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Breathing new life into an older solar PV system

CleanEarth’s in-house Operations & Maintenance team is mostly kept busy with maintaining systems we’ve installed ourselves. But we do also get called in to bring other installers’ projects back up to peak performance.

Deltor Communications had a 120 kW system installed more than ten years ago, and came to us when they needed to upgrade certain components to keep them compliant with new regulations for connecting to the grid.

Our survey confirmed that they needed to replace all the original inverters, and also revealed a number of string faults that needed fixing. To minimise the risk of future faults going undetected, we recommended adding online monitoring and energy metering to the upgraded array.

With all these upgrades planned for the original system, it was an obvious step to look at extending it across the unused roof space. The output from modern panels is significantly higher than those from a decade ago, and we created a design that more than doubled the capacity to a total of 268 kW.

The working life of solar PV is at least 25 years, and Deltor’s original panels should certainly be working well at that age. But the kit needs to be professionally maintained if it’s to run at optimal efficiency, and technology keeps moving on. So owners of older systems should review on a regular basis. And always work with an experienced and proactive O&M team.

The CleanEarth team were thorough, professional and knowledgeable. They helped us take our sustainability programme to the next level.

Sam Shannon
Managing Director, Deltor Communications