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Reliability & Maintenance of Solar or Wind renewable energy systems
Engineering and Construction
Pages 11 (2761 words)
Reliability being the ability of an item to perform its intended function under pre-defined conditions for a stated period of time, it has an inherent inverse relationship with ‘failures’; lesser the failures, higher the reliability; higher the failures, higher the maintenance being the logical corollary…
The renowned “Bath Tub Curve” concept highlighting the failure zones which precede and succeed the useful lifetime of any product, when depicted on a time scale as shown below, can be deemed to be a measure of its performance, and is more relevant for rotating equipments.
Every failure has a cost attached to it. The principal reliability-linked factors of cost through the useful life of an item being Design & Development, Production and Maintenance & Repair, evaluated in the backdrop of installation and environmental parameters like temperature, humidity, vibration, corrosion by chemical attack etc. and the degradation caused by the combination of a few or all of them. A higher reliability invariably envisages higher production, design and development costs, whereas, appropriately factored-in maintenance and repair costs can lead to higher levels of reliability.
In the context of non-sustainability of the current energy practices, dawning of global awareness that renewable energy sources are the only way out, has led to a sensible emphasis on solar energy as one of the (wind energy being the other) most abundant and attractive renewable energy source, easily available for harnessing. In the scenario of rapidly depleting natural energy sources like coal, oil and natural gas, the solar option has presented itself as an alternative which is being vigorously pursued for viability for commercial exploitation in the longer run. ...
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