Vector Cuatro expands PVdiagnosis services to Japan
Since the introduction of the Feed in Tariff scheme in July 2012, the solar PV market in Japan has evolved rapidly, growing not only in size and capacity but also expanding from a house scale typical photovoltaic installation to megasolar projects of capacities of over 200 MW in some cases.
Consequently, it can be stated that Japan has developed to a mature solar PV market, with already more than 8 GW connected, and where different services are required for the already existing facilities. On top of an appropriate maintenance, which is usually focused on preserving the plant’s condition during the long term, there is also the necessity of analyzing the plant at a certain point. This can be needed for many reasons, varying from mere problem detection, specific assessment that can be beyond the O&M or EPC contract, or simply the requirement of an independent analysis for an investor.
A comprehensive audit of a PV plant has multiple advantages for all the players involved during its lifetime. Such a specific inspection helps to anticipate the risks and to understand any issue that might ballast the production, thus improving the performance from a technical standpoint and having also repercussions on the project’s profitability and bankability. In this regard, a complete audit of a Plant takes special importance as a way to ensure that all the systems meet the required levels of quality, performance and safety. The following table shows some samples of issues and defects that may be found while performing tests onsite.
As the demand for solar PV audits (for EPC performance assessments as well as for turnkey transactions) in Japan is becoming stronger and stronger, services of independent solar PV advisors, become more and more important.
Vector Cuatro entered the renewable energy markets in Japan first in 2012. Since then, the Nippon delegation has grown up positioning itself as a key reference in the local renewable industry with an international client portfolio to which the most active banks and companies in Japan belong. Currently, Vector Cuatro provides asset management services for more than 100 MW and has provided support in transactions, feasibility studies, technical due diligences and consulting services in Japan that total more than 4 GW. Now, Vector Cuatro goes one step further in the market, bringing its subsidiary PVdiagnosis.
PVdiagnosis offers an independent and specialized service designed for anyone interested in assessing the operational condition of a given solar PV facility or portfolio. The main goal of PVdiagnosis is to optimize energy production, to verify durability conditions and to ensure technical and financial feasibility by making sure that equipment and facility contractual guarantees are complied with. PVdiagnosis take advantage of the local knowledge and the real experience gained by Vector Cuatro in the provision of technical services (more than 4 GW in Japan and 12 GW worldwide and the management of over 1.6 GW (125 MW of which are in Japan) for the benefit of its clients.
The main services offered by PVdiagnosis are:
- Thermographic analysis of panels, string boxes and main equipment.
- Inverter performance analysis of anomalies and verification of the supplier features.
- Panel measurements performed by an independent laboratory. Management, analysis and comparison of the results.
- Study and assessment of the on-site weather stations. Comparison and correlation with our own calibrated weather station.
- Calibration of sensors according to the O&M contract.
- Assessment of the facility’s performance (by means of 72-hour test)
- Production of panel analysis reports focused on technical anomalies and incidents affecting claim processes.
- Measurement and assessment of I/V Curves of panels and series, aimed at characterizing and analyzing them qualitatively.
- Quality inspection.