ENcome ensures high-quality monitoring services in a challenging winter 2020/2021


When did you see that much snow the last time?

With our Headquarters based in Austria our team is familiar to see snow, yet the winter 2020/21 was exceptional in several aspects. Not only was it forecasted with precision, but it also brought snow to geographical locations in Central Europe that didn't see snow for years and where snowfall is rather unlikely.

From a yield-perspective winter is often considered the off-season in the photovoltaic sector, especially in Central European countries. To secure the high performance of any PV plant throughout an entire year, it is fundamental to engage high-quality monitoring and maintenance services especially in the difficult part of the year — winter.

Monitoring-wise, PV plants covered with snow and ice are a nightmare for every O&M’s control center due to their veiling effects. Snow covering the modules of a PV plant trigger a chain reaction in terms of alarm activation. Snow coverage leads to an underproduction of the PV plant which can differ in severity and also locality (component-wise). The veiling effect causes the continuance of alarms which is linked to the persistence of the snow event. These alarms might block “real” alarms that would otherwise indicate broken components and consequently trigger actions from plant managers and field engineers. For this reason, it is utterly important to be able to differentiate real and snow related alarms and subsequently decide what resources to engage to solve the issue at hand.

To put that into numbers, ENcome’s European portfolio generated more than ten times higher monthly alarm numbers compared to average months during the snowfall-intensive months December 2020 and January 2021. Nevertheless, ENcome’s Competence Center Monitoring and local Plant Management laboriously managed to look behind the cloud of snow and to identify, as well as, to solve “real” technical issues. To go into a little more detail: Since snow can cause all kinds of alarm, our Control Center exactly analyzes the alarm sequences to identify the “snow alarms”. This analysis is of course also supported by weather data and webcams. To guarantee a smooth operation in any season, our operations team, always thinks a step ahead.

Now after bringing the entrusted assets of our clients through this challenging winter in Europe successfully, ENcome is getting ready for a productive summer 2021.

If you want your assets ready for profitable summer months too, please feel free to contact us to discuss options on how to get your performance up with ENcome. #EVERYWATTCOUNTS

About ENcome:

The ENcome Group is a leading independent service provider for the operation of photovoltaic power plants with an additional focus on technical management, engineering services and consulting. In operating solar plants, ENcome strives for maximising short-term availability and performance as well as long-term value retention.

Source of Weather map: Windy.com