If we were to vote on top solar catchphrases of 2019, Revamping and Repowering would certainly make the ballot. According to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, solar plants older than 10 years will make up more than 10% of cumulative installed global capacity by 2022. The concept of revamping and repowering can be applied to increase the performance of these first-generation solar plants.
Although there doesn’t seem to be a Webster’s dictionary definition of Revamping and Repowering, it is generally agreed that this concept means boosting the performance of an existing solar array. Whether this is done by applying new tools to older plants, upgrading technology, or repairing components, the goal is to increase the performance and the amount of power solar plants produce.
Retrofitting Newer Solar Plant Technology
Solar panels experience a decline in output over time. This rate of this decline is referred to as the degradation rate. Environmental factors and component failures can also contribute to lower output as solar plants age. This is typical of solar plants and it means that revamping and repowering are a normal part of the solar plant’s life cycle. According to a recent article by Wood Mackenzie, global solar installations nearing inverter end of life will reach 21GW by the end of 2019 and will represent more than 14% of the total cumulative capacity over the following five years. But what happens when an inverter fails and that brand is no longer on the market or no longer fits the needs of the site location?
Inverters are the heart of a solar PV system and the monitoring & energy management platform is the brain. It is important to select a performance insight tool that is compatible with many inverter brands and that can support even multiple brands at the same location. This will reduce the number of components that need to be swapped out at that site as the plant ages.
Future-proof Solar Plants
Another well-used term this year was “future-proof”. When we say “future-proof” we mean tools or solutions will grow with you. Solar incentives and grid regulation will change over the lifetime of a solar plant. Project developers and solar installers select tools now that will serve them and the plant owners over the long-term investment. Solar and storage go together in many ways, particularly when we talk revamping and repowering existing plants. Incentives that encourage storage, decreasing balance of system costs, and grid instability are all contributing factors to the increasing number of battery systems being added to both residential and commercial solar arrays. Storage industry installations will grow 10 times larger by 2024, according to GreenTechMedia.
Whether you’re revamping, repowering or retrofitting, Solar-Log® has you covered when it comes to future-proof performance monitoring. Solar-Log’s products are compatible with more than 2,300 components including most major inverter brands (old and new) and battery brands. Check out our website to browse a complete list of components supported by Solar-Log®.