The components within photovoltaic systems must be able to withstand high stresses. Wear of individual contacts can quickly lead to malfunctions or operating failures, resulting in significant additional costs.
“Monitoring and SCADA systems are crucial for the efficiency of photovoltaic parks and therefore for safeguarding the yield over the long term. They record and process real-time data, control and regulate the mains-compliant feed-in operation, communicate system problems and reduce downtimes,” explains Markus Holzapfel, Product Manager at meteocontrol. The internationally active company with around 130 employees has been working on projects in the field of renewable energies for over 40 years, and currently monitors more than 43,000 photovoltaic systems worldwide, with a total output of around 12 GWp.
“To keep the risk of faults to a minimum and to ensure the stability of our customers’ systems, we use reliable string measuring technology. The complete solutions from Weidmüller offer not only operational reliability of over 25 years, but also the seamless integration into our monitoring solutions,” he adds. The interplay between Weidmüller’s combiner boxes with integrated output monitoring and meteocontrol’s monitoring and SCADA solutions creates an integrated system that ensures complete monitoring and the optimal performance of photovoltaic parks.
“In Fukuyama, Japan, meteocontrol brought us on board very early on, and we supervised the over 126,000-square-metre large park from the planning phase right through to its connection to the mains,” Weidmüller Industry Development Manager Markus Priester recalls. Since the commissioning in October 2016, around ten kilotons of CO2 emissions have been saved thanks to the generated energy.
“To begin with, our specialists from the Global Application Center adapted the entire system design to meet meteocontrol’s requirements profile. Our
As an integrated performance monitoring system, Transclinic ensures the simple and secure monitoring of the photovoltaic park in Fukuyama, Japan. The accurate error diagnostics allows for the targeted optimisation of the system.
development and testing concept ensures that the most stringent quality standards are met here,” Priester continues. The customised solutions are integrated smoothly into the system topology without any problems. The Transclinic monitoring system continuously analyses current and voltage, the status of surge voltage arresters and load-break switches as well as the combiner box temperature, enabling highly detailed error diagnostics and quick rectification. With the open protocol Modbus RTU, the parameters measured at fieldbus level can be transmitted to the blue’Log X-series data logger, and sent to the web application VCOM (Virtual Control Room), with a guaranteed high level of communication security.
When fitting out its panels with power supply and UPS, meteocontrol uses Weidmüller’s tried-and-tested products, services and expertise. The PUSH IN terminal blocks in the A-series keep wiring times to a minimum.
“One particular feature of our string measuring technology in combination with the blue’Log X-series data logger from meteocontrol is that this setup allows for live access directly from the monitoring portal, which significantly reduces the number of on-site interventions required when carrying out service work,” he notes.
“With Weidmüller, we have found not only a partner with long-standing experience in the photovoltaics sector, but also the absolute specialist in electrical connectivity,” says Markus Holzapfel. “When planning and fitting out our panels with terminal blocks, power supply and UPS, we always use Weidmüller’s tried-and-tested products, services and expertise.”
In addition to the advantages in terms of the solutions on offer, customers also benefit from the close cooperation between the partners, as well as the comprehensive range of services provided by meteocontrol. In relation to this, Markus Holzapfel says: “Our local project team has put the monitoring and park network into operation, including the bus
troubleshooting and fault rectification in the cables to the combiner boxes, and has presented a concept designed to establish a communication connection between the two system parts that are eleven kilometres apart, by way of a VPN tunnel. This positive and intensive collaboration will undoubtedly be followed by further projects.”
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Published in November 2017
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