Solar Power Plant Evaluation – Is the solar power plant located in areas prone to floods and water logging?

You are all set to invest in an already running solar power plant.

Most things about the solar power plant look good – excellent sunshine in the area, good quality components, good generation data so far…

Before you decide on your investment, do also check out the water logging characteristics of the region, to especially see whether they are prone to floods and water logging.

What could be the effect of floods or water logging in a solar power plant?

Flooding can affect different functions of the plant, both on the electrical generation side and on the balance of plant (BOP) side, including connection lines continuity, accessibility of different parts of the plant, erosion of roads and other infrastructures, fence functionality, and interference with electrical, data monitoring and security systems.

One of the consequences of water logging can be the erosion of top-soil, in the case of a ground-mounted plant. This can cause the misalignment of the panel mounting structure and sometimes has been known to even cause the mounting structures to give away.

How do you know the solar power plant has adequate protection against water logging or floods?

 If the solar power plant is located in a region prone to floods, redundant systems for evacuation and connection lines, as well as for monitoring and security systems, have to be carefully planned and designed in order to constitute a viable alternative to the main systems and guarantee the overall continuity of the plant, under any circumstance.

Critical rooms, particularly those containing control systems and critical electrical equipment, should be designed to be raised above the floor of the site and above the possible maximum elevation of water. And when it comes to mounting structures with panels, ensure that they are designed with a ground clearance of at least 3-4 inches. Also ensure that the panels, inverters and cables have high resistance towards water impact and that the mounting structures have a high galvanization thickness to prevent corrosion in the event of water exposure.

Also, make sure the drainage systems are designed for extreme events to guarantee the functionality of civil infrastructures, such as roads and fencing, and grid connection systems.

You might want to check out these questions on Solar Power Plant Evaluation – Location Specifics

  • Evaluation of  performance during high winds – Here
  • Evaluation of  performance at high temperature – Here
  • Evaluation of performance when exposed to high amounts of dust – Here

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