PV O&M:Common Failure Modes, Cost Impacts, and Data Analysis

With the dramatic drop in hardware costs over the last decade, particularly for photovoltaic modules, the relative costs for Operations & Maintenance activities has increased significantly. The PV Operations & Management (PV O&M) project focuses on reducing these costs through development and subsequent application of methodologies to facilitate analysis and pattern identification of critical activities.

Currently, researchers are focused on understanding the impact of weather activities on PV systems, identification of common failures modes, and evaluation of associated cost impacts. The research team also engages in synergistic discussions focused on standardizing data terminology and database practices.

Analytical activities are informed by Sandia National Laboratories’ PV Reliability, Operations & Management (PVROM) database, which contains O&M records for over 800 sites, and captures five distinct O&M data collection practices across both distributed generation and utility-scale systems (see image above).

Methodological details are open-source, and project outcomes are shared at research and industry-oriented conferences.

Read our most recent report: Evaluation of Component Reliability in Photovoltaic Systems using Field Failure Statistics.

Representative publications include:

The SNL PVROM database contains 800+ sites (mostly utility-scale) from 24 states, representing 9 NOAA climatological regions and 11 Köppen climate regions.

Distributions: A Tool for Characterizing Failures

Leveraging Data Science and Machine Learning to Characterize and Improve PV O&M

Reliability Impacts to PV Plant Performance: Methods and Tools for O&M Insight

Simulating PV System Performance with Component Reliability Distributions

PV System Reliability: An O&M Perspective

PV Reliability Operations Maintenance (PVROM) Database: Data Collection & Analysis Insights

Standardizing PV O&M Practices – A Reliability Perspective