LONGTERM EXPERIENCE
WITH PV POWER PLANTS IN GERMANY

Dr. Christian Reise
Fraunhofer Institute for
Solar Energy Systems ISE...
The Fraunhofer ISE Quality Circle

Yield Assessments

Quality
Monitoring
2
© Fraunhofer ISE

Module
Measurements

System t...
What are the questions?

3
© Fraunhofer ISE
What are the questions?

 What is the state-of-the-art performance of a PV power plant?
 What about degradation?
 What ...
What are the questions?

 What is the state-of-the-art performance of a PV power plant?
A review of 20+ years of commerci...
PV support schemes in Germany

6
© Fraunhofer ISE
Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany

A typical
5 kWp
system
installed
in 1993
within the
German
1000 Roofs
...
Performance Ratio (PR): A simple Definition

PR =

8
© Fraunhofer ISE
Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany

9
© Fraunhofer ISE
Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany

10
© Fraunhofer ISE
Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany
Where is the limit?
 In Germany, state-of-the-art PV systems reach PR(...
Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany
Where is the limit?
 In Germany, state-of-the-art PV systems reach PR(...
Important factors for successful projects
Lessons learnt
 Modules show rated power

 Maintenance of area
 Theft protect...
Important factors for successful projects
Lessons learnt
 Modules show rated power

 Maintenance of area
 Theft protect...
What are the questions?

 What is the state-of-the-art performance of a PV power plant?
A review of 20+ years of commerci...
A study on 100+ power plants in Germany
Data Handling

Filtering of 5-min average values:

16
© Fraunhofer ISE
A study on 100+ power plants in Germany
Data Handling

Filtering of 5-min average values:
 Irradiance between
800…1000 W/...
A study on 100+ power plants in Germany
Data Handling

Filtering of 5-min average values:
 Irradiance between
800…1000 W/...
A study on 100+ power plants in Germany
Data Handling

Filtering of 5-min average values:
 Irradiance between
800…1000 W/...
A study on 100+ power plants in Germany
Data Handling

Filtering of 5-min average values:
 Irradiance between
800…1000 W/...
A study on 100+ power plants in Germany
Example: a German „1000-Roofs-Programme“ system

5 kWp PV system built in 1993
New...
A study on 100+ power plants in Germany
Results statistics for c-Si
 Calculation of a rate of
change per year for each
PV...
A study on 100+ power plants in Germany
Results for alternative silicon wafer technologies
 Average c-Si degradation
rate...
What are the questions?

 What is the state-of-the-art performance of a PV power plant?
A review of 20+ years of commerci...
What affects system reliability?

On average, there
are 5 incidents per
PV power plant and
year

Source:
meteocontrol,
Aug...
What affects system reliability?

 Module reliability
 BOS component & installation reliability
 Operation management

...
What affects system reliability?

 Module reliability
“no problem”
 BOS component & installation reliability
Commissioni...
Commissioning tests

Detailed on-site analysis of the
entire power plant:
 Comprehensive visual
inspection
 Thermographi...
System Inspection and Testing

 Verification of design data (module types, tilt angles, distances)

 Screening for large...
System Inspection and Testing
Mechanical problems
 Faulty mounting of modules

 Missing protection leading to cable dama...
System Inspection and Testing
Mechanical problems
 Loose connectors

31
© Fraunhofer ISE
System Inspection and Testing
Mechanical problems
 Combination of connectors from
different manufacturers
 Loose cables
...
System Inspection and Testing
Mechanical problems
 Cable glands on top, moisture in the sub-distribution box

 Spare cab...
System Inspection and Testing
Infrared imaging

Mobile lifting platform used
for infrared camera imaging

34
© Fraunhofer ...
System Inspection and Testing
Infrared imaging
 Detection of defective bypass diodes

35
© Fraunhofer ISE
System Inspection and Testing
Infrared imaging
 Detection of defective terminals with high transition resistance

36
© Fr...
System Inspection and Testing
Infrared imaging
 Detection of weak connections on power rails

37
© Fraunhofer ISE
Commissioning tests

Detailed on-site analysis of the
entire power plant:
 Comprehensive visual
inspection
 Thermographi...
What affects system reliability?

 Module reliability
“no problem”
 BOS component & installation reliability
Commissioni...
Operation management
Monitoring & intervention
 Operation of a state-of-the-art supervisory control and data acquisition
...
Conclusions…

 PV power plant operation is well understood and reproducible

 Today’s systems may reach PR(si) values ar...
Thank you for your attention!

Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Dr. Christian Reise
christian.reise@ise....
Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany
Comparison prediction vs. real world system operation

43
© Fraunhofer ...
Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany
Comparison prediction vs. real world system operation

44
© Fraunhofer ...
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03 christian reise - fraunhofer

  1. 1. LONGTERM EXPERIENCE WITH PV POWER PLANTS IN GERMANY Dr. Christian Reise Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE Freiburg, Germany Solar Operations & Maintenance Milan, October 9th, 2013 © Fraunhofer ISE
  2. 2. The Fraunhofer ISE Quality Circle Yield Assessments Quality Monitoring 2 © Fraunhofer ISE Module Measurements System tests
  3. 3. What are the questions? 3 © Fraunhofer ISE
  4. 4. What are the questions?  What is the state-of-the-art performance of a PV power plant?  What about degradation?  What affects system reliability? 4 © Fraunhofer ISE
  5. 5. What are the questions?  What is the state-of-the-art performance of a PV power plant? A review of 20+ years of commercial PV systems in Germany  What about degradation? A study on 100+ power plants in Germany  What affects system reliability? Modules / inverters / operation management… 5 © Fraunhofer ISE
  6. 6. PV support schemes in Germany 6 © Fraunhofer ISE
  7. 7. Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany A typical 5 kWp system installed in 1993 within the German 1000 Roofs Programme 7 © Fraunhofer ISE
  8. 8. Performance Ratio (PR): A simple Definition PR = 8 © Fraunhofer ISE
  9. 9. Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany 9 © Fraunhofer ISE
  10. 10. Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany 10 © Fraunhofer ISE
  11. 11. Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany Where is the limit?  In Germany, state-of-the-art PV systems reach PR(si) values around 90%  Note the difference of some 3…4% between PR(si) and PR(pyr)  In southern Europe, PR will be reduced by 3…5% 11 © Fraunhofer ISE
  12. 12. Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany Where is the limit?  In Germany, state-of-the-art PV systems reach PR(si) values around 90%  Note the difference of some 3…4% between PR(si) and PR(pyr)  In southern Europe, PR will be reduced by 3…5% PR = 12 © Fraunhofer ISE
  13. 13. Important factors for successful projects Lessons learnt  Modules show rated power  Maintenance of area  Theft protection  Minimized row to row shading 13 © Fraunhofer ISE
  14. 14. Important factors for successful projects Lessons learnt  Modules show rated power  Maintenance of area  Theft protection  Minimized row to row shading  Minimized local shading  Durable installation  QC with commissioning  Regular cleaning intervals  Monitoring of operation 14 © Fraunhofer ISE
  15. 15. What are the questions?  What is the state-of-the-art performance of a PV power plant? A review of 20+ years of commercial PV systems in Germany  What about degradation? A study on 100+ power plants in Germany  What affects system reliability? Modules / inverters / operation management… 15 © Fraunhofer ISE
  16. 16. A study on 100+ power plants in Germany Data Handling Filtering of 5-min average values: 16 © Fraunhofer ISE
  17. 17. A study on 100+ power plants in Germany Data Handling Filtering of 5-min average values:  Irradiance between 800…1000 W/m² 17 © Fraunhofer ISE
  18. 18. A study on 100+ power plants in Germany Data Handling Filtering of 5-min average values:  Irradiance between 800…1000 W/m²  Module temperature between 40…45 °C 18 © Fraunhofer ISE
  19. 19. A study on 100+ power plants in Germany Data Handling Filtering of 5-min average values:  Irradiance between 800…1000 W/m²  Module temperature between 40…45 °C  Values inside median ± 5% 19 © Fraunhofer ISE
  20. 20. A study on 100+ power plants in Germany Data Handling Filtering of 5-min average values:  Irradiance between 800…1000 W/m²  Module temperature between 40…45 °C  Values inside median ± 5%  Calculation of rate of change rate in %/year 20 © Fraunhofer ISE
  21. 21. A study on 100+ power plants in Germany Example: a German „1000-Roofs-Programme“ system 5 kWp PV system built in 1993 New monitoring equipment in 2001 outliers excluded fitted linear slope Rate of Change: ca. –0.3%/a 21 © Fraunhofer ISE
  22. 22. A study on 100+ power plants in Germany Results statistics for c-Si  Calculation of a rate of change per year for each PV system shows large scatter rate of change in % per year  Average c-Si degradation rates are around –0.25% per year 2.0% 4.0% mono/poly 3.0% 1.0% 0.0% -1.0% -2.0% -3.0% -4.0% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11_ years of operation 22 © Fraunhofer ISE
