The use of unmanned aerial vehicles in solar operations and maintenance can reduce costs and save hours of painstaking labour, but only if applied correctly. Aline Kirsten Vidal de Oliveira, Mohammadreza Aghae and Ricardo Rüther explore the optimal use of aerial inspections and emerging methods for analysing the data they gather to identify faults.
Solar engineering, procurement and construction contractors have a central role in ensuring the long-term performance and profitability of PV power plants. Ben Willis speaks to Adele Ara and Ralph Gottschalg of SolarPower Europe’s O&M and Asset Management Task Force, which is drawing up the industry’s first best practice guidelines for EPC companies
A late rally boosted China’s domestic solar installations in 2019 to a better-than-expected 30.22GW. But Frank Haugwitz asks whether a renewed interest in locally available coal and an economic slowdown could conspire to slow recent momentum in China’s energy transition, in which solar has played a central role
With the number of bifacial solar projects now rapidly growing, more is being understood about how to design and build systems that play to the technology’s main strengths. Drawing on recent experiences in the field, Beth Copanas and James Willett from RES outline some of the technical lessons learned on realising bifacial’s full potential.
The services and skills offered by asset managers have a central role to play in boosting the value of solar PV investments. Adele Ara, Máté Heisz, Magda Martins, Diego Molina and Paul Norrish outline the key recommendations in the solar industry’s first set of best practice guidelines for asset managers
Potential-induced degradation (PID) is still one of the main reasons for unpredictable power losses in PV power plants. Volker Naumann, Otwin Breitenstein, Klemens Ilse, Matthias Pander, Kai Sporleder and Christian Hagendorf of Fraunhofer CSP examine how the PID susceptibility of PV modules is influenced by environmental stress. It is found that PID may develop in originally PID-resistant modules after a period of one to three years of unsuspicious operation, depending on climatic conditions