Solar Power WorldJanuary 29, 2020641
Raptor Maps, an aerial thermography software, and analytics company released its annual report on factors affecting production in solar power systems. The solar company leveraged a subset of its data repository of solar power system “digital twins” to query 7,880 MW across 25 countries and 6 continents to help solar power system owners and operators benchmark and improve their portfolios.
Aerial thermography is the practice of assessing and monitoring solar panel installations conditions using data captured via an aircraft equipped with a thermal camera. The technique is increasingly required by asset owners and financiers for performance verification and risk mitigation.
The study encompassed 31 million solar panels across more than 800 solar power systems and showed that on average, 1.6% of power production is affected(compared with 1.7% from the previous year). Classifications included in the study include equipment (e.g., solar power inverter, combiner, tracker), environmental (e.g., shadowing, soiling), and module-level findings (e.g., cracking, delamination, and activated bypass diodes).
“The rapid growth in solar PV combined with decreasing PPA prices is forcing the industry to find every MWh of lost production and restore it,” explains Nikhil Vadhavkar, Raptor Maps’ CEO. “Our goal is to ensure that existing solar assets are meeting or exceeding expected returns while providing critical feedback for new portfolios under development.”
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