Potential weaknesses in photovoltaic systems can lead to more serious problems or even result in hazards – which cause huge losses in revenue. For this reason, operations and maintenance service providers (O&M) are becoming increasingly important for photovoltaic owners. At an inspection of a photovoltaic installation, for example, module defects or shadowing effects can be identified using drones with thermal imaging, enabling such issues to be remedied as soon as possible. Optimizing the commercial and technical aspects of plant management makes a substantial contribution to the economic viability of both smaller PV installations and large solar parks. Services for photovoltaic installations constitute an area of business which holds potential for service companies: the consulting firm GTM Research and Solichamba Consulting estimate that the global market for operations and maintenance as well as asset management, grew to 182 gigawatts (GW) last year – a 54% increase from 2015. This new market offers great opportunities for development. After all, 95% of all photovoltaic power plants around the world were installed in the past five years.
At Intersolar Europe 2017, international suppliers of O&M services will be showcasing solutions for safe and profitable PV system operation. The Intersolar Europe Conference is addressing this topic in a number of ways, including through the series of presentations “PV Power Plants: The Versatility of Drones & Robots“. In addition to this, a presentation series from the German Solar Energy Society (DGS) will shed light on the important factors involved in operation and maintenance.