Renewable energy companies typically rely on four maintenance types, including corrective, preventive, risk-based and condition-based. Preventive Maintenance, or PM, is a proactive strategy that involves routine and regular maintenance of equipment. And every good company needs a good preventive maintenance plan for equipment.
Why Preventive Maintenance is King
Renewable energy companies typically rely on four maintenance types, including corrective, preventive, risk-based and condition-based. Preventive Maintenance, or PM, is a proactive strategy that involves routine and regular maintenance of equipment.
In 60Hertz Energy’s experience, a preventative maintenance schedule is the most cost effective way to extend the life of your assets and increase revenue it generates for you: the return on investment (ROI) of spending one staff-hour a month at prevailing wages per asset, enabling energy generation, yields a 95% ROI on the cost of that asset, assuming a 10 year useful life.
By scheduling cleaning, repair work, adjustments, and replacing parts, this preventive approach enhances equipment availability and operational productivity. Simply carrying out preventive cleaning on solar panels can eliminate potential productivity loss of up to 30% due to dirt accumulation.
Opting for an equipment maintenance plan means taking ownership of your equipment’s longevity and efficiency.
When it comes to maintaining renewable energy assets and equipment, many asset owners focus on reactive rather than preventive maintenance with the misguided aim of saving money. However, to the contrary, preventing problems before they occur is vital for reliable system performance and reducing operational expenses in the long run.
Frugal asset owners understand the value of scheduling preventive maintenance tasks during times when they are least disruptive to production and before they escalate into costly catastrophe.
According to Aurora Solar, inefficient processes cost the average solar project an extra $7,000. By taking a proactive approach towards regular maintenance checks, predictive diagnostics and repair plans, you can ensure your system runs problem-free while protecting your bottom line.
Let’s explore why preventive maintenance should be king when it comes to making sure your renewable energy assets are running optimally.
Preventive Maintenance Plan for Equipment: What Your Plan Should Include
The key to creating a successful preventive maintenance program and optimizing operations is paying attention to the details during the planning stage. Here are 7 easy steps to creating your preventive maintenance plan:
1. Establish and prioritize goals
Every facility has its own set of goals, which greatly influence maintenance decisions made. A good place to start is to determine the outcomes you intend to achieve, whether it be reducing downtime, enhancing reliability, or cutting costs, and record them.
The next crucial step is to prioritize your goals. Concentrate your attention and resources on the areas that require immediate attention while developing a blueprint for preventive maintenance.
2. Create and measure KPIs
Establishing attainable metrics and goals is crucial when measuring operational performance. However, their value lies in their consistent use to stay on track. 60Hertz Energy recommends the following KPIs that suit most renewable energy sites:
- Mean Time to Resolution: This indicates the efficacy of your maintenance program at resolving issues that impact asset performance, and in turn, revenue generation.
- Mean Time to Respond: A derivative of the MTTR, this shows how quickly your staff, protocols, and systems enable the resolution.
- If the MTTR is long, it could be that the Mean Time To Respond may need to be addressed: i.e.: maintenance personnel realize there is a problem based on monitoring, but can not get to the site promptly. This KPI will give insight into ways to improve your process.
- Mean Time Between Failure: If an asset or site is consistently failing or flagging, this KPI can serve as an advanced warning indicator of a failing asset. Such “problem child” assets will need to be replaced. MTBF can prevent over investment in failing assets.
- Kwh/Gallon: Where diesel generators are present, kWh/gallon is a critical metric to evaluate across your fleet of diesels. Aim for 13kWh/gallon if not higher to consume fuel efficiently.
- kWh/day: Estimated solar performance should be evaluated against actual solar performance. Falling short may indicate equipment failure or under optimization. If the generated amount falls below expected generation on an annual basis, this may indicate that the generation forecast for your site was too aggressive.
- Sites offline: Depending on the portfolio of assets you are maintaining, identifying the number of sites that have fallen offline because of connectivity issues can indicate if redundant wifi systems may be necessary, especially if being offline impacts ability to participate in a VPP program or for investor visibility on your portfolio.
There are many KPIs available. Identify what is most important to increase revenue and reduce loss for your business and measure it!
To achieve this, building processes and procedures that guarantee regular data collection, analysis, comprehension, and implementation is paramount. By doing so, you can determine whether goals have been reached and identify areas of strength and weakness.
Utilizing preventive maintenance software, such as a computerized maintenance management system, can greatly simplify the process of calculating important metrics.
3. Leverage the right maintenance software
With the increasing complexities of maintenance procedures, it has become crucial to opt for a solution that can streamline your maintenance processes and help you stay ahead of potential breakdowns.
A reliable CMMS, such as 60Hertz, comes with features such as automated work orders, PM triggers, and preventive maintenance tasks, which can automate and optimize your maintenance tasks for better results. It should also assist you in scheduling regular maintenance activities and provide you with real-time data to make informed decisions.
So, make sure you select a CMMS that brings as much functionality as possible under one subscription, i.e. integrate your monitoring with your work order management and add features for asset management.
