Affairs of Urban Buildings are run by managing committees, elected by residents or office owners. They don’t have time, resources, tools or knowledge to plan and manage solar infra. Suppliers provide only re-active support, which too is not up to the mark. Maintenance is critical to ensure system life, energy generation, uptime and savings.
A revenue spinner solar project can turn into a loss maker if maintenance is inadequate. Maintenance includes quite a few user level activities, which are not covered by a standard Vendor AMC. Examples of such activities are; sending module cleaning alerts to the cleaning agency or housekeeping staff, verifying whether cleaning is done & its quality, online monitoring of the system through the day, measuring daily and monthly generation and reconciling it with electricity bills, publishing monthly and annual report on gross and net savings, tracking service issues till they are resolved, identifying their root-causes, maintaining configuration records, quarterly system audit, etc. Besides these, a managed service also covers activities such as annual thermal imaging to assess module defects and or loose connections, grid islanding check, firmware upgrades, etc which too are not covered by a standard vendor AMC, but are extremely crucial for an optimal system performance and full lifetime service.
Refer to the graph. The green line corresponds to one of the inverters which did not boot at the start of day. Since the system was monitored, the issue was attended and resolved promptly. In case of an unmanaged system such outages would go un-noticed for weeks resulting in loss of generation and savings
When you make a significant investment in a solar energy system, it is important to have a full visibility of its performance, energy generation and savings realized every month. In a managed service such reports are provided by default. Building administrations generally would not have time and or the required tools and skill sets to publish such reports.