Older central solar inverters outliving their warranties and failing is an issue growing bigger by the day for asset managers, and engineering services company Solar Support has a new program to help. The company is rolling out an analytics-based diagnostic equipment maintenance program that supports both predictive and corrective O&M to better gauge the health of legacy utility-scale PV systems and maximize uptime.
How it works: Solar Support engineers analyze internal inverter data to evaluate components, pinpoint impending issues and failure trends, and help plant managers identify and source the right parts for rapid repairs. “With thousands of aging inverters in the field—many under high utility PPAs and elapsing warranties—accurate diagnostic maintenance is more important than ever,” said Cliff Myers, Solar Support chief engineer and co-founder. “Unlike service alternatives that can take days, we help asset owners understand and correct the cause of their inverter issues in under 24 hours.”
The maintenance program comprises two intelligent services: Data Analysis, which diagnoses failures once they occur, and Predictive Data Analysis, which evaluates failure trends before they become a problem. Both services include prescriptive recommendations and can be combined with technical troubleshooting support and training to help teams resolve tough equipment issues. Solar Support also provides detailed replacement part recommendations to ensure field efficiencies.
Inverters covered: Solar Support data analysis capabilities currently include inverters from all leading manufacturers. “We’ve seen incredible success with our data analyses,” says Myers. “With 7,800 utility inverters in our network, our analyses have resolved 100% of issues—98% after one review. This keeps truck rolls at a minimum.”
From the start, Solar Support founders recognized the industry’s need for an open-source database of inverter fault code resolutions to help technicians anywhere troubleshoot equipment. Today the company’s online knowledge portal offers complimentary and open access to nearly 1,000 inverter fault resolutions. Solar Support welcomes collaboration with all manufacturers to help equipment users access diagnostics easily.
— Solar Builder magazine