One of the biggest problems of today is how to find a sustainable source of energy. With anthropogenic climate change and global warming dominating the headlines, authorities throughout the world are sounding off on the need for energy sources that do not harm the planet or further worsen the environmental crisis.
Scientists around the world agree that developing and investing in renewable energy sources is a good answer to this problem. One of these renewable energy sources that are readily available and accessible is solar power.
Unlike hydropower or wind power, every single country receives some form of solar energy every day. Hence, efforts have been focused on building solar power plants that can provide sufficient energy for their respective communities.
Recently, solar plants have begun to enter into a modern age, through what is called the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. SCADA is software that allows industrial plants to gather and process data in order to efficiently manage the entire system. Here is why modern solar plants are the way forward:
Grid Modernization and Efficiency
Modern power grid networks can span hundreds of miles, with one plant overseeing energy distribution to multiple remote sites. In order to make sure all remote sites are running as planned, it is crucial to always have data on these sites.
SCADA is used by solar plants to collect data from every single solar panel or remote point on the power grid. This data is then collected and fed into what is called an energy management system (EMS), which analyzes the data and decides the best course of action.
SCADA and EMS have enabled solar energy to be supplied to more and more communities without having to set up a new solar plant for each one. This increases the efficiency of the power grid and is a good step forward towards solar energy, becoming a primary source of renewable energy.
Lower Operating Costs
The generation of solar energy itself does not require many variable costs, as the process does not require any fuel. Thus, after the installation of photovoltaic cells in a certain area, a continuous power supply can be ensured without the need to secure a fuel source.
SCADA systems also aid in lowering maintenance costs. As the SCADA system will be collecting all the relevant data, any problems can be detected and solved instantly and remotely, and there is no longer a need to send a team to a site for regular inspection. This reduces the need for round-the-clock manpower supervision, while also making field technicians and engineers more equipped to deal with any possible problems, as they will now have all the data at hand.
Renewable and Sustainable
Most of all, solar energy is a renewable and sustainable source of power that will not run out. There are no harmful emissions or toxic waste generated in harnessing electricity from solar energy, making it a completely clean process.
SCADA also enables solar energy production to become more sustainable, as specially calibrated machines can detect any possible problem at the earliest time. This enables these problems to be easily solved without resulting in a disruption in the energy supply, which is all consumers need in an energy source.
Technology like SCADA has enabled a better way forward for sustainable energy production. Only through investing in such systems can we truly attain an energy source that harms nothing on the planet.