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Benefits of solar power plant at corporate places and how to increase its life

Extending the operation of Solar Panels means increased revenue for corporate houses. Before going for Lifetime Extension of a Solar Plant for Corporate Places a Solar Life Assessment should be carried out. It helps the Corporate Houses to make intelligent, informed decisions concerning operations, maintenance, and repair, as well as repowering, with the ultimate goals of supporting safety and maximizing the value of operating wind assets. 

Sunil RathiSunil Rathi | Updated: 09-10-2019 15:51 IST | Created: 08-10-2019 20:43 IST
Benefits of solar power plant at corporate places and how to increase its life
Image Credit: Sunil Rathi

The use of Solar Power has been increasing for both domestic and commercial purposes. Studies show that, since the 2000s, Solar photovoltaic (PV) deployment has grown at an unparallel rate. By the end of 2015, the global installed PV capacity was 222 gigawatts (GW). By 2050 it is expected to rise to 4,500 GW.

This photovoltaic energy has become a progressively striking alternative after a gigantic solar panels construction of factories, mostly in China (1,731 GW), India (600 GW), the United States (US) (600 GW), Japan (350 GW) and Germany (110 GW). As per the solar trade association, the prices for solar contracts, over the last five years have reduced by 63 per cent which is quite encouraging.

Why Solar Plant for Corporate Place?

It is a stylized fact that electric power is an imperative requirement for a diversity of domestic, commercial or industrial applications. Commercial entities can get great assistance from Solar Power Plants as they incessantly burn an enormous quantity of electricity continuously.

Solar source of energy provides them assistance in two ways - financially and in terms of CSR. This is because besides financial benefits the governments throughout the world provide CSR based incentives for using Green Energy or Clean Energy. The various kinds of incentives for Clean Energy including taxation have become a common phenomenon in the policymaking in light of the SDG 7 - Clean and Affordable Energy - was adopted by the United Nations as a global goal for the year 2030.

Factors to be considered

When corporate places are setting up a solar power plant they need to emphasize upon some of the vital factors. These factors have a substantial impact and effect on the overall operation, fulfilment of the requirement, and minimization of set-up cost.

  • First of all, you need to find out what's your Energy Output Requirement because the number of solar panel requirement could be finding out.
  • Battery/batteries attached to the system is/are charged by the electricity that is generated from the solar panels. Based on the total output and use batteries are decided.
  • Inverters are required to convert DC power to AC that is generated from the Solar Power Plant. Like any other inverter, it also to corresponding to the voltage and frequency requisite by the corporate places.

  • A Solar Power Plant works not only with the above mentioned important segments/ components but also a network. Yes, a network of cables, switches, plugs, earthling cables, and fuses,

  • At the planning stage of plant set-up, corporate places have to finalize which type of solar power plants (on-grid, off-grid and hybrid) to be developed to suit specific kind of needs.

Do solar panels get worn out?

Yes, solar panels along with some other equipment wear out over a period of time. Slowly but surely, the efficacy of solar panels to convert solar energy into usable electricity diminishes. The wear-out period may vary from product to product but as a general rule of thumb, solar panels last 25-30 years. In some cases, it may go beyond that. Solar panels degrade at a different rate as per its make. Initially, it degraded by 1% to 3% whereas the degradation rate vacillates between 0.8% and 0.9% each year, studies shows.

Factors behind Degradation

Every electrical/electronic product has a lifespan, so is true with solar panels and other pieces of equipment. Along with that, several other internal and external factors that are motioned below.

  • External climatic factors: Insufficient sunlight, long nights, cloudy days can affect the quantum of power generation.
  • Dust accumulation: You have to keep the solar panels cleaned regularly to minimize the accumulation of dust. Otherwise, it will affect the efficacy of your Solar Power Plant.
  • Modules can fail: Modules can stop working due to some inevitable natural elements like thermal cycling, humidity freeze, damp heat, and UV exposure.

