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Frequent lightning interrupts remote monitoring

2019/11/11 19:34
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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Remote monitoring interrupted by lightning

The amount of power generation has trended similarly at site A, where six years have passed since it started selling power in October 2013, and sites B and C, where two years have passed since they started selling power in October 2017.

Despite monthly fluctuations at all these sites, the amount of power generation has continued to outperform the initial estimates at the planning phase by about 10% on a yearly basis.

In the summer of 2019, a failure was found in the telecom capability used for remote monitoring of PV inverters. Of four units set up at site A, one stopped producing power generation data. The power selling meter continued to transmit data, according to which this PV inverter was found to be generating power as usual with no failures in its input/output capability.

Comsys Create believes this telecom capability malfunction was caused by lightning. It is known that the telecom capability might be affected by a surge caused by induced lightning.

To solve this communication disconnection, Comsys Create has requested the manufacturers of the PV inverter and the telecom system to determine the cause and restore communication (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5: Inspection by PV inverter manufacturer (source: Nikkei BP)

This process does not seem to be proceeding as swiftly as expected. If the communication system were supplied by the PV inverter manufacturer, the PV inverter manufacturer would take care of the telecom system. In the case of the PV inverter in question, however, the plant individually procured and set up the telecom system independently from the PV inverter manufacturer.

This resulted in a longer time needed for each of the two manufacturers to visit the site and individually examine its product in order to determine whether the PV inverter or the telecom system was causing the problem.

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