The Solar Monitoring
First of all we would like to thank to the strata who delicately focusing on renewable energy and specially to Solar and Wind. We have seen from ground to Sky of the solar and Wind. You knew that the sky does not have the limits hence whatever has been seen as of now may be nothing and we may going to see much more in near future.
The technology has taken the lead into the automation of business process from from the data collection to data processing, data analysis to work execution and again analysis of execution. From 20th Century to 21st century the new joint came into reality i.e. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Earlier you might seen people were sitting in front of the electrical panels and inking the readings on the paper and later on from paper to excel. Now the era has gone and the data is being collected by the devices.
The IoT (Internet of Things) has played a vital role in our daily life as well as in the industry. The IoT is taking the place of PLC Controllers and IoT's are easy to access, manage and maintain. If we look into the life-cycle of two decades, we were dependent on Static IP address provided by the telecom companies. The security layer were poor and tough to manage. Now that is gone and new Era is here were almost all the devices are coming with embedded IoT.
IoT has also given a significant contribution into renewable energy and specially into Solar where nothing is rotating to generate the electricity. The IoT play a key role not limited to the data collection but also data processing, localized data storage, data reliability, data analysis and final data publish to the right place.
Visual Monitoring to Remote Monitoring
The Era has been shift from the visual monitoring (where people were used to physically look the equipment) to Remote Monitoring (The equipment are being monitoring remotely either onsite or offsite). this was a bigger change in the operational behavior of the Operator, things become untouched for the longer period. data came directly from equipment to the database. configured report were ready for use. During this change industry has gone through various pros and cons. Now this is totally settled down and everybody is ok with it. Now everybody needs a Remote monitoring system so that they can make utilize the data for analysis and decision making.
Now the point is whether we agree or degree agree the industry has grown exponentially and the knowledge as well but the knowledge not reached to everyone because knowledge required time. If you see in the solar industry almost every month the plants are energizing and they feeding the energy to the transmission system and each plant required a competent resource who can manage the whole process. The plant is big or small majority of process and complexity remain same means, the competencies in a big plant lets say 1GWp and 10MWp remain approx same except change in equipment quantity, technology and behavior of the plant. So the point is are we really ready with such kind of resources, the answer may be yes or no dependent on person to person but the fact is that, we are trying to put fresh people which is also a good thing but the knowledge bank is missing there. So what is happening is the fresh people are again learning or doing the same thing which was done a decade back and that's also OK because he is doing his best to catch up.
To overcome such issues some of us decided to keep centralized knowledge bank and appointed experienced people to manage the multiple projects. Now the point here is that its person dependency and one person can cater to how many further people. This system again has some pros and cons, ifs and buts this adaptability came rapidly.
Now the question is that has it solved the purpose so the answer is no because one person can focus on one plant better. If he focus on more than one project then he become manager who manages the things but not do. Now when he won't do then who will? so we are again in the same issue and this has significantly impacted the project performance.
Remote Monitoring to AI and ML Based Monitoring
So the answer of our above question is that who will do the job of an experienced professional for managing the plant is Machine. Yes the one machine can act as individual for many project where human cannot. So if the intelligence, knowledge approach can be coached to the machine then off course its possible. The learning is continuous process so we need Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence into the system which can take the decision.
Currently multiple Remote Monitoring Solution providers are claiming that they have AI and ML based solution which is doing exactly the things which wrote above but the fact is that many of the things are still concept. May be someone is doing and we are not aware at the time we wrote this blog and our apology to them.
Needs and Expectations
So from AI and ML based monitoring what are the exceptions to the industry? the answer may be as following
Notify the real actionable events
Notification time should be very quick
Action should be re-analysed
Understand the new behavior of the system
If these are possible to achieve then off-course we need people who are really engineer and required to work for resolution of things. so the question is that why its not happening when its possible? the answer may be the financial feasibility of the system because the cost of such system is really high. Not today but tomorrow the alternate needs to look because of scalability happening in the market. Again here centralized system who has highest market share can afford it or on rent base system may play a lead role. With the technology shift happening everyday in the industry which is also being one of the challenge to the service providers.
So the current solution at this stage is when all these are not possible is outsourcing to the Monitoring Centers who are monitoring layer based monitoring. Here Layer base monitoring is important because each layer shall be taken care by specific team and this way they will be economical but able to analyse the large amount of data for multiple projects at the same time. This approach is actually going to support until we have the expected technology shift into monitoring. for more detail how to do it you may write us on email@example.com