How many different ways can solar energy be applied? From residential buildings such as homes and apartment complexes to full-scale power plants and other commercial facilities, solar can power most spaces effectively. But what is a solar power plant, and how does solar O&M play a part in keeping things moving? We’re here to explain.
O&M, Solar Power Plants and Minimizing Costs: What You Need to Know
At O3 Energy, our solar maintenance services have one primary goal: to help your system run as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. And for solar power plants, that service is crucial—no matter what kind of plant you operate, there are so many moving parts to keep track of that you don’t need the extra burden of costly maintenance. But does a solar power plant work? How much effort has to go into operations and maintenance (O&M)? In this blog, we’ll discuss what exactly a solar plant does, how much time you should be spending on ongoing maintenance, and other ways O3 Energy’s solar services can help you live life more efficiently than ever.
How Does a Solar Power Plant Work?
To best understand a solar power plant, we have to go over the different types of plants that are used around the world.
Photovoltaic power plants use large concentrations of photovoltaic (PV) cells to convert sunlight into electricity that’s immediately ready for use. If you have a solar system on the roof of your room, there’s a strong chance it’s constructed with PV panels. They typically generate DC current with voltages up to 1500 volts and are often directly connected to an external power grid.
Solar Thermal Power Plants
It’s easy to assume most solar plants are like the PV structures mentioned above. However, solar thermal power plants take a different approach—they focus or collect sunlight to generate steam, which in turn feeds a turbine to generate electricity. There are three distinct types of solar power plants:
- Parabolic Trough Systems
- Linear Concentrating Systems
- Solar Dishes and Engines
Solar Power Towers
Solar power towers use hundreds of thousands of flat, sun-tracking mirrors (otherwise known as heliostats) to concentrate solar energy onto a centralized tower. Similar to how some people (unwisely) use mirrors to direct sunlight on to them while tanning outside, solar power towers are getting more than a nice bronze; they receive 1,500 times as much sunlight as they would if they solely relied on direct sources instead of the heliostats.
Solar pond power plants rely on pools of saltwater to collect and store thermal energy, using a technique called salinity-gradient technology. The pool essentially traps the thermal energy within the pond, and can use the energy for later (similar to how solar energy is stored in a grid for PV solutions).
What About O&M?
While each of the above-listed solar power plant methods relies on different technology, two things unite them: They all rely on the sun, and they all need to be maintained by an expert. O&M is a central part of any facility, particularly one that relies on solar power. Why? Because just one fault in your structure can result in massive energy loss and decrease efficiency significantly.
As a premier solar EPC company, O3 Energy proudly helps plants maintain top performance with a diverse range of O&M services. From in-depth assessments and audits to hands-on repairs (all performed in-house by our own team of experts), we’re confident we can deliver precisely what you need to keep your solar plant operating in peak condition year-round.
Need More Information?
It’s time to expand the limit of what you thought an energy solution could achieve. With customized solutions provided for all different types of buildings across countless industries, O3 Energy has the experience necessary to deliver precisely what you need for your space. For more information on how you can jumpstart your partnership with the premier solar solutions provider in the Dallas metro area, reach out to our team today.