|Array Structure||Fixed: Ground Mount|
|Number Of Panels||22|
|Array Area||36.30 m²|
|Type Of Tracker||N/A|
|Inverter Size / Type||SMC 6000A|
|Installation Completed||Tue, 9 Dec 2014|
|Array Tilt/Azimuth||Tilt = 20, Azi = 0 (Solar North)|
Notes on the Data
System Disconnection for Cabling Works
All arrays at the Solar Centre were disconnected from approximately 2.00pm to 3.00pm on Monday, 9 July 2018 in preparation for the cable between the main switchboard and distribution board being upgraded. Array sites #23-38 remained disconnected while the main feeder cable to these sites was replaced in subsequent days, but all systems were re-connected by early afternoon on Thursday, 12 July 2018.
System Outage at Australia Day Long Weekend
A breaker tripped at around 12.30pm on Friday, 26 January, likely due to high generation levels reached at this peak time on this high irradiance day. Connection was restored after the Australia Day long weekend at around 11.30am on Monday, 29 January but shortly tripped again.
UPDATE 26-02-2018. The cause of this reoccurring issue has been identified and will be rectified. The solution requires the upgrading of a key distribution cable. This should be completed in the coming months.
Connection Restored After Christmas/NY Period
Arrays have been re-connected following the outage that disconnected multiple sites from Christmas day 2017. The outage is believed to have been triggered by the tripping of two circuit breakers in separate distribution boards, making the diagnosis initially elusive. The ability of the common circuit shared by these arrays to keep abreast with increasingly high current demands as new arrays are installed and generation conditions are high is presently being addressed. For the same reason, intermittent outages persisted in the summer of early 2018.
System Outage at Christmas/NY Period
A system outage was caused by a circuit breaker trip at approximately 2pm on a high generation day shortly after installation of a new array at the DKA Solar Centre. The outage commenced on 25 December continuing into the new year and is being addressed.
System Outage for New Array Connection
Sites 23 through to 37 experienced an outage today from 11:10 to 11:50. The outage was due to the local distribution board being temporarily being taken offline to allow for the connection of a new PV system.
Monitoring Interruption for UPS Battery Replacement
The disconnection and re-connection of the solar arrays and weather station equipment while a new site connection was being established prompted the already flattening UPS batteries which power the site’s energy meters to fail and require immediate replacement. Data recording was affected from approximately 2.30pm ACST, Monday 10 July to 4.00pm, Wednesday 12 July.
Affects weather data for DKASC, Alice Springs
Partial System Outage
One of the major switchboards at the DKASC lost power yesterday 01/12/2016 at ~11:00 am. This isolated and shutdown array sites 23 through to 37 inclusive. The switchboard was re-energised at ~16:30 today (02/12/2016) and is again operating normally. Data for this period for these sites is lost.
Site 35: Temporary Shutdown
Site 35 was temporarily shutdown on the 11th May 2016 from ~ 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. This was to de-energize the underground cable feeding the site to allow for safe trenching and augering work on neighbouring sites.
System Outage - Sites 4, 5, 17, 20, 22, 34 and 35
On the 5th June 2015, A Friday before a long weekend, seven individual PV systems at the DKASC were switched off by unknown persons and for unknown reasons. The outage was not noted until the following Tuesday when O&M staff returned to work and found the main circuit breakers for sites 4, 5, 17, 20, 22, 34 & 35. turned off. These systems were all turned back on again on the 9th March when the problem was detected.
> Answer to Spotlight Question
Onsite at the DKA Solar Centre in Alice Springs are a series of quiz-like Spotlight Questions at each array. Visit the centre and scan the QR code at each sign to test your knowledge – and check your answer here!
Q: If you own a solar PV system, how do you keep tabs on its status and performance?
A: Many solar inverters come with their own proprietary monitoring software which allows users to remotely track performance of their solar PV system, online and often on their personal device. These generally have basic capabilities, and more advanced logging products may be purchased from the same or other manufacturers. PV systems also have a main energy meter that can record the total energy exported by the system. Depending on the meter's capabilities and ownership (often the electricity retailer or network operator), this can also avail high resolution data, as can temporary loggers installed by qualified personnel. In general, an ongoing awareness of the expected performance of a system may be borne in mind when checking one's electricity bills; a general rule of thumb is 1 kW of installed PV capacity producing 4-5 kWh energy per day in sunny conditions (location-dependent) so knowing one's electricity rates ($/kWh) can allow users to roughly calculate the expected savings on each electricity bill. Such forecasts may be provided by the system installer.