  23. 23. A study on 100+ power plants in Germany Results for alternative silicon wafer technologies  Average c-Si degradation rates are around –0.25% per year  Systems with EFG or string-ribbon modules reveal a tendency towards larger negative rates of change rate of change in % per year 4.0% mono/poly 3.0% EFG/String Ribbon 2.0% 1.0% 0.0% -1.0% -2.0% -3.0% -4.0% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11_ years of operation 23 © Fraunhofer ISE
  24. 24. What are the questions?  What is the state-of-the-art performance of a PV power plant? A review of 20+ years of commercial PV systems in Germany  What about degradation? A study on 100+ power plants in Germany  What affects system reliability? Modules / inverters / operation management… 24 © Fraunhofer ISE
  25. 25. What affects system reliability? On average, there are 5 incidents per PV power plant and year Source: meteocontrol, Augsburg, Germany 25 © Fraunhofer ISE
  26. 26. What affects system reliability?  Module reliability  BOS component & installation reliability  Operation management 26 © Fraunhofer ISE
  27. 27. What affects system reliability?  Module reliability “no problem”  BOS component & installation reliability Commissioning tests  Operation management Monitoring & intervention concepts 27 © Fraunhofer ISE
  28. 28. Commissioning tests Detailed on-site analysis of the entire power plant:  Comprehensive visual inspection  Thermographic imaging  Measurement of actual PV power and conversion to Standard Test Conditions  Assessment of Performance Ratio (PR) 28 © Fraunhofer ISE
  29. 29. System Inspection and Testing  Verification of design data (module types, tilt angles, distances)  Screening for large and small anomalies (insufficient foundation, cell grid faults) 29 © Fraunhofer ISE
  30. 30. System Inspection and Testing Mechanical problems  Faulty mounting of modules  Missing protection leading to cable damage 30 © Fraunhofer ISE
  31. 31. System Inspection and Testing Mechanical problems  Loose connectors 31 © Fraunhofer ISE
  32. 32. System Inspection and Testing Mechanical problems  Combination of connectors from different manufacturers  Loose cables 32 © Fraunhofer ISE
  33. 33. System Inspection and Testing Mechanical problems  Cable glands on top, moisture in the sub-distribution box  Spare cable glands not sealed, moisture and animals in the box 33 © Fraunhofer ISE
  34. 34. System Inspection and Testing Infrared imaging Mobile lifting platform used for infrared camera imaging 34 © Fraunhofer ISE Temperature analysis of a large module field Temperature analysis of a solar module with defective cells
  35. 35. System Inspection and Testing Infrared imaging  Detection of defective bypass diodes 35 © Fraunhofer ISE
  36. 36. System Inspection and Testing Infrared imaging  Detection of defective terminals with high transition resistance 36 © Fraunhofer ISE
  37. 37. System Inspection and Testing Infrared imaging  Detection of weak connections on power rails 37 © Fraunhofer ISE
  38. 38. Commissioning tests Detailed on-site analysis of the entire power plant:  Comprehensive visual inspection  Thermographic imaging  Measurement of actual PV power and conversion to Standard Test Conditions  Assessment of Performance Ratio (PR) 38 © Fraunhofer ISE
  39. 39. What affects system reliability?  Module reliability “no problem”  BOS component & installation reliability Commissioning tests  Operation management Monitoring & intervention concepts 39 © Fraunhofer ISE
  40. 40. Operation management Monitoring & intervention  Operation of a state-of-the-art supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system in each PV power plant  Operation of a dedicated control centre, offering all features needed to evaluate system operation and to optimize maintenance work flow  Rapid reaction to error messages  Management, performing and documentation of maintenance and repair  On-site visits in regular intervals  Landscape maintenance Learn more about operation management at this event… 40 © Fraunhofer ISE
  41. 41. Conclusions…  PV power plant operation is well understood and reproducible  Today’s systems may reach PR(si) values around 90% in Central Europe  Mono- and polycrystalline silicon systems show small degradation rates, by default, Fraunhofer ISE assumes –0.25% per year  Long term success starts with a comprehensive system testing  Only professional O&M concepts ensure high performance and yields 41 © Fraunhofer ISE
  42. 42. Thank you for your attention! Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE Dr. Christian Reise christian.reise@ise.fraunhofer.de www.ise.fraunhofer.de 42 © Fraunhofer ISE
  43. 43. Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany Comparison prediction vs. real world system operation 43 © Fraunhofer ISE
  44. 44. Development of system Performance Ratio in Germany Comparison prediction vs. real world system operation 44 © Fraunhofer ISE
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