Integrating Multiple Monitoring Systems into a Single Platform
Each new residential and commercial solar PV installation brings the benefit of lower electricity bills, clean energy, reduced greenhouse gases and financial returns to owners. For owner-operators, new installations also bring unexpected challenges, including the plethora of energy monitoring system providers, technologies and capabilities. Solar owner-operators suffer the difficulty of having to learn, understand and operate across different platforms, negotiate and work with different software providers, and account for the inefficiencies that a multi-platform environment causes. It’s understandable that this frustration is fueling a growing need for standardization and integration.
Current monitoring systems vary extensively in capability and functionality. Some are simple, locally based, and provide limited performance information to the onsite personnel. The opposite side of the spectrum includes web-based systems that capture, log and report on every detail imaginable. These systems provide critical information to contracted operations and maintenance teams for timely correction of performance problems – albeit often buried amid mountains of unused information. The demand for standardization is loud enough that some providers are making efforts to pull multiple system outputs together. Although it’s easy to define, the execution is anything but.
Current monitoring systems utilize different hardware, data collection and communication protocols. These include:
- Different meters
- Different communication languages
- Off the shelf hardware
- Proprietary hardware
- Inverter integrated communications
- Stand-alone communications
As solar owner-operators gather sites, administrators find themselves logging in and out of multiple web portals, each with different logic. Frustration builds evaluating which sites need attention now, which are OK, which are reporting, which are down, which need a truck roll when, and whether it’s OK to wait for scheduled maintenance.
Energy Analysis Software and Data Acquisition
PredictEnergy® software analytics can standardize the process. PredictEnergy® uses advanced techniques like parallel data capture, application program interfaces and sometimes even installing new open source hardware to complete the first step: get the data! Acquiring all this information and uploading into one place is a challenge, but getting it all synchronized for display and analysis is monumental. Driven by customer requirements, PredictEnergy® uses a standardized user interface to present all the important performance and analysis requirements without going overboard on whistles and bells. Benefiting from hundreds of aggregated sites, PredictEnergy® has learned organically what is needed and what is fluff. “It’s monitoring at a glance”, stated one O&M manager from HelioPower, describing how PredictEnergy® has solved the problem of monitoring and evaluating hundreds of solar facilities from a single portal. HelioPower is a leading provider of Integrated Energy Solutions and PV Operations and Maintenance.
That’s why successful owner-operators use PredictEnergy® to simplify their asset management. By consolidating all the disparate monitoring platforms and by integrating real-time data into one single platform, you can focus on making good decisions, and not spend all your time assembling data.
Please contact us today and let us optimize your solar assets’ performance. We’ll even let you try PredictEnergy® for free for 30 days!