Solar Monitoring

There is a range of solar monitoring solutions now available for monitoring your solar power production. Most of the solar systems that we’ve been installing recently around Geelong, the Surfcoast and Bellarine have been fitted with online solar monitoring. Here we’ll explain why having real time, solar monitoring connected to the web is a great idea, also we’ll give a rundown of what’s available and some of the benefits it provides.

Most solar systems in the past (and now) have provided a screen on the inverter where you can monitor your systems performance through some basic information like instantaneous power (Wattage), daily energy produced (kilowatt hours (kWh)) and lifetime energy produced (kWh). This is great, but sometimes it can be tricky to determine if your system is working to its full capacity.

By connecting your solar system to the internet, you can get real time solar monitoring sent direct to your computer screen, smart phone or tablet. The online solar monitoring solutions that Green Energy Options have been providing have some advantages over a standard inverter screen display:

Enlighten is Enphase's online monitoring portal, it shows a fantastic graphic on how your system is performing

Enlighten is Enphase’s online monitoring portal, it shows a fantastic graphic on how your system is performing

Easy performance checking

It’s easy to access real time and historical performance information. This means you can compare system performance estimates given to you by your installer with actual performance to confirm that your system is doing what it should.

Optimise savings through better self-consumption

It can be exciting to see what’s happening up on your roof, online solar monitoring can make it easier to understand exactly when your system is producing electricity and when you should be aiming to run appliances to maximise self-consumption – maximising your savings.

Increase savings by minimising system downtime

Email alerts can be set to advise if there is a problem with your solar system. This helps you to identify issues quickly and minimise lost income from system downtime. On top of this your installer can now see what your solar system is doing from the comfort of their office. In the case of Enphase microinverters, the installer can actually see down to panel level monitoring, meaning that troubleshooting can often be done off site and problems can be resolved quicker.

Future updates and improvements

With the monitoring systems that we are installing the solar inverter manufacturer can get feedback on the environmental conditions and grid parameters that their products are operating under, helping them to refine their solution for real world conditions. They can also send software updates out to the solar inverter/s to make improvements and changes to their operating parameters, dealing with grid issues that arise and optimising their product.

Here’s a great quick explanation of how the Enphase MyEnlighten software works and what you can see.

The two main inverters that Green Energy Options install, Enphase microinverters and Fronius string inverters both have online solar monitoring capability. Enphase connects to your router via Wi-Fi or internet-over-powerline bridges, while Fronius has an inbuilt Wi-Fi connection; both make for simple connection to the web, which Green Energy Options provide as part of our package.

Efergy Energy monitoring solution

Efergy Energy monitoring solution

Other inverter manufacturers like SMA and ABB are also providing online solar monitoring solutions, some are included, and some are at an additional cost. There are also a growing number of third party monitoring options available like Efergy, that provide monitoring solutions that can be retrofitted to your existing solar system

 

If you are interested to see how some of our Enphase microinverter systems are performing around Geelong the Surfcoast and Bellarine region, check out our interactive map above.
For more information about solar monitoring or questions around installing solar around the Geelong region, please feel free to give us a call on 1300 931 929.