Solar energy system Monitoring devices are an essential part of a solar energy system because they ensure your solar equipment works smoothly and at full power.
One of the most significant advantages of the newest and latest solar energy systems is their monitoring abilities. Solar monitoring systems help home and business owners get the most out of their solar energy systems and see their production, which could ultimately save them money in the long run and keep the system performing on an ongoing basis.
The monitoring systems can check their overall system’s performance. These systems help you, and your installer finds problems with your system if your electric bill is higher than your proposed system generation. That is why these monitoring systems are essential to check the performance of these solar energy systems.
This article will give you a comprehensive overview of solar power monitoring systems, their main features, and the advantages they can have for you and your home. This will also look at more advanced tracking options, such as circuit and panel-level monitoring as well.
- What Is Solar Monitoring?
- Improve The Efficiency
- How Do Solar Power Monitoring Systems Work?
- Need of A Solar Monitoring System
- Advanced Monitoring System
- Benefits of Solar Monitoring System
- Energy Efficiency
- Remote Solar Monitoring System
- Pick The Right System
- IoT Solar Monitoring System
- How Does IoT Monitoring work?
What Is Solar Monitoring?
Solar monitoring systems are meant to find and alert people when there are issues with solar energy systems. Some errors/sounds can be a warning or informational errors that can be resolved or updated by clicking a button or ignoring the warning sign. Then there are glaring errors that need to be fixed right away because your solar energy system is failing or imminent danger is about to happen. E.g., one of your panels has stopped working because the light has failed (see figure below) on one of your panels (system failure), or one of your wires connecting between the panels or inverter is showing signs of overheating.
15 years ago or so, it was hard to get information about how well solar panels worked or how much electricity they made over time, as these systems couldn’t integrate monitoring systems into their existing technology
You would have to read the data directly from the inverter and manually track how much electricity you made and used.
A solar energy system is a low-maintenance, long-term source of energy. It has minimal chances of failing, except when the installation has gone wrong, poor wire maintenance or the panels are defective from the onset. But just like anything else, parts of a solar system can go wrong from time to time.
Improve The Efficiency
Solar monitoring allows us to find problems and fix them before significantly impacting solar generation, and ultimately, you can save money on your energy bills
Solar system monitoring software would then show you how much electricity your solar monitoring system is producing right now and how it worked in the past.
You can use historical system data to keep an eye on your financial ROI over time to ensure it’s going in the right direction.
It’s possible to look at the panel’s energy production data for a single day, week, month, or year, or you can look at it all at once.
When you keep an eye on your solar energy systems, You don’t have to worry about problems going unnoticed or getting an unexpected electric bill than you thought. On top of this, the software lets the solar installer keep an eye on things at the panel or inverter system level to figure out what’s wrong quickly and fix it.
How Do Solar Power Monitoring Systems Work?
It works through the solar system’s inverter to keep an eye on things. Most of the time, Solar Inverters come with a trademarked, built-in monitoring software set-up.
You can, however, buy third-party solar panel monitoring systems that give you more information about how well your solar system is working and how healthy it is.
Solar monitoring can show how much electricity your solar panels are making, how much you’re using from the grid, how hot your panels are, and how much shade they get.
It can also show how much electricity you’re using from the grid and how much electricity your panels produce. It can also tell you about failures or imminent failures with your solar system, something you might not know about until you get a high electricity bill.
Need of A Solar Monitoring System
A solar roof or field has a lot of solar panels on it, and each one generates some electricity on its own. There is a wire that connects all the solar panels.
The solar inverters convert the DC or direct current energy into AC or alternating current energy to power the building. Most solar systems use a wired sensor network to watch many parts of the process.
Your solar energy monitoring device’s success depends on the stability of the network that sends data to it.
It refers to how gateways can send all of the information to the system’s cloud, which means, If your network goes down, your devices won’t send or receive data.
It could mean that critical data isn’t sent, the system’s performance isn’t good, or other data is misinterpreted.
Advanced Monitoring System
Most energy solar monitoring systems have wired parts or sensors that need to be connected. It may work, but the costs of maintaining and replacing the sensors will limit the number of sensors.
Although with wireless IoT systems, the maintenance and wiring costs are cut down, making it easier to collect data, learn from it, and keep an eye on things. There are many reasons why solar energy monitoring devices with IoT help are always good.
Benefits of Solar Monitoring System
Solar Power Monitors are getting much better, and now they are in high demand in the market. There are many good things about these solar power monitoring machines, which have made them very popular in the market.
Solar power monitoring is nothing more than using software to help solar power plants track how much energy they produce and how much they use. It also gives them the information they need.
Increased System Operations Awareness
This app lets you see how much solar power your solar monitor systems make. In addition, you can find out just how well the solar inverter and panel are working while using numerous solar panel monitoring systems.
This way, you can figure out the necessary maintenance and solar productivity rising with time. In addition, they quickly update all of the information about the system performance in real-time.
Timely Alerts If Your Panels’ Performance Drops
Solar panels come with a minimal level system performance guarantee of 25 years when you buy solar panels. So how do you understand if their performance ever falls below that minimum? An excellent monitoring system can look into that for you, so you don’t have to.
