Last week solar professionals registered from 32 countries gathered for a webinar putting the use of “big data” for solar PV asset care under a microscope.

Conducted on March 19 by Solar Power World, a leading industry publication, and Alectris, a global solar PV asset care provider, the webinar “Drowning in Solar Data, but Starving for Knowledge?” was an interactive format giving attendees the opportunity to express their chief complaints.

The discoveries unearthed in the webinar included four big problems inherent in the current status of monitoring and analytics for the operations, maintenance and asset management of the world’s solar PV sites.

The industry’s widespread need for effective information processing was reinforced by noted researcher, Cedric Brehaut, author of the GTM Research Reports Megawatt-Scale PV O&M and Asset Management and Global PV Monitoring who stated: “Solar PV monitoring and data analysis solutions are increasingly expected to enable efficiency and productivity gains in operations & maintenance and asset management activities. Early detection of faults and underperformance conditions, remote diagnosis and troubleshooting, and streamlining of processes are paramount as solar portfolios grow in size and O&M market prices continue to come down.”

The audience represented a mix of self-identified solar industry players predominately EPC/installation firms.

Big Problem #1 – Report Generation

The first big problem with solar PV “big data” came in answer to this question, “What kinds of challenges do you face related to data to manage your solar assets?”

Attendees were given these multiple choice options 1) Data is not congruent,  2) I don’t get the kind of data I need,  3) Takes too much time to generate reports, 4)Data does not help me manage some aspects  and 5) The Data is too expensive.

Nearly half of the attendees answered “it takes too much time to generate the reports” they need to maintain and manage their PV assets.  The second most popular response at 38% was the “data does not help me manage some aspect.”

Read about the other three problems on Solarpowerworldonline