Module Repowering
Energy, EPC, Modules, Repowering, Solar, Technical Asset Management

Solar Module Repowering To Boost Site Revenue

Module Repowering

A solar power plant owner or investor is focused on ensuring their site maximises energy and revenue in the safest way. They may have experienced the unpleasant situation where site availability remains high, irradiance is stable but your revenues are decreasing abnormally. One explanation for this could be underperforming modules.

It is a simple process to test and confirm module underperformance (Phase 1). Phase 2 involves claiming for this underperformance to the module manufacturer. Phase 3 is then the actual module replacement (repowering).

MOSS Energy can assist in all steps. Below are more details for each Phase. 

PHASE 1 – Testing for underperforming modules

  • Carry out module testing, either I/V curve or flash (lab-style) testing on a reasonable sample of modules.
  • Compare actual module output vs expected module output. Expected module output is a function of module nameplate capacity, LID, age of modules and measurement uncertainty.
    1. If actual module output > expected module output then there is likely no module issue.
    2. However if actual module output < expected module output then there may be an underlying module issue.

PHASE 2 – Claiming for underperforming modules

  • In the case of actual module output < expected module output then there is a potential module claim. Before contacting the manufacturer, all module information needs to be gathered for all sampled modules:
    1. Test results from step 1
    2. Visual module photos (back and front)
    3. Serial numbers
    4. Module positions on the string
    5. Original module purchase order
  • Contact the module manufacturer and discuss the claim. In case of a successful claim, the manufacturer would propose either a payment in new modules or in cash.

PHASE 3 – Repowering

If a site owner has a successful claim from Phase 2 or decides to replace underperforming modules anyway at their own cost, MOSS can also assist in the physical module replacement. The repowering can be done with no energy loss to the owner, all replacement works are done at night!

  • Replacement preparation, ensuring:
    1. Sufficient skilled labour and electricians
    2. All workers have necessary PPE
    3. All materials are on site (new modules, string cable, cable ties etc)
    4. Vegetation is short to facilitate the replacement process
    5. There is anti-venom on site to deal with potential snake bites
    6. There is a clear strategy for replacing the modules, which zones will be replaced first, how many zones per day, how long will the replacement take etc
  • Conducting the module replacement:
    1. Works are prepared during the day and then carried out at night. This ensures there is no production loss to the owner
    2. Around 0.5-1 MWp of modules can be replaced per day, based on the amount of labour employed at the site
    3. In hot climates, ensure there is sufficient water and frequent breaks during the hottest parts of the day
    4. Modules need to be handled by at least 2 people to ensure (1) no breakages (2) safety of workers
    5. MOSS Energy supervisors will be on site to ensure replacement quality. Particularly important are module alignment, neat string cables and proper cable termination.
    6. Before dawn, newly installed strings are terminated in the string combiner box or string inverter and then commissioning done.
  • Post replacement
    1. After the module replacement is done, the site owner will be left with a quantity of removed (old) modules. The replaced modules can either be recycled or sold on the secondhand market
    2. In any case, MOSS will ensure all removed modules are properly handled and packed in pallets, to ensure ease of transport.

For solar farm owners or investors, module underperformance needs to be detected and solved quickly. MOSS is experienced to assist you in all steps of the process – we have so far replaced 215,000 modules across 52 MWp on 5 projects. All replacements were done without safety incident and with happy clients. Contact us if you suspect your solar site is underperforming and find our other Services here!

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