Article

Operation and maintenance of back-up photovoltaic systems: An analysis based on a field study in Cameroon

DOI: 10.1080/20421338.2017.1341731
Author(s): Kodji DeliDepartment of Renewable Energy, Higher Institute of the Sahel, Cameroon, Etienne Tchoffo HoudjiDepartment of Renewable Energy, Higher Institute of the Sahel, Cameroon, Noel DjongyangDepartment of Renewable Energy, Higher Institute of the Sahel, Cameroon, Donatien NjomoEnvironmental Energy Technologies Laboratory (EETL), Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Cameroon

Abstract

This work is an analysis of the data collected from 20 photovoltaic installations all over Cameroon. The objectives are to study the causes of the breakdown of the different installations and propose maintenance strategies to solve them and to evaluate the field lifetime of the different elements of the PV systems. The data analyzed were obtained from maintenance records and measurements over a period of nine years (from 2007 to 2015). It appears from this analysis that 29% of the batteries went bad (leading to curative intervention), contributing to about 64.9% of the total breakdown registered. About 58.5% of the installed batteries were replaced during preventive visits; according to that, the estimated average life expectancy of the batteries installed in the 20 sites was six years. At the same time, considering the various failures caused by other items of the system, 50% of the systems received curative interventions within the first four years of the study, the other 50% received their first curative intervention only from the fifth year. This study also permitted us to evaluate the quantity of preventive and corrective maintenance impacts on solar PV systems.

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