Lightsource Leads Way in UK Solar O&M with New PV Panel “Clean Machine”
- Published: Thursday, 21 April 2016 07:42
Lightsource Renewable Energy, the largest provider of Operations & Maintenance (O&M) services in the UK, has added an innovative new tool to its growing O&M fleet.
With an expanding O&M portfolio of more than 1,100MW across 6,000 acres of land, PV-panel cleaning is an essential preventative maintenance task for Lightsource’s regional O&M teams. According to industry estimates, dirty panels can reduce module performance by up to 30%.
Keen to ensure the best possible PV plant performance for clients, Lightsource has unveiled the Lightsource Panel Cleaning System (LPCS) – capable of cleaning up to 10 times more panels per day than conventional hand washing.
The tractor-mounted system uses pressurised sprays of water and a rotating brush head to wash away mud, dirt and grime from solar panels. The system uses substantially less water than traditional methods and can be adapted for use on a variety of machines and locations.
Teresa Bristol, Head of Operations at Lightsource, said: “We firmly believe that our strength in depth is one of the things that makes Lightsource the market leader in O&M services. With an ever-growing portfolio of solar assets, it is essential that we explore new ways to improve efficiencies in our grounds-maintenance processes and offer best value to clients. We are constantly seeking out innovative ways to ensure that the level of quality we provide across our core services remains at the highest level.”
Before the new LPCS system could be put into operation, the equipment had to meet rigorous testing standards from independent German technical advisers TÜV. Extensive testing was carried out to ensure that the new cleaning system does not damage the modules, reduce performance or introduce micro cracks into the panels and was fit for use across UK solar sites.
Lightsource’s O&M team provides preventative, corrective and performance guarantee services tailored to the needs of asset owners and EPCs across the UK. Based at headquarters in Bath, the 40-strong Field Service Team (FST) is supported by dedicated O&M resources covering monitoring, communications, LV systems, HV systems, Health & Safety and Land Management. With teams around the UK, the FST is never more than an hour away from any Lightsource-managed sites to ensure quick response whenever needed.