Photon Energy to maintain 9 MW of Satcon inverters in Italy and France


Photon Energy Operations has signed preventive maintenance contracts for 9 MW of Satcon central inverters in Italy and France.

With this step, the company is fortifying its position as a leading force in the services of Satcon-built inverters, which it established by taking on key personnel from the former manufacturer.

Photon Energy Operations wants to send a signal to worried investors, that their inverters can still be in safe hands.

Photon Energy Operations, a division of global lifecycle-oriented power solutions provider Photon Energy NV, will provide regular preventive checks, service interventions, remote support and technical training for staff allowing for minor issues to be fixed locally.

The services will be carried out by a team of Satcon-trained experts, who between them have commissioned over 130 MW of Satcon inverters across Europe.

Thanks to its team of former Satcon technical and managerial personnel Photon Energy has both the know-how and access to spare parts needed to fully service these critical components.

"Central inverters are expensive and the first option is to find a reliable service provider for them, not replace them", explains Georg Hotar, CEO of Photon Energy.

"Given the uncertainty surrounding the service of Satcon inverters and warranties, we are pleased to offer a long-term solution which keeps inverters humming, power plants producing cashflows and gives investors peace of mind."

"If central inverters are not given regular check-ups and preventive maintenance, small failures can cause a domino effect that can literally blow up the inverters", explained Pavel Laurinec, technical manager for central inverters at Photon.

"Even a tiny issue such as a dirty filter can trigger further problems such as hot spots and eventually lead to small explosions that knock out the inverter completely for several days.

"A central inverter failure not only means expensive repairs, but lengthy downtime and significant revenue losses.

"A central inverter is the heart of a power plant. What we provide is a cardio-workout for the inverters to strengthen their fitness and stamina and ensure that a power plant does not suffer a heart attack any time soon.

"Satcon inverters require specially trained engineers with in-depth knowledge of spare parts. For example, there are eight different types of a single component used in Satcon inverters in Europe and you need to know which component to order and install."

In late 2012 Photon Energy Operations gathered momentum by taking on former Satcon employees when the manufacturer’s central European offices were shut down.

The team now includes managerial and technical experts responsible for installing central inverters at projects of 30 MWp and more.

"In recent months our experts have been called to one-off service interventions all over Europe, showing that power plant owners are uncertain about who can service their Satcon inverters once the manufacturer has closed shop," added Photon’s Hotar.