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Early Casualties in Five PV Plants in France: A Sustainability Perspective on Complete PV Fault Diagnostics for Revamping
J.A. Tsanakas, D.-L. Ha, F. Al-Shakarchi
PV Plants, Fault Diagnostics, Revamping, IR Imagery, Drone Inspections
PV Systems and Storage – Modelling, Design, Operation and Performance
Subtopic: Operation, Performance and Maintenance of PV Systems
Event: 37th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 5DO.4.5
1396 - 1400
ISBN: 3-936338-73-6
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20202020-5DO.4.5
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


In this paper, we present the key findings of a complete diagnostic study on five utility-scale PV plants of an overall 29 MW installed capacity, which were inaugurated and have been operating in France the last 7 years. The diagnostic measurements were implemented by means of drone-based aerial infrared (IR) imaging, coupled with auxiliary ground-based I-V tracing and visual inspections. On this basis, we performed detailed fault classification and power analysis, where we uncovered several early reliability issues and failures on both module and system/balanceof-system (BOS) level. Today, the majority of PV modules being decommissioned with such failures, simply enter the waste stream and are either disposed as waste (in their majority) or recycled. In our case, nearly 80% of these failures were identified as repairable, whereas the associated power losses were quantified and (where applicable) fully recovered. In such way, we also highlight importance of the sustainability perspective and, thus, of streamlined endof-life (EoL) management, in PV operations and maintenance (O&M).