As a solar Asset Manager or O&M Manager, I am sure you have faced the all-too-familiar problem of simply locating and accessing relevant files and data related to your solar plant. Somebody needs a document, say a warranty document, flash test data or as-built drawing. What follows is a productivity draining exercise that results in a flurry of email exchanges and calls, and sometimes results in a surprising outcome – the document cannot be found! We have conducted drone based thermography for over 250 solar plants across 15 countries, and we have first hand experience of the challenges asset management teams and O&M teams face in locating design files, as-built drawings, warranty documents related to specific components, and many more. Note that I am not talking about SCADA generation data that is typically stored in a proper database. I am referring to other unstructured, but important data related to asset.
The current method of storage is shared drives and cloud based document management solutions to store and share your plant data – but a 100 MW plant has a several hundred thousand components, all with associated important and relevant documents. Imagine trying to search for a specific document or a relevant data file in this huge data set for a typical large Solar PV plant, or for 1000s of distributed rooftop assets. In principle, a very well thought through folder structure on a shared drive with meticulous organization can make this search easy – but we all know that rarely happens. As a result, important asset related data is stored in a manner that makes it non-intuitive and cumbersome to find when needed. For assets that can be worth 100s of Millions of dollars, organizing, storing, and retrieving important asset related information should be relatively easy.
This is the precise problem that SenseHawk Vault is designed to solve. SenseHawk Vault is an application on SenseHawk’s Core Platform, a SaaS based Asset Lifecycle Management solution for Solar assets. Vault is essentially a cloud based shared drive with a very unique feature derived from our patented Core platform architecture; you can create folders tagged to specific components and features (panels, tables, trackers, combiner boxes, Inverters etc) on the digital model of your plant i.e. “The Digital Twin”. This digital twin is created using your plant’s AutoCAD design files, or even just a google map image of your plant. The SenseHawk core platform creates unique vectors for all the identifiable and unique components in a solar plant. Both physical components like solar panels and electrical components such as a string is defined as vectors.
Once these vectors are defined, you can create a unique Vault for each component on the plant layout and store all related documents for that component vector in the Vault attached to the vector. This Vault is accessible by simply opening the map view of the plant and clicking on the relevant component. All documents pertaining to that component can be retrieved with ‘One Click’ from your office or from the field using the SenseHawk Mobile App. Given the need to restrict access, Vault supports definition of very granular permissions for every single file stored in the Vault. Unique tags can also be defined and assigned to each stored file at the time of storage to make searching for a specific file easier. Vault tracks file access history and version control so you know at any point in time who has accessed or modified a particular file stored in the Vault.
So how are our customers using SenseHawk Vault? Let me share an example. One IPP is storing flash test data, thermal images, and EL test images for each table in the plant in the Vault tagged to each table. Common plant specific documents such as module datasheets, warranty documents are stored in the overall Vault attached to that asset. This has substantially simplified storage and retrieval of critical files that need to be accessed both from the office and the field. The result – elimination of time wasted, and improvement in productivity both on and off the field.
If you are an asset manager or O&M manager facing the same problem highlighted here, please do contact us us to explore whether SenseHawk Vault can solve this problem for you.