Designing and building a solar energy plant is a capital-intensive project that requires coordination of labor, components, schedules and regulatory compliance which produces costs in the millions of dollars. According to a study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the overnight capital construction cost of a solar generation plant in 2013 was more than $5,000 per kilowatt.
When the construction is completed, the system needs to be tested and commissioned as quickly as possible in order to begin power generation and produce positive revenue flow. One method to test the system is with a connection to the grid. Grid-testing must be scheduled and coordinated through the local power system. Testing can be delayed for weeks which means revenue is lost and costs mount. The problem with this is that the grid cannot provide a stable controlled load or a comprehensive test of all the power-demand conditions that can happen. With that in mind, any delay in construction through commissioning can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars lost.
A superior solution is to test the solar generation capabilities with a load bank. Using a load bank from ComRent, complete testing of a solar power generation plant can be completed in 2 -3 days.
Load banks simulate every load scenario and situation that the grid may impose on the PV solar facility. ComRent can test the substation, collection/combiner networks and inverters to assure meeting specifications. These can include conformance verification, inverter function, cable & connection validation and tracking systems. A key test is verifying the anti-islanding functions of the inverters. These tests are required to ensure maintenance personnel aren’t subjected to electric shock hazards in the event of grid power loss.
In short, a one-week rental of a load bank to test a solar generation system is invaluable in terms of costs saved and revenue produced.
As you are planning the project parameters of your solar power generation system, take advantage of the cost-cutting and revenue-creating dynamics of testing the system with a load bank. Load bank testing can deliver a comprehensive documented test of every component in the system safely and reliably which allows you to finish on or ahead of schedule.
Contact a load bank expert at ComRent today and have your testing completed in 2-3 days. Call 888.881.7118 or contact us online.
Originally published by Shawn Wattles via LinkedIn