Monitoring of photovoltaic systems is required for the detection of operational issues, and to compare the performance of different systems across a range of technologies and climates. Performance and reliability data can therefore facilitate appropriate system design and technology choice, and in the long term, establish credible expectations about PV system performance.
The purpose of this guideline is to provide recommendations for monitoring and analysis of the performance and reliability of flat plate grid connected photovoltaic (PV) systems in Australia.
This guideline was developed primarily with reference to the following documents, with adaptations for current and emerging needs and Australian conditions:
IEC Standard 61724: Photovoltaic system performance monitoring – Guidelines for measurement, data exchange and analysis
European Commission 6th Framework Programme: Monitoring guidelines for photovoltaic systems
This document offers guidance on which parameters should be measured, how they should be measured and the frequency of measurement for the following seven uses of PV performance and reliability data:
1. Performance assessment of PV technologies under outdoor conditions – a. Basic monitoring, and b. Detailed monitoring
2. Performance diagnostics
3. Degradation and uncertainty analysis with time
4. Understanding/reducing system losses via comparisons to modelled performance data
5. Forecasting PV performance
6. Interaction of PV systems with the electricity network
7. Integration of distributed generation, storage and load control