Solar is now the cheapest and most used energy source in the world. Since solar energy has become more abundant, the need for solar monitoring software cannot be overemphasized. In case you are wondering how you can monitor just how much energy your solar inverter produces and consumes, keep reading and you will find out just how and why it is important.
Solar monitoring software or system is a device that provides you with real-time data on the production, consumption and performance of your solar system’s operations. The information provided often includes energy production, usage, faults and optimization.
Monitoring solar energy production and use have caused quite a headache among solar inverter users and engineers. I had a bitter personal experience with my first solar inverter, and I felt like I could have used some sort of warning and saved a couple of hundred bucks.
How Solar Inverter Monitoring Software Works
Solar inverter monitoring software works by sending real-time information on energy level and production to an online tracking system when power is converted from AC to DC by the solar inverter. This information is sent to the cloud-based tracking system is analyzed, and a report is released to the software. You can track this report with your mobile phones, other digital home systems, and computers.
Solar monitoring software allows users:
- Run analysis and reporting tools at the site.
- Manage all panels easily and conveniently from a computer, tablet or smartphone.
- Receive instant alerts and updates regarding system malfunctioning, such as a drop in the performance panel or inverter.
- Access to real-time and previous system data with the ability to compare across sites.
- Improve the overall welfare of your system.
How To Use A Solar Monitoring Device?
Most solar inverters come with a monitoring device. It is important to receive reports and updates on the performance and functionality of your system… and the monitoring system helps you do just that. Only when you know what went wrong can you address the problem quickly and correctly.
When power is being converted by your solar inverter from DC current into AC current for use, information is automatically gathered on power levels and production and sent to cloud-based monitoring systems and their other connected systems. You can then access this information through mobile applications and connected home devices.
You can access system information saved in the cloud from your mobile device, and a connection to a Wi-Fi network may not be required. That way, you can still access the solar monitoring system if your network connection is not lost.
Solar Monitoring Apps
Solar monitoring apps allow users to track their energy use and production. Solar inverter manufacturers have provided these platforms to allow their customers to monitor their systems’ condition and share information with other users.
Most of these apps are free and they are used for both residential and commercial purposes. These following apps are some of the most popular solar monitoring apps:
- Enphase Enlighten.
- CURB Monitoring System.
- TrueCapture by NEXTracker.
- SimPRO IoT.
What Is The Best Solar Monitoring System?
There are many solar systems out there, and frankly, they all have similar features with good customer reviews; but there is one that stands out amongst all others.
Enphase Enlighten and SolarEdge are rightly two of the best solar monitoring systems in the world. But Enphase appears to have more good reviews than any other solar monitoring software, with many users vouching for its performance and excellent features.
Enphase Enlighten provides high-quality solar monitoring solutions alongside their inverter products. It has its micro-inverter attached to the individual solar panel, and connect remotely with a central device that provides information to smartphones and other permitted devices.
Enphase’s IQ Envoy flawlessly incorporates IQ microinverter systems. The IQ Envoy interacts with these IQ microinverters, transmitting performance and production data which can be observed either directly from the IQ Envoy or online from any internet-connected device.
The IQ Envoy has a feature that automatically regulates the use of power, flexible networking with integrated Wi-Fi, and even offers 3G and 4G cellular connection options. Isn’t that amazing?
What Solar Power Monitoring Equipment Is Needed?
Solar monitoring equipment is tools for solar panels. They reveal intricate information concerning energy generation, battery storage and other relevant details about the entire system performance.
Though homeowners and business owners have different reasons for monitoring the performance
of their solar panels. For most people, getting a report on performance, storage, output…just gives them a feeling of satisfaction that they have made good investments.
Gone are the days when we could only get the data of a solar system on a display panel attached to it. Today, there a number of equipment that is needed to monitor your solar, such as mobile devices, software applications. You can take advantage of this equipment and get the best out of your solar panels.
How Commercial Solar Monitoring Is Different?
Investing in solar energy systems is quite different for businesses, which makes both financial and environmental sense. Companies look to increase their profits, so they monitor the import amount which shows how much energy they import from the grid.
When your home or business consumes more energy than you are producing, you will import energy from the grid. The export amount shows how much energy you export from the grid. When you are using less energy than you are generating, you will export energy into the grid.
When companies monitor the performance of their solar systems, they access their system’s overall technical and financial performance, their data for the module, string and system levels, view your PV system’s production, individual-consumption and building/site consumption.
What Are The Biggest Solar Monitoring Companies?
There are many independent solar monitoring companies that deal primarily in data aggregation and management and provide some other services in that line. Enphase is still one of the major players in the industry. They offer a complete range of solar panels along with built-in micro-inverters. They also offer a web application by the name “MyEnlighten” that enables users to monitor their total and each panel’s energy production data.
There are other companies that provide good solar panel monitoring service. Other companies like 6 Tigo SMART, 7 Smappee Solar, 8 Solar-Log WEB Enerest™, 9 Sense Energy Monitor, 10 TED Pro Home Solar Package, 11 Closing Words are also good players and have built a really solid reputation over the years.
Solar Monitoring Device
Solar monitoring devices work by closely monitoring and analyzing consumption and solar generation data. They have inbuilt solar analytics algorithms that can accurately detect and diagnose system faults, as well as recognize and categorize under-performance.
The biggest concern with solar inverter monitoring devices is that their performance is dependent on the constancy of the local Wi-Fi network. Solar inverter monitoring devices require a Wi-Fi connection to transmit data to the cloud nut this cannot happen if the signal is unsteady.
But this situation can be averted if the inverter is properly wired to the modem with a dedicated communications cable. Also, you may need a technician to help you set up communications again if your modem is reset or replaced… and this also is dependent on the stability of a Wi-Fi.
The need for solar monitoring can vary wildly between different households and most business owners, but the fact still remains most people are completely unaware of how much electricity is being generated and consumed at any point in time, or which appliances are consuming the most power. You can save electricity consumption if you understand more about your consumption patterns.