Monitoring smartbox – integral part of PV installation mainly dedicated to measure the electrical and thermal parameters of the system (on single module level), transmit the data for the real time monitoring of the performance of the system and alarm and shut down in case of the fault or failure within the system components. Principle scheme of PV system equipped with smartboxes is shown in figure below:
Monitoring Box with Rapid ShutDown (SuperPV)
Main performance parameters of the PV module that will be monitored: open
circuit voltage, short circuit current, maximum power point voltage, maximum power point current and working temperature of the designed
part of the module. Storing and analysing this data will allow quickly detecting underperforming or faulty panels in the system, monitoring the degradation rate of PV panels. Having this data will allow to save on maintenance costs by reducing the time
needed to identify and fix the problems within the system and also reduce the time of non-operation, which means that the PV plant will generate more energy compared to less advanced systems with no module level monitoring. In this project the functionality of the smartbox will be enhanced based on the specific needs of the PV plant owners.
Main advantage of using MLPE (i.e. smartbox) compared to alternative measures
(drones with thermal cameras, for instance) for detection of underperforming modules within the plant is that MLPE can instantly implement safety measures (shut down of overheating panel, for example) based on the monitoring data it gathers. This allows to mitigate the possible consequences of underperforming, damaged PV modules instantly, thus increasing the LCOE of the whole system.
The SUPER PV project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 792245.