Myth: Solar monitoring system is just an additional cost burden!!
Reality: Solar energy monitoring system provides live tracking and recording, thus enhancing solar system performance and rendering a high rate of return.
The solar panel’s output is affected by variables such as voltage, current, and environmental factors. Though the solar energy system does not require much maintenance, real-time monitoring of the solar panels is a recommended practice to guarantee that the solar panels are working to their full capacity to reap the benefits of solar for a long time.
Smart solar monitoring systems that use the Internet of Things (IoT) allow for remote live tracking and recording of the operation of solar energy systems.
We’ve gone over smart solar monitoring systems and their relevance in solar energy systems in depth in this article.
Why use an Internet of Things (IoT)-Based Smart Solar Power Monitoring System?
Solar energy systems are made up of interconnected components such as solar panels, inverters, batteries, etc.
Solar panels’ output changes depending on several environmental parameters such as solar radiation strength, shadow, meteorological conditions, and so on, and continual monitoring of these factors, especially for off-grid/remote solar energy systems, is a time-consuming task.
Why do we need a smart solar monitoring system when a solar inverter can do the job? That’s because inverters do not provide real-time performance monitoring and recording.
What is a Smart Solar Monitoring System, and how does it work?
A mix of hardware and software makes up the smart photovoltaic (PV) monitoring system.
It’s an internet platform that uses sensors, data loggers, and other components to conduct real-time monitoring of the solar system.
The analyzed data is sent to a mobile application via the Internet of Things (IoT) for predictive maintenance and root cause analysis in the event of a failure.
The real-time monitoring data can also be used to do comparative analysis based on historical data and patterns.
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Solar Monitoring Functions
Data Acquisition & Communication
Solar inverters come equipped with built-in communication modules that gather valuable data about the system’s performance. Think of these modules as the eyes and ears of the solar inverter, constantly collecting and storing information like power output, voltage, current, energy production, and system status.
Now, how does this data get transmitted to a central monitoring system? Well, there are different communication protocols at play here. It’s similar to how we connect devices to the internet using Wi-Fi or Ethernet cables. Solar inverters use similar technologies to send the collected data to the central monitoring system. They can communicate through Ethernet, Wi-Fi, cellular networks like 4G/5G, or even wireless technologies like Zigbee or Bluetooth.
Data Visualization and Analysis
Once the data reaches the central monitoring system, it’s time for some analysis and visualization. The monitoring system processes the incoming data and presents it in a user-friendly format such as colorful charts, interactive graphs, and informative dashboards that show you real-time information about your solar power system. You can track energy production over time, spot trends, and gain valuable insights into your system’s performance.
The monitoring system is designed to keep you informed and alert. It can be configured to send notifications if any irregularities or issues arise. Let’s say there’s a sudden drop in power output or a malfunctioning component. The monitoring system will promptly notify you through email, SMS, or even a mobile app notification. This proactive approach allows you to address any problems quickly and ensure optimal performance.
For example, if a solar panel is shaded or soiled, the IoT-based system will communicate data to your device. This will allow you to take preventative measures to improve the solar panel’s effectiveness.
Remote Control and Troubleshooting
One of the remarkable aspects of remote monitoring is the ability to control and troubleshoot your solar power system remotely. Some advanced solar inverters and monitoring systems offer remote control features. You can make changes to system settings and parameters from the comfort of your own home. For instance, you can adjust the inverter’s operating mode or modify charging profiles for battery systems. Additionally, remote troubleshooting capabilities empower technicians to diagnose and resolve issues without physically visiting the site, saving time and effort.
The data is analysed to track and monitor the real-time difference between expected and generated energy. This allows the client to make future decisions based on the prior data that has been recorded.
Limitations of Monitoring Systems
While remote monitoring of solar inverters offers numerous benefits, there are a few limitations to consider:
- Dependence on Internet Connectivity: Remote monitoring in solar inverters relies on a stable Internet connection for real-time data retrieval and monitoring.
- Limited Access in Remote Locations: Implementing remote monitoring systems in areas with weak or no internet access can be challenging.
- Potential Security Risks: Remote monitoring platforms may be susceptible to cyber security threats, requiring robust security measures.
- Compatibility Issues: Some solar inverters may not seamlessly integrate with remote monitoring systems, affecting monitoring capabilities.
- Cost Considerations: Implementing remote monitoring systems incurs additional costs such as hardware, software, and subscription fees.
- Technical Complexity: Setting up and configuring remote monitoring systems may require technical expertise.
It is important to weigh these limitations against the benefits and assess their impact based on specific circumstances and requirements. By understanding these limitations, users can make informed decisions regarding the implementation of remote monitoring for their solar inverters.
How Can We Help?
Ornate Solar is one of the leading solar companies in India with over 8 years of experience in the industry. We have partnered with the best-in-class global solar brands to provide you with a trustable, affordable, and reliable range of solar panels, inverters, and solar accessories.
We have also developed India’s first Integrated InRoof system. Ornate InRoof is a roof made out of solar panels, which is leak-proof and looks aesthetically pleasing.
If you are exploring solar solutions with remote monitoring feature, connect with us at 011 4353 6666.