Solar farm grounds operate through the usage of panels and generators that draw sunlight into the cells. This action produces electricity which can be used to power the facility, but it has to be properly maintained, otherwise panel obstructions and other issues could negatively impact the ability of the system to perform in the way it was designed. Below are some best practices for maintaining solar farms.
Grass And Weed Control
Solar farms are subject to the growth of grass and weeds that if not controlled can reach high enough to block the panels and transmit debris into them, which can significantly lower their electrical output.
No shading should be present near the panel’s base edge, which means that operators should regularly mow near the solar array using specialized machines. Weeds should also be sprayed, and cutting should be applied to hedges to give nearby panel’s full access to sunlight.
Leakage of Transformers
Transformers should be regularly inspected to ensure they are in optimal condition and free of leakage. If transformer leaks occur they can lead to contamination of nearby land and pose other safety hazards. Knowing how to identify and transformer leaks and repair is essential.
Preventative maintenance is also critical and can be accomplished by monitoring the temperature of transformer oil and pressure. Parameter ranges and automated alarms can be established to stop fatal errors before they occur.
Damage from Vandalism on Solar Farms
Damage resulting from vandalism can be a real problem for solar farms. These facilities use high tech, costly equipment, which can be attractive to thieves who may damage wiring or other structures in an effort to steal them.
But, anyone who operates a solar farm should consider the implementation of security cameras; razor-wired fencing, guards and even dogs to protect their investment.
A conduit that is damaged poses the hazard of shock along with a major disruption in the operation of the system since the charges aren’t contained. This issue can occur in a facility that was recently constructed due to ground movement, which can also damage cables, so measuring the cables and conduit is important.
A cell that becomes shorted is a real problem, as it can quickly reduce productivity. This issue sometimes results from manufacturing defects, especially within the semiconducting material, and can go undetected prior to the PV cells being placed in the assembly.
The easiest way to identify shorted cells is through infrared imaging. This testing approach is simple, cost-efficient, and highly effective and will allow you to quickly evaluate the performance of each individual cell.
Storms on a Solar Farm
Solar farms that are located in areas that are vulnerable to storms can be seriously damaged. A panel or related equipment which has been destroyed can greatly disrupt the performance of the system, possibly shutting it down entirely.
However, Those that live in storm-prone areas should keep abreast of daily weather reports and should have a maintenance team and backup equipment on standby so the system can be quickly repaired once the storm passes.