Solar power systems are on the rise and along with their rising demand and deployment; their monitoring systems are also developing rapidly. Most of the companies are offering their proprietary monitoring systems to monitor the system working onsite and offsite (remotely).
The equipment vendor companies have their own Smartphone apps for IOS and android platforms for real-time monitoring of the solar equipment and browsing the current and historical data for the system performance. These apps are available for download in the app stores.
Green Power Energy offers home solar systems in NJ which are equipped with solar monitoring. This monitoring can be done via a Smartphone app by the Green Power Energy available in the app store for download and use.
The system monitoring for solar equipment is usually done with the system inverters.
Every company delivered inverter equipment comes with pre-installed monitoring software which can be used to monitor the system onsite or remotely via internet connectivity. Some inverters are connected via Wi-Fi and some also exhibit the cellular network access capabilities to connect directly to the cloud network without any need of Wi-Fi connectivity.
Some companies such as Enphase and SolarEdge provide high end monitoring solutions along with the inverters. Enphase offers micro-inverter based systems which are installed below every solar panel and connect wirelessly to a controller which connects to the internet. It has monitoring system which can provide real-time solar panel wise monitoring. This is very convenient for the system owner to check the system working and performance monitoring of each solar panel. SolarEdge has power optimizer based solar solution which can connect to a main inverter which connects to the server to via internet to provide the real-time monitoring data.
Old solar systems needed to connect a network cat-5 cable to be installed from the inverter to the homeowner’s internet router or switch which was hectic and had physical limitations especially in case of an outdoor installed inverter for a ground mounted solar system. An alternative way of using a bridge to connect to the home internet router was also not a very good idea as it may be unplugged anytime by a child who needed to plug-in his Xbox to go live..!!!
Most of the modern inverters are capable of Wi-Fi along with cellular based seamless connectivity.
Even if there is no Wi-Fi connectivity, the system still manages to be “online” to provide the system performance statistics. These inverter systems typically come with cellular subscriptions starting from one year to over 10 years. As these solar systems have long life cycles such as 20-25 years or more, subscriptions of this type may be very helpful for provision of uninterrupted online access for both the system and the user for data monitoring.
With the integration of these solar systems with the cloud based online servers it has become very convenient for the solar equipment owners to not only monitor the performance but these smart apps also provide a lot of other data also to assist the user in timely identification of system faults and their rectification. Apart from solar energy generation and consumption data, these apps may provide suggestive repairs, malfunction or history repairs. It may offer you weather assisted updates to check and fine tune your solar apparatus according to any incoming phenomenon such as severe storm or rains.
SolarCity, Locus Energy and Advanced Energy also offer smart monitoring systems for their solar system users. Home Energy by Sense, Home Energy Monitoring System by CURB and Smappee Solar are some paid solar monitoring apps in app store which provide similar smart monitoring capabilities by integration with the solar inverters.