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06 Jun 2013 06:06:10

Module performance and maintenance strategies seriously important for optimized PV plants in Chile



Rigorous testing and maintenance strategies for modules key to ensuring long-term yield for PV plant owners and developers in Chile. With little testing capacity yet existing in Chile, continually monitoring and analysing module performance is crucial.

As Chile is such a new market for PV it is unsure how modules and also inverters will react at the high altitude with intense UV rays. The Atacama desert, the region which is attracting a large proportion of projects receives extraordinary amounts of DNI and GHI however, the UV-rays may accelerate module degradation. In particular this is most likely to occur with the polymers as well as cracks expected to appear, notes Claudio Ferrara, head of modules at the Fraunhofer Centre. Furthermore winds can be quite strong and continually come from the north-western direction, with the potential extra problems of a continual stress on modules.

To mitigate some of the impacts of the environment on yield, plant developers and owners are advised to install monitoring systems with the sophistication to identify panel and string problems quickly as well as to ensure they have a large number of replacement panels on site with maintenance crews well trained. After all, unlike other countries where PV has gown slowly with small amounts at first, the 4th plant to be connected to the grid will be 25MW in size and this is now one of the smaller plant sizes. Thus performance must be continually evaluated to ensure developers can act quickly.

PV Insider LATAM is the solar conference to directly address the technical and engineering challenges specific to PV in Chile. Technical experts sharing their insight include Luis Sabaté, the global VP of operations for Latin America, and EMEA, SunEdison, Manfredi Ucelli Di Nemi, executive director, Bonfiglioli Brasil and Daniel Barandalla, PV engineer, GL Garrad Hassan will be giving specific technical advice on plant design and, inverter installation to optimize plants whilst keeping costs as low as feasible.


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