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1MW Solar Plant Maintenance Cost

Solar Power Plant, Energy Generating Stations, or Ground Mounted Solar Power Plants are classified as high-capacity systems, typically exceeding 100 kW. A 1 MW solar power plant with a 1-megawatt capacity can autonomously power a commercial establishment. Occupying approximately 4 to 5 acres, this size of solar utility farm generates around 4,000 kWh of cost-effective electricity daily. Any surplus power can be sold back to the government utility company through the net metering mechanism.

Using solar power is an effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. Solar energy doesn’t harm the environment in any way. Except for the requirement of a source of clean water for operation, solar power consumes no additional resources. It also doesn’t emit any greenhouse gases. As a result, it is both reliable and sustainable. So the global use of solar energy is increasing gradually and currently, 850.2 GW of solar energy can be obtained globally1. It is the best choice to invest in solar energy. A 1 MW solar power plant is a substantial investment in renewable energy infrastructure. A well-organized maintenance plan is essential to make sure it keeps running effectively and producing the best amount of energy. This article explores the different maintenance expenses related to a 1 MW solar power plant and provides ideas on how to efficiently manage them.

Working of a 1MW Solar Plant

Solar panels, whether in homes or businesses, work the same way regardless of their size or cost. They take in sunlight to create clean solar power. The panels have many strings of solar cells made of silicon alloys. When exposed to sunlight, these cells lose electrons due to a change in their electric field caused by photons. This process is called the ‘Photovoltaic Effect.’

The drifting electrons create a flow of direct current, which then travels through wires to an inverter. The inverter converts the direct current into alternating current, suitable for powering your devices and appliances. To make sure the solar panels get the most sunlight and produce maximum output during peak hours, their placement and orientation need careful planning with the right wiring and angle.

1 Megawatt Solar Panel Cost

On average, building a 1MW solar power plant in India costs around Rs 4 to 5 crores. Many things affect how much money you need to invest in the beginning. The main part of a solar power plant is the solar panel, which comes in different types. The ones called Crystalline solar panels, like monocrystalline and polycrystalline, are commonly used in most solar energy systems.

The monocrystalline type is more efficient, but it also makes the cost of your solar power plant in India go up. There are also other things you need to think about when choosing the right solar plant for your business.

ParticularsEstimated Cost
Solar Panels3 Crore
Solar Inverter1 Crore
Combiners + Junction Boxes20 Lakh
Protective Gears Arrangement10 Lakh
SCADA & Data Logger System7 Lakh
Land Bank*5 Acre
Erection of Project50 Lakh
Total Project Cost4.87 Cr. (Approx.)

How to Maintain a 1MW Solar Plant?

Taking care of a 1 MW solar power plant means making sure all the parts work well to produce the most energy. Follow this simple guide to keep your plant in good shape:

Cleaning the Panels:

  • How often: Clean the panels every 4-6 weeks, especially when there’s a lot of dust, pollen, or bird droppings.
  • How to clean: Use a soft brush and clean water. Don’t use harsh chemicals or rough materials that might harm the panels. If your panels tilt, it’s easier to clean them. You might want to get a system like that for larger plants.

Inspecting and Fixing Things:

  • Look closely: Regularly check for damage, cracks, color changes, or loose connections on panels, mounts, and electrical parts.
  • Infrared check: This fancy check can find hidden issues, like hot spots on panels showing there might be a problem inside.
  • Tightening bolts: After heavy rain or wind, make sure the bolts holding the panels are still tight.

Watching How Well It Works:

  • Use special software: Keep an eye on energy production, how well the inverter works, and the whole system’s health. You can use software provided by the installer or other companies.
  • Check performance: Calculate something called the “performance ratio” by dividing how much energy you’re actually getting by what you should be getting based on the panel and sunlight info. If it’s below 0.8, there might be a problem.

Taking Care of Plants Around:

  • Trimming plants: Cut or remove trees and bushes that might make shade on the panels and make them less efficient.
  • Clean the ground: Keep the area around the panels clean by using gravel or short plants to stop weeds and dust from building up.

1 Megawatt Solar Plant Maintenance Cost

The cost of maintenance services is determined by a variety of factors. The first is the place. The majority of panel installations are constructed on rooftops, however, others are made on the side of the ground of the house. Solar panel inspection, bird and pest deterrence, and trimming trees or vegetation are some other major maintenance for a solar panel. For a 1MW solar power plant maintenance cost is around 1,00,000 rupees per year.

ParticularEstimated Cost (Rupees)
Human Resource10-12 Lakhs/ Year
Cleaning20,000-50,000/Year
Maintenance and Replacement of Inverters30,000-60,000/Year
Monitoring System Maintenance4,500 to 5 Lakhs/Year
Solar Power Plant Maintenance1 Lakh/ Year
Site Maintenance60,000 – 80,000/Year
Total Maintenance Cost12,14,500-19,90,000/Year

Breakdown of Solar Plant Maintenance Costs

The installation of solar panels is a long-term investment that can last for decades with very little maintenance, but that does not mean you should install them once and leave them alone. Plan a yearly inspection and cleaning, and be aware of any possible issues like storm damage or overhanging trees. It’s important to have such investments regularly maintained and cleaned by professionals to make sure they remain in excellent condition and continue to provide advantages.

Breaking down the maintenance costs for a 1 MW solar plant on a per-component basis, here are some estimated costs:

Human Resource

A 1 MW solar panel maintenance cost for human resources (HR) would usually include the costs of managing human resources activities related to the workforce in charge of running and maintaining the solar panels. This covers recruitment, training, pay, benefits, and other HR-related tasks. The human resource cost is around 10-12 Lakhs rupees year.

Cleaning

This is an important aspect of maintaining solar panels. You may require cleaning the panels more often in India because of the potential for high levels of dust and pollution in some places. The price of cleaning every year might be between 20,000 and 50,000 rupees or more.

Maintenance and Replacement of Inverters

The most important component of every solar panel system is the inverter, which transforms DC electricity into AC. Maintenance and future replacement may cost range between INR 30,000 and INR 60,000 per year, depending on the quality and kind of inverter used.

Monitoring System Maintenance

You can check the performance of your solar panels by using a monitoring system. A monitoring system can cost between 4,500 to 5,00,000.0 INR.

Solar Site Maintenance Cost

Solar site maintenance refers to the ongoing care and management of a solar energy installation or solar farm. This includes a range of activities and checks performed to ensure that the solar panels and associated equipment operate optimally and continue to generate electricity efficiently. The site maintenance cost is around 60,000 – 80,000 rupees per year.

Solar Panel Maintenance Cost

The problem determines how much it will typically cost to fix the solar panel, and it can be between $20 and $3,0008. A damaged system can lead to reduced performance, electrical shorts, and even home fires. So, it is important to get any issues handled by experts as soon as possible because of this. The more common problems discovered during the inspection are shown in the chart below along with the typical cost for solving them.

ProblemRepair Cost Including Labor (in USD)
Obstructing Branches$50 – $200
Loose Wiring$100 – $400
Hail Damage$120 – $500/panel
Cracked Glass$120 – $500/panel
Rust$150 – $350
Cracked Panel$150 – $500/panel
No Voltage$400 – $3,000
Inverter Not Communicating$500 – $3,000
Leak$500 – $3,000

To ensure the long-term performance and financial sustainability of the 1 MW solar power plant maintenance costs must be well managed. Operators can increase energy output while lowering costs by executing a well-organized maintenance plan and utilizing strategic cost-saving strategies. The sustainable and economical operation of a solar plant is achieved by regular inspections, preventative maintenance, and spending money on high-quality components.

Originally published at futr.energy/knowledge

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