Operation of Each Panel to Be Monitored at Solar Plant

2013/11/29 19:09
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

The municipal government of Nakanojo-machi, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, will start operations of two mega-solar (large-scale solar) power plants (total power generation capacity: 4MW) equipped with a system that monitors the operation of each solar panel by January 2014.

The government will introduce the monitoring system to the Sawatari Onsen Daiichi Solar Power Plant (2MW), which started operations in mid-November 2013, and Sawatari Onsen Daini Solar Power Plant (2MW), which will start operations in January 2014. The two power plants are run by the government by using leasing schemes.

Kurihara Kogyo Co Ltd (Kita Ward, Osaka City) designed and constructed the plants. The solar panel employed for the plants is a product of Samsung Group, and the panel monitoring system is Tigo Energy Inc's remote monitoring system. A sensor to measure the amount of generated power is attached to each and every panel. By using each pair of panels as a module to be remotely monitored, the system monitors the amount of generated power and collects information on the amount.

Many of the existing monitoring systems for mega-solar plants remotely monitor the amount of generated power for each PV inverter. However, systems that monitor power generation for each string of solar panels (11-19 panels connected in series) recently started to be adopted.

Still, there are few systems that monitor power generation for almost each panel. By monitoring power generated in each of the small areas, it becomes possible to easily find abnormal outputs, etc.