The Future of Solar Energy with SCADA

Applied Tech Review | Monday, August 29, 2022

SCADA system connects various components of a site, and those components continue to grow, enabling solar operators to assess all pertinent solar project data in a single location.

Fremont, CA: All SCADA systems collect data from various devices, including meters, inverters, weather stations, trackers, DC strings, and more. On a fundamental level, these systems provide actionable data to assess if solar plant equipment is behaving as intended, identifying offline and malfunctioning equipment. System operators and performance engineers can examine SCADA data to determine when to dispatch technicians for problem resolution. As analytics, extensive services integration, and countless other technologies continue to evolve; it is easier than ever to improve a site's operations without incurring more expenses by employing SCADA.

SCADA for details in data

Traditional SCADA systems continuously monitor a site's equipment and send data samples to a local historian. Real-time data is exhibited visibly on operator screens and is utilized to assess alert circumstances. Most systems provide a summary of collected data to spot trends and problems, as well as design queries and reports that summarize the data for operational maintenance and management.

Since a SCADA system already maintains plant operational data, it makes sense to incorporate sophisticated analytics and performance management into the same SCADA system as opposed to adding external systems. This minimizes the total complexity and cost of operations. Moreover, the collection of data in real-time facilitates the resolution of plant performance concerns.

SCADA for perfection through analytics

The application of analytics to a solar installation yields important knowledge about the performance of the project. Visually displaying this data with graphs and reports on user-friendly dashboards helps to optimize performance and summarize information. For instance, the performance of a full fleet can be evaluated and compared with fleet data organized by type and equipment.

Advanced analytics are rapidly being integrated into SCADA platforms for direct data management. Traditionally, this type of analysis has been conducted on separate systems. Aside from cost-effectiveness, the ability to arrange both historical and real-time data in several ways enables solar project operators to rapidly adjust to discernible trends, thereby optimizing their generation and increasing revenue.

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