Solar System Operations and Maintenance Analysis
For optimizing the operations and maintenance (O&M) of photovoltaic (PV) systems, NREL collects data, models performance and costs, and provides expertise to industry.
As PV deployment continues to increase, ongoing O&M of these systems is critical. However, various factors—such as evolving technologies, weather, and resources for maintenance—contribute to O&M. Optimizing the O&M of PV systems is vital to lowering the levelized cost of energy for solar energy.
A team of experts in PV system performance from NREL, Sandia National Laboratories, and Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory is working with industry and standards-making organizations to study and optimize PV O&M by:
- Analyzing performance data on large numbers of PV systems
- Collecting coincident climate data
- Modeling O&M costs
- Modeling the effect of performance ratio and availability on systems’ life cycle cost and levelized cost of energy
- Providing deep subject matter expertise on special topics related to reliability, performance, and financial challenges
- Utilizing machine learning to analyze data.
NREL is also conducting related work under the PV Fleet Performance Data Initiative to collect plant operation data in a secure, central database.
Read about the work NREL and partners are conducing in the PV O&M space.
Best Practices in Operation and Maintenance of PV Systems and Energy Storage Systems, Third Edition, NREL Technical Report (2019)
Model of Operation-and-Maintenance (O&M) Costs for Photovoltaic Systems, NREL Technical Report (2020)
Note: These standards are published and sold by the International Electrotechnical Commission, but NREL facilitated their development.
IEC/TS 63019 Ed. 1.0 en:2019 Photovoltaic Power Systems (PVPS) – Information Model for Availability, International Electrotechnical Commission (2019)
IEC TR 63292:2020 Photovoltaic Power Systems (PVPSs) – Roadmap for Robust Reliability, International Electrotechnical Commission (2020)
Weather Impacts on Solar PV Operations Summary of the Current Body of Knowledge and Implications for Further Investigation, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Technical Report (2021)
PV Fleet Performance Data Initiative: Performance Index-Based Analysis , NREL Technical Report (2021)
Performance of Photovoltaic Systems Recorded by Open Solar Performance and Reliability Clearinghouse (oSPARC), NREL Technical Report (2020)
Masking of Photovoltaic System Performance Problems by Inverter Clipping and Other Design and Operational Practices, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (2021)
Cybersecurity in Photovoltaic Plant Operations, NREL Technical Report (2021)
Insurance in the Operation of Photovoltaic Plants, NREL Technical Report (2021)
Evaluation of Component Reliability in Photovoltaic Systems Using Field Failure Statistics, Sandia Technical Report (2020)