Solar Energy, Vol.137, 424-433, 2016
Remote supervision and fault detection on OPC monitored PV systems
This paper presents a new approach for automatic supervision and remote fault detection of grid connected photovoltaic (PV) systems by means of OPC technology-based monitoring. The use of standard OPC for monitoring enables data acquisition from a set of devices that use different communication protocols as inverters or other electronic devices present in PV systems enabling universal connectivity and interoperability. Using the OPC standard allows promoting interoperation of software objects in distributed-heterogeneous environments and also allows incorporating in the system remote supervision and diagnosis for the evaluation of grid connected PV facilities. The supervision system analyses the monitored data and evaluates the expected behaviour of main parameters of the PV array: Output voltage, current and power. The monitored data and evaluated parameters are used by the fault detection procedure in order to identify possible faults present in the PV system. The methodology presented has been experimentally validated in the supervision of a grid connected PV system located in Spain. Results obtained show that the combination of OPC monitoring along with the supervision and fault detection procedure is a robust tool that can be very useful in the field of remote supervision and diagnosis of grid connected PV systems. The RMSE between real monitored data and results obtained from the modelling of the PV array were below 3.6% for all parameters even in cloudy days. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.