It will be able to figure out what kind of system performance you should expect based on the direction and angle of your roof and the weather in your area. It will tell you if it doesn’t.
A good solar system can tell you to within a few percent if your system isn’t working right. It’s a bit more advanced than telling you if the solar monitoring system has broken down.
You’re paying a lot of money for those panels to be put in, so it makes sense to be notified if they don’t work as well as they should.
Provides You with Peace of Mind
It would be best to keep this in mind when you use solar panels. But when you have the above monitors and then use them correctly, you will know that the solar panels are functioning beautifully. There is no need for you to be concerned about them.
Electrical faults could be more dangerous when our homes become power stations.
The big power plants have many separate solar systems to notify the operators of problems that could be dangerous or costly to fix. We think that you should protect your home in the same way.
A sound monitoring system can find all kinds of problems, and these can be signs that something is close to breaking down and
For instance, if a fault is found in a solar panel, it could be a sign that the panel will break down, which could cause a fire on the roof.
Energy Consumption Details
Having a monitoring system for your solar panels will help you see how much power they use. There are a lot of newer monitors (Sense)  that tell you which appliances use the most energy and which ones don’t. These systems connect to your electricity meter located at the back of your house and show how much energy your home is using and provide information about the breakdowns of how every appliance in the home/house is consuming
Get All The data
These newer monitors are beneficial, and you can want them for many different things. When you pay attention to what appliances use a lot of electricity, you won’t put a lot of stress on the solar panels, which will also help them last longer.
Suppose you want to make your home more energy-efficient. In that case, the information a solar panel monitoring system could give you will be beneficial. For example, suppose your “always-on” power is the least amount of power your residence draws from the grid at night. It is the amount of power you never use.
Here, you can find out how big your “standby loads” are, so you can find appliances that use power even when they’re not in use.
If you keep an eye on things, you can figure out which appliances you can start using during the day so that they use solar electricity rather than just electricity from the grid. It will help you increase your self-consumption ratio.
Remote Solar Monitoring System
A Remote Solar Panel Monitoring System can look at how much electricity is used and how much electricity is made, look at different system’s performance parameters, and keep an eye on the workings and progress of solar power plants installed in far-off places.
Solar inverters give you information about how well your solar project is working. Solar monitoring solutions get that details from your solar inverters and use them to make sure your solar project is working at its best.
Pick The Right System
Choosing the proper monitoring tools is essential when planning your solar power system. For example, remote monitoring options that come with the inverters we chose can show how well the system is working on a device like your cell phone, giving solar system owners the ability to see the data from anywhere with an internet connection.
People who install solar power plants can use management platforms to make things easier. This monitoring platform shows how much energy has been made in real-time, so the plant owner can see how much electricity has already been used.
A cloud-based solution is available through an internet browser user interface with your PV system plant data. It gives plant managers real-time, interactive access to critical effectiveness & operations metrics, which helps them make better decisions and speed up the alignment with business goals.
IoT Solar Monitoring System
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a new idea that could be interesting. However, it is like the Internet-connected to the solar panel giving us a piece of automated information. There are now many things in our lives connected to the Internet. These things include transportation and entertainment, as well as health and retail.
IoT has led to many new businesses that involve the power of the Internet. From hardware producers and distributors to retailers, almost every type of business is looking into using the Internet of things.
How Does IoT Monitoring work?
Success with your solar panel monitoring system is partly dependent on how well and reliably the gateway sends information to the cloud, which is what the cloud is. For example, your devices won’t send or receive data if the network goes down.
It could lead to missing important information about how well your devices are working or misinterpreting other available information.
To this point, most monitoring systems have used wired sensors and other parts. A good thing about the monitoring sensors is that they work, but they cost a lot to buy and keep up.
With wireless IoT structures, the cost of hard wires and the maintenance that comes with them is a lot less, which allows for more data collection, monitoring, and AI applications.
Many solar systems use cell phones or Wi-Fi to interact. Cellular capabilities or coverage is a popular choice because it has a lot of coverage worldwide, but it also costs a lot.
Wi-Fi has its own set of problems because many IT departments don’t want to let third-party IoT devices connect to their networks because they’re afraid they’ll get into trouble.
For businesses, solar power systems often come with a subscription for a solar panel monitoring system and a cell phone connection as part of the deal.
Iota’s dedicated IoT network across the country is a middle ground option between cell phones and Wi-Fi. It’s meant to be used with IoT devices and works like Wi-Fi, but it has a more extensive range.
A cell phone can be more cost-effective in many cases than a Wi-Fi connection. It’s because it doesn’t have the same security problems as Wi-Fi.
Using a powerful solar system, you can connect Bluetooth Low Energy and Wi-Fi-based gateways and sensors to the cloud, where any end-user solar system monitoring software can get sensor-based data from the cloud. It’s safe, reliable, and scalable.
So, no matter where you consider having a solar monitoring system, it is invaluable for home and business owners.
It offers a range of features, including identifying performance patterns, storing historical data, and identifying repair areas with just monitoring software. Also, solar monitoring systems are extremely helpful in identifying periods of peak consumption and switching to stored supply whenever required.