We talk about it with the Field Coordinator of the one of most important solar plant in South Africa
Q. Why do you use an environmental monitoring system and how is it composed?
A. Environmental monitoring is important in order to accurately quantify and evaluate the performance of the Solar Plant, for example to control if the Facility energy output is aligned with the overall Facility input.
In our case, since we have a single axis tracking plant, it is even more important because the plant relies on trackers to optimize the Facility energy production.
It is also important to know what the PV Module temperature and ambient temperature is, in order to evaluate the PV module performance against the acceptable PV Module temperature degradation factor/coefficient.
The environmental variables that we measure through the LSI Lastem weather stations are:
– global radiation on the horizontal plane and on the tracking plane,
– global radiation through reference cells on the horizontal plane and on the tracking plane,
– ambient temperature and humidity, module temperature, wind direction and speed.
Q. Why is the calibration of radiometers and the whole system important?
A. Accurate data from the radiometers is crucial, in particular for the credibility of the Facility Performance Ratio calculations.
Q. What are, in your opinion, the strengths of the service offered by LSI Lastem?
From our side, the strong points of LSI Lastem, derived from the confidence we got from the weather stations installed on the Facility, are: the fact that the company has many years of experience in the environmental monitoring field, the prompt technical support, also in a remote way, and the customer service available worldwide.