The Spanish company TSO, The South Oracle, has patented an exclusive software for the automatic identification of failures in the images taken with drones in PV modules, which in addition to guaranteeing the maintenance of PV plants, also allows repowering.
In order to develop this project called OSR, Optimized Solar Repowering, TSO has a team of engineers and scientists within the Biomedical Technology Centre of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid) who work with leading-edge technology to complete this software that will be launched on the market in the first quarter of 2020.
After an exhaustive analysis of PV plants in Europe, TSO’s R&D department saw the need to accelerate the maintenance process, minimizing costs and its duration. Therefore, the research focused on developing a computer system connected to drones, the aim of which was to provide in record time, a complete report of the current status of each photovoltaic panel within a plant.
Thus OSR, the preventive-predictive and corrective Smart Solar Maintenance (SSM) software, was born, which through thermography and visible image with drones also guarantees the Repowering/Revamping of solar plants, detecting failures in PV modules instantly and allowing the reinstallation of damaged panels for optimal solar production, even offering an economic study of such repowering/revamping. In this way, OSR will be presented as an innovative solution in the updating of PV plants that have already completed their warranty period and need to return to full performance.
With this software, TSO will put an end to the problems many current installations have nowadays, which gradually affect their production during their useful life, by predicting the modules that are going to fail before compliance with the guarantee and those that have to be changed in plants that have completed 10 years of operation and are therefore out of guarantee. Reports of this company indicate that around 6-8% of the PV modules present failures in plants installed 10 years ago and that 2% of the modules will fail throughout their useful life in any solar plant.
In conclusion, The South Oracle’s OSR will cover three existing needs in PV plants. Firstly, the preventive-predictive and corrective Smart Solar Maintenance (SSM); secondly, the plant repowering/revamping to optimize the production and finally, the economic study and the new proposal that will guarantee the maximum profitability of the solar plant.
The company has announced that a demonstration of the advantages of its OSR patent will be conducted during the O&M and Asset Management International Congress to be held on 5 December in London.
This R&D&I project is financed by ERDF funds from the European Union, through the CDTI, a public entity dependent on the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities of the Government of Spain, to promote innovation and technological development of Spanish companies.