Hitachi Offers System to Detect Failure of Each PV Panel

Jun 5, 2013
Motoyuki Oishi, Nikkei Monozukuri

Hitachi Advanced Digital Inc developed the "PV Panel Monitoring System," which detects troubles of each panel of a photovoltaic (PV) power generation system, and released it June 3, 2013.

The PV Panel Monitoring System accurately specifies a broken panel by collecting the power generation information of each panel used for a PV power generation system. With systems that monitor each string (PV panels connected in series), which are the mainstream, it is difficult to detect a trouble of each panel because the output reduction caused by one broken panel is small, considering the output of the entire string.

The new system enables to specify a defective panel while remotely monitoring panels, eliminating the need for on-site checking of panels.

For the PV Panel Monitoring System, Hitachi Advanced Digital commercialized a system that realizes data communication by using power transmission cables for the first time in Japan. This time, it used a data transmission technology developed by Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). The technology eliminates the need for normal communication cables and the cost for installing them.

This technology is based on the CDMA (code division multiple access) technology, resistant to noise and suited for the environments of power-generating sites, etc.

The PV Panel Monitoring System displays caution and warning signs for each panel by using software that diagnoses failures, enabling to do maintenance work such as replacing a panel in a planned and efficient manner, Hitachi Advanced Digital said.

The failure diagnosis algorithm developed by Hitachi Advanced Digital removes environmental factors (such as shade) to lower false-positive rate. Also, the company offers a service of monitoring panel failures for its clients as an option.