Improving Efficiency of PV Systems Using Statistical Performance Monitoring

Availability, high efficiency and therefore fault detection are of equal importance to the PV system owner and the grid manager for utility‐grade PV and increasingly for the small residential array. With increasing penetration of small arrays, large neighborhoods aggregate to virtual megawatt power stations, creating an amorphous and unpredictable power‐producing entity.

Achieving and maintaining high efficiency is the responsibility of the system owner. Large PV plants are business units in and of themselves and are managed accordingly. Commercial, small industrial and residential systems are usually erected on independent rooftops with no immediate professional oversight as to daily maintenance. Few small systems are effectively monitored. At best, the system owner monitors the inverter and is made aware of faults to the level of awareness that such monitoring is capable of achieving.  

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