A root cause analysis and a risk evaluation of PV balance of system failures
The Photovoltaic (PV) system is divided mainly into two subsystems; PV modules and a Balance of System (BoS) subsystems. This work shows two approaches for a reliability analysis on the subsystem level of aBoS: Failure mode effects criticality analysis (FMECA) and a Markov Process. FMECA concerns the root causes of failures and introduces prioritization numbers to highlight critical components of a BoS. Meanwhile, a Markov process is a reliability methodology that aims to predict the probability of success and failure of a BoS. In this way, a Markov process is a supportive tool for helping decision-makers to judge the criticality of failures associated with the operation of PV systems. Results show that the PV inverter contributes significantly to the failures of a BoS. Accordingly, further investigations are conducted on a PV inverter to prioritize the maintenance activities by determining the risk priority number of its component failures through quantitative CA. The novelty of the proposed methodologies stems from analyzing the roots of failure causes of BoS components and estimating the probability of failure of these components in order to improve the early development of a BoS, enhance maintenance management, and satisfy the demanding reliability by electric utilities.
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