Apart from the annual technical maintenance of a solar park, the right garden maintenance is also an important factor in order to guarantee the optimal operation of a solar park. However, this is not as easy as it may sound. Especially, as not all areas of a solar park are easy to access. We took the opportunity to have a closer look and visited Jan Kretzschmar, gardener for IBC SOLAR’s local solar power parks. During our visit, we also took the chance to have a quick chat.
For how long have you been taking care of the garden maintenance for solar parks from IBC SOLAR?
My team and I started three years ago with the garden maintenance.
What does your service consist of?
We usually cut the grass of the whole area within the fence – beneath the modules included – as well as approximately 50 cm outside the fence. This is determined in the regulations provided by the local nature conservation authority. In addition, there are parks that require special cutting outside of the actual field. Depending on the vegetation development of the flora throughout the year, a solar park is usually mown twice a year.
How long does it take to cut the grass and how many of your employees are needed for one solar park?
This always depends on the size of the solar park, of course. In addition, the conditions also play an important role. Is the grass relatively short or already pretty dense and thick? On average, we can easily manage an area of 3-4 hectare per day and usually work in teams of three.
Is there anything else to consider when taking care of the solar park? Which other problems could occur?
There aren’t many more problems. Only if the grass is really overgrown. In this case, the machinery will be pushed to its limit.
Do you need special equipment for the maintenance?
Yes. We have specially adapted our entire mower unit to operate inside the solar parks. The entire area of the park has to be maintained. This also includes areas that are very difficult to reach, such as the areas below the modules. It is important that we can also reach those parts easily, quickly and without much effort or loss of time. This can only be achieved with custom-made machines.
Why is gardening maintenance so important for a solar park?
On the one hand, green maintenance prevents the solar modules from being shaded by proliferous grasses and bushes, inverters or station buildings from becoming dirty, and prevents vegetation growing into the fence or security system. Very long and stronger grasses can also be climbing aids for rodents, who can easily reach the higher mounting systems for the modules and cables. That is something we definitely want to avoid.
On the other hand, a solar park including the electronics must be easily accessible for maintenance and testing work. Therefore, a solar park should not be too densely overgrown.
Do you also look after the solar parks during the winter month, for example by removing the snow?
In winter there is not too much for us to do. That’s why we use this time of year to further develop and adapt our technology and equipment.
This ensures that our solar parks will continue to run smoothly for many years to come. Our picture gallery provides an insight into the everyday work of Jan Kretzschmar: