This week, PV Insider, CSP Today and MENASOL hosted a seminar on Optimal O&M for PV Plants in MENA. It gave practical insight into some of the soiling and O&M issues that developers, asset managers, and debt providers take into account in O&M planning and budgeting.
Frank Teofilo of First Solar discussed O&M practices for Phase 1 of the Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. Phase 1 is a 13 MW project that is the initial stepping stone in a multi-phase project that enjoys strong support from the Government of Dubai and will total 1,000 MW of combine PV and CSP capacity.
The impact of dust exposure over time is shown at left and a clear indication of climate conditions in GCC coastal locations. Low cost labour and low water availability justify manual cleaning and dry processes. In one approach, First Solar used a brush trolly where dual brushes are suspended on the trolly frame and two workers man each unit. In the second approach, a dust broom is used and 4 workers clean 1MW of capacity per night.
The following graph shows plant production as a function of time of day and given different cleaning strategies. The extremes include heavily soiled modules and no cleaning for 2 months, versus wet cleaned modules that were maintained daily. Production profiles for the two varied by 35% at a zenith angle of zero. Financial exposures include power losses, equipment damange due to surface abrasions, and dust migration into sensitive electronics.
Ignazio Martinez of DNV-GL presented slides on risk mitigation in O&M. A conceptual profile of dust losses was shared. It shows a range of production losses attributed to dust applied in project feasibility assessments and financing.