Life Time of a Solar Plant

It's not that easy to figure out the exact lifetime of solar power modules and power plants. Throughout times the equipment starts to degrade. With gradual degradation, the amount of energy produced also goes down. But the efficiency level won't come down below 80%. A study on Lifetime Assessment of Solar System reveals some startling facts about the lifespan of silicon-based single-crystalline and CdTe photovoltaic cells and modules The lifespan of this solar equipment is 30 to 30 years for the 3 scenarios BAU, REAL, and OPT.

The lifespan could be around 50 years with very strong steel posts pierced into the ground, welded together or racking bolted. The wiring network lasts for 25 years irrespective of whether it is underground or in cable trays. Most experts opine that the modules are expected to work perfectly up to 25 years. It should be noted that each year the output will be diminishing little by little.

Lifetime Extension of a Solar Plant for Corporate Places

Extending the operation of Solar Panels means increased revenue for corporate houses. Before going for Lifetime Extension of a Solar Plant for Corporate Places a Solar Life Assessment should be carried out. It helps the Corporate Houses to make intelligent, informed decisions concerning operations, maintenance, and repair, as well as repowering, with the ultimate goals of supporting safety and maximizing the value of operating wind assets.

How to Extend the Life of Your System at Corporate Place?

You should take note that solar panels are the most durable part of your solar system. But you will have to reinstate your inverters and batteries when they are worn out. Otherwise, the functionality of your system will be affected. The functionality would gradually depreciate over time till you dump them and replace with new batteries and inverters made of using the latest technologies.

Use of good quality Power Electronics: Use of good quality power electronics in the Solar Power Plant of a Corporate Place is indispensable to the protected and well-organized operation of solar systems. Power electronics act as a significant doorway between solar and the grid. If you are using high- quality power electronics chances are there your maintenance cost over years would be lesser than your expectations.

Innovations in Power Electronics: Research and development concerning solar power are being done around the globe. Innovations in Power Electronics are essential to advance the functionality of the currently available/used PV systems. Enhancement of the PV system and grid control capabilities are also required to be done. With all these innovations would lead to an extended PV system lifetimes and lowered costs. Corporate Places, when using such innovative products could get lower-cost implication and better functionality when they go for The Lifetime Extension of A Solar Plant.

Deployment of Enhanced inverter After 10 years: An inverter is one of the most vital electronics devices that convert DC (direct current electricity from solar panels) to AC (used by local utility provider). Inverters are consists of several technical components (such as active switches, passive filters, thermal management, and packaging). These components experience degradation owing to daily use, defects, and other exceptional incidents like electromagnetic disturbances. When your inverter degrades its performance gets impacted. The worst thing is that degradation can significantly confine its lifetime. The scenario would lead to either you replace spare parts or bear increased operating cost than before. The only solution for you as a Corporate House is to embrace very high-quality inverters.

Maintain and Replace Batteries: Maintenance and replacement of Batteries are one of the major costs related to off-grid systems. Whatever your battery type maybe you still need to inspect your Corporate Solar Power Plant a few times every year. Currently available batteries come with a warranty of 3 to 10 years based on different makes. If they are not maintained properly then batteries could be permanently or partially damaged for not charging it immediately and the perfect time. You can easily extend the lifetime of your batteries by maintaining them appropriately and making sure that they're installed perfectly and precisely.

Conclusion

Solar power is going to play a vital role in future energy generation and use. More and more Corporate Places are opting to establish their Solar Power Plants to get various advantages. But that requires constant maintenance and timely replacement of important components like batteries and inverters to sustain the effectiveness of the plant. If you can install the best quality components initially, take the right decisions about maintenance then The Lifetime of A Solar Plant will be extended.

NOTE: Mr. Sunil Rathi is Director- Sales & Marketing with WAAREE Energies Ltd. He has a robust record of expertise acquired over 24 years in the Best Solar Panel and Power Electronics Industry. His proven strategic vision facilitated in the firm establishment of the brand and himself as a stalwart in the solar industry.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are the personal views of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)

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