To look after a mechanism or enhance its performance, it is preferable to start regularly measuring or monitoring it.
The same approach goes well with your solar power system. Using a solar energy monitoring system helps you get a glimpse of the solar energy production data from your solar system instantaneously.
You can use a solar monitoring system to observe the performance of your solar system over a specific period.
Besides, it aids in the maintenance and helps track the solar financial output of the system. A monitoring system keeps you assured that your solar system is working appropriately.
But, how does this solar monitoring system work? Let us find out!
Working and Significance of Solar Monitoring Systems
The solar monitoring systems are essentially innovated to assist businessmen and homeowners in maximising the output of the solar panels. This eventually lets you save on your bills.
A competent energy monitoring system can determine and inform the owner when one (or more) solar module or panel is not generating the estimated energy, like the others.
Also, it helps to troubleshoot if there is some electrical fault that is deviating the actual kWh output from your estimated output.
Typically, the solar panel installed in a solar system produces electricity and transfers the same to our home or other destination of use via microinverters.
The microinverter is the principal tool that ascertains the performance of your solar power system. It transforms DC current into AC current that’s used to run appliances.
Micro-inverters have built-in progressive technology that effectively monitors energy conversion.
Did you know that microinverters can also take reference from local weather reports to determine the changes in output? After that, they provide comprehensive data reports on energy consumption.
These devices simply help to spot the fluctuation in the electricity generation & your utility bills.
Types of Solar Energy Monitoring Systems
When investing in a photovoltaic solar system, a solar energy monitoring system is an ideal approach.
It helps to determine the actual performance of your solar system for sustainable energy consciousness generation and financial savings.
So, are there many types of solar monitoring systems?
There are three main types of energy monitoring systems. These solutions come as hardware installed on each PV module or alongside a solar string inverter to track the power generation.
Let us read about each of them one by one:
- – Solar monitoring equipment by manufacturers: Three major brands offer energy monitoring equipment as a part of their manufactured solar products, namely – Enphase (solar microinverters manufacturer), SolarEdge (string inverters and DC power optimisers manufacturer), and SMA (Sunny Portal solar inverter manufacturer).
- – Solar monitoring system by your installer: Some solar installers offer monitoring software, such as Sun Power & Tesla. However, the solutions these brands offer are mostly re-scaled versions of the equipment by manufacturers. Some installers may offer no web portals (example – Tesla) or web portals with day-after data, but live monitoring is not there.
- – Standalone home energy monitoring solutions: Some companies do not make solar equipment or install solar panels but offer solutions for solar energy monitoring. Such providers include companies such as Curb, Emporia, & Sense.
Best Brands that Manufacture Energy Monitoring Inverters
Let us look at some popular energy monitoring inverter brands available in the market.
Enphase is probably the most renowned solar equipment manufacturer across the globe that maintains high industry standards with its advanced micro-inverter technology.
Enphase solar microinverters are small boxes affixed to the back of each solar panel in a solar system. They convert the DC energy produced into AC energy output.
These microinverters are compatible with any solar module available in the market and are even integrated into some new models by reputed brands.
They have a higher cost than other brands but they come with a warranty of 25 years. The data can be accessed by the Enphase MyEnlighten web portal or the Enlighten Mobile app.
SolarEdge manufactures solar string inverters that can be used along with power optimisers affixed to each solar panel in a solar system.
Along with the power optimisers, the SolarEdge energy monitoring applications can monitor the energy generation of each solar panel.
Without optimisers, the SolarEdge string inverter offers limited monitoring of the total system output. You have to retrofit the solar system with optimisers to get comprehensive information.
MySolarEdge app and web portal offer decent functionality, like the solutions by Enphase. It can track energy generation, self-consumption, battery charge, grid reports, and more. It may be comparatively less expensive than Enphase microinverters.
Havells is one of the top FMEG companies, which is also a significant manufacturer of power distribution equipment.
With a robust market presence, Havells offers competent on-grid inverters and optimisers that come with a constraint-free body, module-level monitoring, and improved safety.
The grid-tied inverters by Havells have a warranty of 10 years. The range of solar inverters by Havells involves industrial GTi inverters from 1.1 kW to 100 kW capacity.
These come with LCD and LED displays, app-based monitoring, free lifetime web, WiFi or GPRS data logger, and an SD card for years of data storage.
When it comes to solar power systems, a solar energy monitoring solution is essential if you want to keep your system giving efficient results.
Monitoring the performance of your solar system provides you access to useful data insights.
You must install a suitable solar monitoring solution that is best for your solar array. It is greatly reliable and helps optimize the overall energy consumption.
Q. How to select the best solar energy monitoring system from the options available in the market?
The best solar power monitoring systems can effectively measure the energy generation by individual solar panel installations in a solar power system.
Also, monitoring systems assist in detecting the arising issues at the initial stage before the issues can lead to cost you a hefty sum of money.
Micro-inverters are the best ones as of now.
Q. What can be done for solar systems that do not come with a monitoring system?
It is possible that your solar module is not accompanied by a solar energy system.
Various third-party solutions are there to help monitor the solar energy production by your solar array.
Q. What are the requirements for maintaining a solar energy monitoring system?
After buying a solar monitoring system to make everything work together productively, you will have to install the hardware appropriately.
Secondly, you need an internet connection to log in to the web portal of your specific monitoring system or use its mobile application.