Central inverters or string? Now yes, both!

In a previous article, I wondered what type of topology was ideal for large installations (utility scale), well, I acknowledge my lack of criteria, because I will contradict myself after about 1 year. In my defense I will say that having in my hands an equipment that meets both features has impacted me a lot, central on the outside, strings on the inside, simply great!

An easy to maintain equipment that can be repaired using the traditional method, with the manufacturer’s technical intervention in the plant, but also in the string style, replacing its power stage with the plant personnel. Both solutions have their advantages, but having them both, is a temptation that I think is difficult to resist for their installation, and for their easy maintenance.

After years, it seems that it is the moment where the maintenance of solar installations (the famous OPEX) equals in importance to the costs of installation (the most famous still CAPEX). This makes it necessary to look for ingenious solutions.

But it was not always so, the importance of maintenance in the facilities was relative, and sometimes focused primarily on short-term repairs, and forgetting the preventive/predictive care that allows the extension of life, such as a human needs to eat well and take care of oneself if one wants to age properly.

Times have changed, facility costs must be low and sustainable for self-financing; without government subsidies and with private auctions/contracts on the table, the long term is already as important as the short term.

Recently I was lucky enough to go to Paris to defend the advantages of good long-term planned maintenance, my vision has not changed much in recent years, but it is gratifying to see how the subject now suggests much more interest.

It can be seen as from a design phase, and take into account aspects such as the training of technicians, both at field level and remote monitoring, spare parts, both corrective and preventive, action times, intervention costs, … A 10 for this mentality, and an exponential increase in chances of success.

As I said before about the new equipment I had in my hands, it’s a great option if we think not only about its warranty period, but also after.

I will close the article with a very personal comment on how happy I am to have been talking about these maintenance issues today with a nice project in Spain. We are going to come back with strength after some years of shadows in the solar industry, I am very excited to go back to work at home, bravo for all of you who have been outside like me, many with your boots in the mud and many others in some remote desert, dreaming that this moment would happen.



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