix; MOD = PV Module; PLC = Programmable Logic Controller.]

Sandia and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are jointly engaged in a multiple-year research effort to examine photovoltaic (PV) plant reliability performance obtained through documented field data. Findings and analyses, derived from the PV Reliability Operations Maintenance (PVROM) database, are intended to inform industry best practices around the optimal operations and maintenance (O&M) of solar assets. Among the variables being captured

  • locational and plant size factors;
  • inverter and balance-of-system equipment types and components;
  • failure events, causes, frequencies;
  • uptime/downtime metrics;
  • applied solutions; and
  • O&M actions and costs.

The December 23rd report provides a comprehensive background on the joint research initiative, discussing its objectives and analytical framework, while also describing the PVROM data collection tool’s technical capabilities. Preliminary results based on initial database content are subsequently related, as are next research steps to forecast plant health outcomes (e.g., system component availability, component wear out, etc.). Finally, PV O&M standards development rationales and activities are described.

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