Recently, solar power generation is significantly contributed to growing renewable sources of electricity all over the world. The reliability and availability improvement of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems has become a critical area of interest for researchers. Reliability, availability, and maintainability (RAM) is an engineering tool used to address operational and safety issues of systems. It aims to identify the weakest areas of a system which will improve the overall system reliability. In this paper, RAM analysis of grid-connected solar-PV system is presented. Elaborate RAM analysis of these systems is presented starting from the sub-assembly level to the subsystem level, then the overall system. Further, an improved Reliability Block Diagram is presented to estimate the RAM performance of seven practical grid-connected solar-PV systems. The required input data are obtained from worldwide databases of failures, and repair of various subassemblies comprising various meteorological conditions. A novel approach is also presented in order to estimate the best probability density function for each sub-assembly. The monitoring of the critical subassemblies of a PV system will increase the possibility not only for improving the availability of the system, but also to optimize the maintenance costs. Additionally, it will inform the operators about the status of the various subsystems of the system.
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