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Best O&M Practices at HFE’s Solar Energy Sites

The world is showing no signs of slowing down in its shift to renewables. More and more businesses are adopting renewable energy, wind and solar farms are being set up, and the future indeed looks a lot greener. Although it is important to look towards the future, analyzing the present is just as important. That’s because while the quantity of renewable energy will be higher in the future, quality is something that can be maintained at high standards even today.

Hero Future Energies understands that maintaining quality is necessary to generate power efficiently and as such, employs certain practices at its solar sites. These practices help the company generate power efficiently, safely, and with minimal collateral damage to the environment.

The key practices include:

  • Water conservation with robot cleaning

Just imagine the time and effort (and water) required to manually clean the countless PV modules in a solar farm. And any delay that lets dust remain on the modules for long takes a toll on their efficiency. Robot cleaning brings automation into the picture, reducing both operational time and cost. Apart from water conservation, the method also ensures high day-to-day performance and increases the ROI from the solar assets.

  • Minimizing temperature effect with grass below the modules

Grass may well be the only vegetation with a role to play in solar ‘farms’. The efficiency of solar panels decreases if the panels get too hot. Under the PV modules, it helps in cooling the system by controlling the reflected heat from the ground, thus keeping the underside of solar panels cool and increasing the long-term efficiency.

  • Rainwater harvesting

Hero Future Energies’ understands that its commitment towards sustainability shouldn’t cause any collateral damage to the environment. Rainwater harvesting helps the company meet its water requirements to some extent and reduces its dependence on ground water. A rainwater harvesting system is much cheaper compared to other pumping and purifying means, is easy to maintain, and reduces water bills as well.

  • PV analyzer tool

Currently under implementation, the PV analyzer tool will help Hero Future Energies check the module health and degradation in-house. This will help us regulate our maintenance work better and realize the full potential of modules on our sites.

Along with these practices, some of the initiatives we plan to implement in the near future include:

  • Nano coating on solar modules

The hydrophobic and dust repellant qualities of nano coating on glass have long been known. These qualities play an even important in solar panels, protecting them during heavy rainfall, dust, and pollution. The coating’s self-cleaning effect stops dust, pollen and other such particles which can hinder the panel’s ability to absorb sunlight from sticking to the module, reducing the O&M cost and increasing the efficiency.

  • Thermography camera-equipped drones for inspection

Thermal imaging cameras used on drones will help detect hot spots in the solar panels even from a distance. This makes finding defects in the modules and taking corrective measures in a timely manner easier, preventing any breakdowns.

The role played by renewables in this day and age will only get more prominent with each passing day. As such, we don’t need to just increase their quantity but focus just as much on the quality. The more efficient they are, the brighter our future is. These measures, Hero Future Energies believe, will help us achieve the goal of a sustainable future smoothly.

Contributed by 

Atul Raaizada
President-Projects and O&M,
Wind & Solar farms and New Technologies