The Pilot Project to Trial Solar F2D2 project aims to trial a new, advanced solar farm diagnostics and reliability enhancement tool – Solar Farm Fault Detection and Diagnosis (Solar F2D2).
The project demonstrated the effectiveness of Solar F2D2 by quantifying the solar array specific underperformance levels in Gatton Solar Farm. Using standard array level measurements and available meteorological data, Solar F2D2 estimated array specific soiling levels and provided information about the number of underperforming strings and panels within each array. Solar F2D2 revealed that 5-10% of power production was reduced at Gatton farm due to soiling. In addition, about 25% strings and 10% panels were found to be underperforming within each array. The techno-economic analysis revealed that Solar F2D2 has the potential to deliver additional revenue of $10,000/MW/annum through improved solar farm yield.
The Pilot Project to Trial Solar F2D2 project acknowledges that the rise in large-scale solar installations is expected to continue posing challenges for industry in how to effectively diagnose underperforming panels automatically, thereby enhancing the reliability of large solar farm assets. While the scale and number of solar farms have grown exponentially, the underlying methods for monitoring and diagnosing the condition of panels in solar farms is rudimentary.
This Pilot Project will evaluate the field performance of Solar F2D2 and gain insight into the pathways to seamlessly integrate it with existing solar farm monitoring systems (with minimal intervention).
Solar Farm Fault Detection and Diagnosis will automatically detect and locate faulty or underperforming panels, including the cause of the underperformance. It will also predict panel soiling levels so that solar farm cleaning can be implemented more effectively.
The project aims to:
- successfully demonstrate the operation of Solar F2D2 on an actual solar farm – accurately performing the automatic detection, location and identification of the cause of underperforming solar panels using standard string current measurements
- perform a techno-economic analysis to develop a value proposition for commercialisation of Solar F2D2
- establish a procedure to implement Solar F2D2 with existing solar farm monitoring and data acquisition systems.