Lesson 23. Maintenance aspects of photovoltaic systems

Operational and maintenance procedure of Solar Street light

General operational and maintenance aspects

  1. Use the solar solar photovoltaic systems regularly.

  2. Clean the dust on SPV module once in a month for better transmittance of the solar rays into the photovoltaic cells

  3. Avoid impact on the module

  4. Do not attempt to dismantle the module

  5. Do not focus any other light source on the module for want of enhanced power output.

  6. Do not stretch the cable (wire) of the module

  7. Check the working of the system once in a week for its output. For ex. glowing of CFL (dawn to dusk operation), power output from the system in case of power generation in terms of voltage, current etc.

  8. Do not work with the system while connected with the SPV or with working condition

  9. The performance of the accessories such as pumps, batteries, motors, lighting systems etc. are to tested periodically for better output.

  10. Ensure working of charge controllers to maintain the battery charging and discharging cycle For battery based systems

  11. Maintain battery terminals free from corrosion.

  12. Check specific gravity and temperature in each cell in battery once in a week

  13. Check charging voltage in battery terminals once in a week.

  14. Maintain distilled water level in battery once in a month

  15. Apply petroleum jelly / vaseline / grease to the battery terminal once in a month

  16. Keep the battery box neat and clean

  17. Never draw power from the battery for other purposes

The following parameters may be recorded in a possible periodical interval to assess the performance of the photovoltaic system

1. Energy generation (continuous, daily, monthly or annual cumulated)

2. Ambient conditions such as temperature, relative humidity and wind velocity

3. Solar radiation (beam and diffused)

4. Sun shine hours

5. Solar system temperature

6. Voltage and current of AC and DC systems

7. AC Power factor

8. AC harmonic distraction in current and voltage

9. System efficiency in terms of inverter, battery and solar photovoltaic system in total

10. Performance of tracking system if installed

Trouble Shooting Chart

The expected troubles and possible reasons and remedies are consolidated in this section. 

1. Lesser output from the PV panel

This may be due to accumulation of dust over the PV modules.  Periodical cleaning will solve the problem.  If the system is with tracking facility, the tracking may be checked for effective solar insolation collection. 

2. Charging of battery is low

First check the output from the PV panel and if any problem is identified that may be corrected. 

Still the problem persists; the batter may be checked for its condition.  The proper maintenance of battery may be done with periodical checking of battery cells. 

The performance of charge controller may be analysed for proper function which may cause the nil or reduced charging of battery.

The fuse may be burnt in the controller and may be rectified.

3. Improper functioning of end use systems such as street light or pumps

Check the condition of the system.  

For Ex. Solar street lights,

The fuse in the lighting system may be checked

The condition of CFL may be analysed

Fixing of the CFL fitting with the light may be checked

Connection of charging connector with the light may be checked

Last modified: Wednesday, 9 April 2014, 5:14 AM