Operation and Maintenance a strategic service that evolves

Operation and Maintenance a strategic service that evolves

21 Jun, 2022

In a historical period where politicians are sensitive to environmental issues and there is a need to produce energy in a way that is less dependent on non-renewable resources, it becomes more logical and strategic to invest in RES plantsIn such a context, the approach of plant owners has changed considerably and technical skills have become more widespread, so Operation and Maintenance services have also evolved, adapting to the specific needs of customers. 

A new energy market

Declining module costs and rising energy costs have made photovoltaic systems competitive for energy production, so much so that in recent years a new market has developed for the construction of power plants that are completely free of feed-in tariffs and work in Market Parity, like any other power plant. 

Even public opinion, which has always been against large ground-mounted power plants, seems to have re-evaluated photovoltaic plants in this new context, seeing them not only as “financial investments”, but as indispensable infrastructures for the sustainable development of our society. 

Evolution and adaptation of O&M services

In this new evolution of photovoltaic systems, the customer who has built a portfolio of ground-mounted systems or a system defined as “industrial', i.e., installed on the roofs of its production sites, is focused on its core business and prefers to leave the total management of its asset to professionals in the sector, keeping mainly production and performance KPIs monitored to assess the goodness of its investment and the savings obtained from self-consumption; it considers the system as a tool for energy independence aimed at making energy costs less variable. 

Manni Energy, taking care of all Manni Group's photovoltaic assets, is highly specialised in the management of industrial customers, having in its DNA the care and attention to customers with the typical needs required by entrepreneurs.

Operation and Maintenance services in photovoltaics require:

  • The ability to perform detailed analyses of plant components, mainly modules, inverters and transformers
  • Have specific expertise on inverters
  • An efficient network for repairing components or supplying spare parts. 

For customers who have made a lot of investments to become energy producers, the approach to maintaining plant performance has definitely changed in recent years.

Investors have structured themselves by acquiring in-house technical expertise that allows them to make assessments not only related to the opportunity cost of a business based on maintaining the asset, but also to be proactive in improving KPIs and plant life.

In this context, the O&M service is increasingly linked to the concept of partnership between customer and supplier: a great deal of attention is demanded to intervention times to increase plant availability and PR indices are no longer seen as a guarantee to be provided, but as signs of asset deterioration on which to intervene by means of specialised analyses to detect problems and by means of technical proposals for solution or improvement. 

Tools and skills at the service of the customer

The most distinctive element in achieving plant performance targets is the monitoring system and the team that manages it.

The reliability of the data collected and the software that processes it are what is needed to make decisions.

Periodic trends and comparisons of several variables over time make it possible to understand whether there is a failure or the occurrence of one, through statistics and data analysis.

The human factor, always assisted by technology, is however the element that makes the difference in the monitoring service: 

  • Troubleshooting skills
  • Locating the fault quickly
  • Speed in quickly engaging the field technician
  • Communicate information in a clear and timely manner to all stakeholders

All these tasks are only efficiently tackled by a well-trained and close-knit team.

Manni Energy's Service Specialist team is the team of technicians, supported by the Engineering Division, that constantly monitors our customers' plants, analyses their data and implements all necessary actions to improve plant KPIs.

To this end, Manni Energy has developed a proprietary platform for the management of photovoltaic plants called ME Vision, where all information related to the plant is conveyed, from as-built and HSE documentation to ticket history, from the management of bureaucratic deadlines to KPI monitoring, as well as all statistical data of the monitored components.

The O&M service on photovoltaic systems has evolved and become increasingly specialised and highly technical.

The performance of photovoltaic technology is influenced by factors that are unpredictable and constantly changing; therefore, expertise and experience are the keys to adding value for customers and improving energy production without impacting the environment.

Written by

Raffaele Bulgarelli - Digital Marketing Expert at Manni Group
Raffaele Bulgarelli - Digital Marketing Expert at Manni Group

Raffaele, Digital Marketing Expert of Manni Group, works in synergy with Isopan, gaining insight into the technical world of sandwich panels and keeping pace with the latest trends in the building industry. Thanks to his training in Architecture, he has a keen eye for online topics and activities involving designers and architects.

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