The main objective is to develop an innovative performance monitoring system that will significantly improve and ensure quality of operation of grid-connected PV systems in order to fulfil and guarantee owner/investor expectations. The system which will provide the first independent complete baseline solution to ensure operational quality and optimise energy production will comprise of a complete structural sensor and data acquisition platform with high sampling capabilities, large storage databases and an advanced web-portal to incorporate the research originating performance loss, failure routines and degradation quantification algorithms for real-time analysis. In this sense, the algorithms and tools will provide the baseline to ensure PV plant performance quality assurance, energy yield optimisation, reflect financial parameters and provide accurate day-ahead production forecasts.

The aims of the proposed project will be to:

  1. Assess performance losses, failures and degradation mechanisms.

  2. Formulate a procedural protocol and guidelines for the identification and quantification of losses, failures and degradation of PV systems.

  3. Develop capacity rating, performance loss and degradation algorithms that will be incorporated as software modules to the advanced monitoring system.

  4. Optimise energy yield prediction for accurate production forecasts.

  5. Demonstrate O&M support including triggers and preventive maintenance.

The project can enable large scale deployment of PV, increase the competitiveness of the technology (both technical and economical) and safeguard the investment.