Special Issue "Recent Advances in Photovoltaic Systems Operation and Maintenance (O&M)"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Solar Energy and Photovoltaic Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Paulo Jose Da Costa Branco
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, 1649-004 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: electrical machines and drives; photovoltaic systems; applications of superconductors for electric power systems
Prof. Dr. Carlos Alberto Ferreira Fernandes
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, 1649-004 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: semiconductor materials; optoelectronic devices; photoemitters

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are inviting submissions to a Special Issue of Energies on the subject of “Recent Advances in Photovoltaic Systems Operation and Maintenance (O&M)”. Energies is a recognized peer-reviewed open access journal published by MDPI, with a current Impact Factor of 2.707, being quartile Q1 in “Electrical and Electronics Engineering”. Our aim for this Special Issue is to present a collection of reviews and original research papers aimed at helping the solar and energy industry, investors, and researchers have access to the latest and innovative O&M strategies so as to maximise the operating life-time of the existing PV power plants, augmenting its annual revenue.

In this framework, we invite papers on case studies, analytical and simulation models, reviews, and innovative developments in topics that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Monitoring and maintenance strategies for already existing PV power plants;
  • New solar cell models and new types of instrumentation capable of introducing different functionalities and ways to monitor the performance of PV systems;
  • Reliability evaluation of failures in PV systems;
  • Machine learning algorithms capable of detecting and identifying anomalies in PV systems;
  • Advances in performance modelling, analysis, and monitoring capable of bringing new insight over the degradation status of a PV system.

Prof. Paulo Jose Da Costa Branco
Prof. Dr. Carlos Alberto Ferreira Fernandes
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Reliability evaluation
  • Smart operation strategy
  • Photovoltaic power systems
  • FMEA
  • Electrical maintenance
  • Failure analysis
  • Monitorization and maintenance
  • Availability
  • Root cause analysis of failures

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
MMC-Based PV Single-Phase System with Distributed MPPT
Energies 2020, 13(15), 3964; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13153964 - 01 Aug 2020
Abstract
The presence and evolution of static power converters in electric grids are growing on a daily basis. Starting from the most used voltage source converter (VSC), passing through the use of multilevel converters, the most recent configuration is the so-called modular multilevel converter [...] Read more.
The presence and evolution of static power converters in electric grids are growing on a daily basis. Starting from the most used voltage source converter (VSC), passing through the use of multilevel converters, the most recent configuration is the so-called modular multilevel converter (MMC). Because of its intrinsic advantages, it is used not only in high-voltage systems but also in low- and medium-voltage ones to interface renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic (PV) panels. Several configurations and maximum power point tracker (MPPT) algorithms have been proposed and analyzed for MMC-PV-based systems. However, when using distributed MPPTs, partial shading conditions cause a problem. The PV panel can be directly connected to the MMC using its dc link or submodule. Based on this configuration, this paper proposes a novel control strategy that tracks both the ac grid current and ac circulating current for a single-phase low-voltage system to obtain the maximum power under any irradiance condition. The effectiveness of the proposed control strategy is demonstrated through time-domain simulation results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Analysis of Ground-Mounted vs. Rooftop Photovoltaic Systems Optimized for Interrow Distance between Parallel Arrays
Energies 2020, 13(14), 3639; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13143639 - 15 Jul 2020
Abstract
The aim of this research is to perform an in-depth performance comparison of ground-mounted and rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems. The PV modules are tilted to receive maximum solar irradiance. The efficiency of the PV system decreases due to the mutual shading impact of [...] Read more.
The aim of this research is to perform an in-depth performance comparison of ground-mounted and rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems. The PV modules are tilted to receive maximum solar irradiance. The efficiency of the PV system decreases due to the mutual shading impact of parallel tilted PV modules. The mutual shading decreases with the increasing interrow distance of parallel PV modules, but a distance that is too large causes an increase in land cost in the case of ground-mounted configuration and a decrease in roof surface shading in the case of rooftop configuration, because larger sections of roof are exposed to sun radiation. Therefore, an optimized interrow distance for the two PV configurations is determined with the aim being to minimize the levelized cost of energy (LCoE) and maximize the energy yield. The model of the building is simulated in EnergyPlus software to determine the cooling load requirement and roof surface temperatures under different shading scenarios. The layout of the rooftop PV system is designed in Helioscope software. A detailed comparison of the two systems is carried out based on energy output, performance ratio, capacity utilization factor (CUF), energy yield, and LCoE. Compared to ground-mounted configuration, the rooftop PV configuration results in a 2.9% increase in CUF, and up to a 23.7% decrease in LCoE. The results of this research show that installing a PV system on a roof has many distinct advantages over ground-mounted PV systems such as the shading of the roof, which leads to the curtailment of the cooling energy requirements of the buildings in hot regions and land cost savings, especially for urban environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design, Simulation, and Economic Optimization of an Off-Grid Photovoltaic System for Rural Electrification
Energies 2019, 12(24), 4735; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12244735 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Access to clean and affordable energy in rural African regions can contribute greatly to social development. Hence, this article proposes the design, simulation, and optimization of a stand-alone photovoltaic system (SAPV) to provide non-polluting electrical energy based on a renewable source for a [...] Read more.
Access to clean and affordable energy in rural African regions can contribute greatly to social development. Hence, this article proposes the design, simulation, and optimization of a stand-alone photovoltaic system (SAPV) to provide non-polluting electrical energy based on a renewable source for a rural house located in Tazouta, Morocco. Real monthly electrical demands and hourly climatic conditions were utilized. An initial design process indicated that, with a 1080 Wp total capacity of PV modules and 670 Ah of battery storage, the proposed SAPV system was able to meet a considerable part of the dwelling load with an average solar fraction of about 79.1%. The rest of the energy demand was ensured by a diesel generator (DG). Also, a life cycle analysis of the PV system revealed that the life cycle cost is 10,195.56 USD and the unit electricity cost is 0.57 USD/kWh for an initial investment of 4858.68 USD. Thereafter, an optimum design based on Homer Pro software was carried out indicating that lower PV capacity can decrease the unit energy cost to 0.356 USD/kWh while reducing the solar fraction to 54.9%. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
PV System Predictive Maintenance: Challenges, Current Approaches, and Opportunities
Energies 2020, 13(6), 1398; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13061398 - 17 Mar 2020
Abstract
Within the United States solar energy industry, there is a general motto of “set it and forget it” with solar energy. This notion is derived from much of the research and reliability studies around the photovoltaic (PV) panels themselves, not necessarily the PV [...] Read more.
Within the United States solar energy industry, there is a general motto of “set it and forget it” with solar energy. This notion is derived from much of the research and reliability studies around the photovoltaic (PV) panels themselves, not necessarily the PV system as a whole (including the inverter and other components). This implies that maintenance and regular monitoring is not needed. Yet many things can go wrong to cause the actual performance to deviate from the expected performance. If failures and/or unanticipated degradation issues go undetected, they will lead to reduced energy generation (and associated electricity credits) and/or potential loss of component warranty because of manufacturer turnover. Given the size of the problem and gaps with current solutions, the authors propose that PV system owners need an unbiased third-party off-the-shelf system-level predictive maintenance tool to optimize return-on-investment and minimize time to warranty claim in PV installations. This paper reviews the literature highlighting challenges, current approaches, and opportunities for PV predictive maintenance. The paper concludes with a call to action for establishing a collaborative agenda toward prioritizing PV predictive maintenance. Full article
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