What is solar monitoring?
Solar monitoring should be considered a “must have” when you own solar.
A solar array is an appliance just like any other appliance in your home. While it is a seemingly passive appliance, you should be monitoring your solar PV system just like you would monitor the fluids in your vehicle for optimal performance.
Some ways to determine whether your array is working are:
- The inverter is on (you can read the inverter manual to learn how to navigate through the display panel.)
- Power meter – Usually you can see if solar is being exported.
- Electric bill – Your electric bill should be a reliable indicator that your solar is working
However, the above mentioned do not indicate how well your solar array is working or if there are problems with any of the components.
Here are some benefits of solar monitoring:
- You can monitor your array from any WiFi enabled device, anywhere in the world! This means you can login via your cell phone, iPad or laptop.
- It allows you to view component level health on a solar panel, optimizer and inverter or microinverter level (depending on which equipment you have installed.)
- You can view system production by day, week, month, quarter, year and compare years.
- Charts, graphs and reports can be generated that will help you to analyze data.
- Most solar monitoring allows you to receive alerts when there is a problem with your system.
- If you do experience an issue and need assistance, let us know and we’ll be able to login to your monitoring portal from our location and perform initial troubleshooting steps. Oftentimes, we can save you the fee of an investigative service call through this remote troubleshooting! If needed, we are also able to create support cases with the manufacturer on your behalf if we do find an issue. Or, if necessary, we can come by and take a look in person.
What is needed to setup solar monitoring:
- Internet or a dedicated cell transmission.
- A way for the system to transmit data to the cloud. This usually involves a communication card within the inverter itself or an external device that is attached to your modem or router. Envoy and Zigbee are a couple of the devices most commonly used. These devices push data from your inverter(s) to the internet and into a portal where you can login and view the data.
- Monitoring portal access. Most inverter manufacturers include their version of a solar monitoring portal. All that is needed is for an account to be created for you, with your system’s data and information entered into it.
- A WiFi enabled device such as a cell phone, laptop, desktop or iPad
- Your dedication to monitoring your array – at least once per week or every other week.
If you would like to acquire solar monitoring, please complete this form to let us know.