ABB to execute solar service contract in Bulgaria

2012-09-27 - Control center in Sofia will remotely monitor operation and equipment performance of new PV plants

By ABB Communications

ABB has signed operation and maintenance (O&M) contracts for four photovoltaic power plants in the municipalities of Pleven, Kazanlak, Karlovo and Silistra in northern and central Bulgaria, with total installed capacity of 85 megawatt peak (MWp). Owned and built by Hareon Solar, a leading Chinese-based manufacturer of PV modules and a major investor in PV power plants in Bulgaria. Silistra and Cherganovo PV plants are supplied with Hareon PV panels while Pleven and Kolarovo plants are equipped with panels manufactured by the Swiss company ILB Helios under Hareon Solar’s license.

A control center in the capital city of Sofia will monitor the operation of the four plants tracking and securing performance of the main equipment (Pleven is about 175 kilometers (km) northeast, Kazanlak is 195 km east, Karlovo 140 km east and the municipality of Silistra about 440 km northwest of Sofia). A crucial part of this function includes the optimization of plant operations, analysis, diagnosis and emergency repair of faults, and telephone support. Local staff will receive remote troubleshooting support from control center operators, and automatic SMS (short message service) notification is planned as well. Moreover, a web portal will provide the investor with detailed online information about solar radiation, energy production and plant technical and financial performances.

ABB has logged considerable expertise and experience in remote service capabilities for power generation plants during the last 15 years, and these solutions are also available for photovoltaic plants. In Spain and Italy, for example, an ABB remote service system monitors PV plants scattered across the countries with generating capacity of more than 200 MW.

Professional operation and maintenance
is an important part of ABB’s service activities.

ABB remote service monitors an entire plant in real time and sends alarms when any part is not performing optimally. An authorized technician in the control room diagnoses the alarm, and either fixes the problem immediately or if necessary dispatches a service team to the plant. Most importantly for the customer, the advanced software that ABB has developed for solar power plants collects and makes available all data in a database that can be accessed remotely from any part of the world by means of comprehensive reports freely configurable. This is used, among other things, to forecast plant output for the following day if the correspondent software is installed.

The 50.6 MWp Pobeda, 25 MWp Cherganovo, 5 MWp Karlovo and 5.88 MWp Kolarovo PV solar plants in Bulgaria likewise use ABB solar equipment, including PVS800 inverters, dry cast-coil transformers and medium-voltage (MV) switchgear, as well as monitoring and control systems. ABB will perform predictive maintenance with infrared inspections, string monitoring, analysis of the systems and operational solutions, full care support for photovoltaic inverters, aiming to improve all elements of a PV power plant, including the grid connection facilities.

As part of the project ABB is providing planned preventive inspections - systematic checks and measurements - to ensure optimal operating conditions, maximum availability of equipment and systems, and to prevent faults that might occur from ongoing wear.

The maintenance of the equipment and the full care service of PV inverters provided by ABB will ensure essential equipment in the plants will remain in good operating condition. Monthly reports and analysis of the performance will be provided to the project owner.

ABB has cooperated with Hareon Solar since 2011 in the construction of photovoltaic power plants in Italy and Bulgaria. ABB has more than 1,000 employees in Bulgaria and three production units are located in Petrich, Sevlievo and Rakovski.

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    The control center in the capital city of Sofia
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