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.

Featured Publications

Other Publications

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)


Jal Desai

Researcher II, Systems Engineering