See if commissioning documents or as-builts can be retained and referenced within the CMMS for future reference. Ensure that text messaging and personnel’s communications live within the CMMS to retain valuable institutional memory. Have a dashboard of KPIs that drive your business within the software. Call us at 60Hertz Energy to book a demo.
|Benefits of Preventive Maintenance
|Why You Should
|Reduced Equipment Downtime
|Preventive maintenance can detect potential problems before they become major failures, reducing unexpected equipment downtime.
|Increased Equipment Lifespan
|Regular preventive maintenance can prolong the life of the equipment by preventing wear and tear.
|Preventive maintenance can identify potential safety issues, helping to prevent accidents and injuries.
|Regularly maintained equipment operates at peak efficiency, reducing energy costs.
|Lower Maintenance Costs
|Catching issues early can result in less expensive repairs compared to the costs associated with major failures.
|Well-maintained equipment is more reliable, leading to fewer interruptions in production.
|Better Quality Control
|Consistently performing equipment can help maintain product or service quality.
|Improved Asset Management
|By tracking the condition of equipment, businesses can make informed decisions about replacement or upgrades.
|Compliance with Regulations
|Many types of equipment are subject to regulations that require regular maintenance, and preventive maintenance helps stay compliant.
4. Create a preventive maintenance schedule
The key to designing a preventive maintenance checklist that works involves identifying the critical components and prioritizing and scheduling maintenance tasks according to their urgency.
More than just a simple checklist of tasks, a successful maintenance schedule requires deep understanding of critical components.
By scheduling regular upkeep and preventative maintenance actions, the renewable energy system can operate at peak capacity while reducing the risk of unexpected downtime, also allowing the ability to plan for future maintenance needs and providing time to order and acquire necessary parts, reducing the chance of unexpected delays.
5. Set up accurate PM triggers
Accurate preventive maintenance triggers are essential for effective PMs and matching maintenance tasks with the correct trigger is crucial. This ensures seamless operation and maximum asset reliability, with no maintenance task left unaddressed. Automated scheduling and mobile notifications can assist in achieving precision.
When defining a preventive maintenance trigger, key variables must be taken into account. These include the recommendations of the manufacturer, the asset’s performance history, its production criticality, repair vs. maintenance cost, and projected future use.
Factoring all these elements can provide a clear indication of when to trigger maintenance for a particular item of equipment. Subsequent fine-tuning can then optimize your preventive maintenance program.
6. Optimize your plan based on results – track and adjust as required
Constant fine-tuning, improvements, and reinforcing successful procedures should always be the focus of a strategic maintenance plan. It is vital to utilize data obtained from sensors, work order notes, and digital reports to identify areas of strength and weakness.
This will help uncover new opportunities for improvement and increase your focus on embracing preventive maintenance whenever possible.
7. Train maintenance teams how to implement the PM program
It is imperative to get key stakeholders on board when implementing a PM program. In the following section, we will discuss how to train teams and the importance of PM training.
The Importance of Preventive Management Training
To optimize the benefits of using these preventive maintenance-based strategies, a well-organized training strategy is required to ensure that each team member understands their roles and responsibilities concerning the plan, as well as how to utilize new technologies.
It is advisable to use a staged approach to give the team a chance to refine the preventive maintenance program before investing additional resources into it.
The benefit of PM training is for maintenance supervisors, managers, PM leads, CMMS managers, planners, and engineers to have a deep understanding of preventive maintenance and how to set up, design task lists, optimizing efficiencies, learning new technology and implement the systems with the aim of reducing generation interruption and improved customer service.
By understanding the intricacies of solar technology and knowing how to properly maintain systems, these teams can ensure optimal performance and longevity of solar panels.
In fact, studies have shown that facilities with well-trained maintenance teams equipped with computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) experience significantly less downtime and lower maintenance costs than those without.
By integrating a CMMS into their training, teams can view the performance and maintenance history of the solar equipment in real-time. This information enables them to anticipate maintenance needs, schedule downtime, and improve equipment reliability.
In addition to reducing costly downtime, effective preventive maintenance training can also mitigate risks, improve safety, and reduce long-term operational costs. In the solar industry, where energy efficiency and sustainability are key drivers, a commitment to preventive maintenance is critical.
Preventive Maintenance Made Easy With a User-Friendly CMMS
A well-structured preventive maintenance plan for equipment, backed up by an efficient CMMS can help companies realize significant savings in terms of financial and production costs.
With a user-friendly CMMS integrated into your operations, preventive maintenance becomes a breeze, simplifying tasks such as scheduling, task assignment, inventory management, and data analysis, leading to more optimal equipment performance and an increase in return on investment. Allowing your team to work smarter, not harder.
Upgrading to a user-friendly CMMS makes preventive maintenance easier and leads to better equipment health. Your team doesn’t have to spend time manually entering data into countless spreadsheets that will ultimately be worthless. Instead, it can automatically track data over time so you can make more informed decisions about the health of your assets.
The increase in operational efficiency gained by integrating a CMMS into your day-to-day operations is remarkable. With an efficient system in place, you’ll see less downtime and more profitability as a result.
Having the right technology at your side allows you to confidently make decisions regarding daily upkeep and repairs faster than ever before. Don’t let all of this potential go overlooked – if you’re looking for an intuitive CMMS solution that is tailored specifically to your company’s needs, contact 60Hertz today for a free consultation.