Do You Need a Solar Monitoring System?

A solar powered grid may be energy efficient, but to what extent? How much energy are you really saving? To access your current energy data, install a solar energy monitor.

Engineered with a durable construct, the device combines hardware and software to track solar power generation. It also records real-time system data to measure the solar system’s performance.

Such insights, alongside improved manageability, have made solar monitoring units a favourite amongst those who believe in sustainability.  

Here’s why you should consider a residential solar monitor.

Table of Contents

What is a Solar Monitoring System?

Solar panel monitoring systems are one of the best smart devices for long-term returns. They are engineered to assist businesses and homeowners. Such devices will leverage production data from your microinverter to help maximize your system’s solar output.

Solar power monitoring systems are programmed to display this consumption data on a dashboard. You can access the software remotely, using a tablet or a phone. As a result, solar monitoring systems help homeowners save up to 30% on their energy bills.

Solar monitoring systems also inform the owner when the solar panels are unable to generate the estimated power. This progressive technology not only measures energy conversion but also ensures immediate fault detection.

When solar power is produced, your system will try to use this energy to satisfy any power requirements you have at home. This takes place before the solar energy is exported to the grid and it is a real time process.

When you aren’t using solar power to energize your home, it will either be sent to the grid (feed-in solar tariff) or stored in a solar battery. A solar monitoring app only makes this process more productive with analytics.

What are types of solar monitoring systems?

There are three different types of solar monitoring systems available in the market. Based on your consumption needs, location, roofing system, and several other factors, you can pick between:

  • Solar monitoring equipment by reliable manufacturers—Integrate a solar panel system that comes with in-built monitoring sensors
  • Solar monitoring from an installer—Integrate monitoring software to measure solar power consumption through a local installer
  • Standalone home energy monitor—Integrate a monitoring device within an existing solar panel distribution grid

Each of these solutions uses both hardware and software, to keep a record of performance. The devices provide you with a relevant interface to access all necessary data about a solar installation. 

What is solar analytics?

Solar analytics is the basis of solar monitoring apps. It provides you all the tools you need to monitor, measure, and assess performance of solar inverters.

An energy monitor records measurement data and displays it on the dashboard. Using such analytical data, you can evaluate your energy consumption and production.

An advanced solar monitoring platform can also analyze financial performance by measuring basic functions, such as:

  • Actual weather data of your location
  • Current temperature conditions
  • Voltage fluctuations and yield assurance
  • Angles of the roof with a virtual site map
  • Energy bill with cost tracking

Energy Tracking with a Solar Monitoring System

Solar monitoring systems are designed to ensure solar savings. To enable a sustainable energy model, they help track the following parameters:

  • Solar energy production
  • Solar energy consumption
  • Grid imports and exports
  • Energy usage and cost
  • Performance issues

Solar input and output

Solar monitor systems can record how much solar energy is being produced by your system in kilowatt-hours. They can track real-time production and historical data within specific time periods, compare readings, and calculate estimates. This allows you to understand any significant variation in solar energy production.

Consumption monitoring is another feature of advanced solar monitor units. It is the amount of solar energy (also expressed in kilowatt-hours) you use at home to power your appliances. By increasing the solar consumption rate, you can reduce electrical power usage, thereby decreasing your energy bills.

Grid exports and imports

Using free solar power is much better than paying an expensive grid rate. But just how much can you export and what’s your current electrical usage?

Buying grid power costs around 25-30 cents per kilowatt hour while exporting solar power only pays around 7 cents per kilowatt hour. With a good monitoring system, you can control your energy bills yet again by understanding grid imports and exports.

Electrical parameters

Besides tracking solar production, solar monitor systems can also calculate basic estimates, such as solar feed-in tariff, daily supply charge and time, weekday/weekend rates, and more. As a result, regulating your electrical costs becomes easier.

Performance issues/faults

Upon detecting faults in your system, solar monitoring software will issue warnings when something isn’t working. This safety measure ensures all electrical/mechanical anomalies are identified before they cause potential damage.

Besides detecting electrical faults and performance issues, solar monitors also send immediate alerts about your system’s health. They send SMS and/or email alerts when the solar performance falls below optimum levels.

Here's Why You Should Install a Solar Monitoring System

Schedule system repairs on time

You can save at least $500 per quarter with a solar monitoring system. For one, you can detect anomalies and system failures in time.

When a solar inverter breaks down or faces system errors, your system ends up using more grid power to energize your home. As a result, you’ll probably not realize this fault until the electricity bill comes in and your energy usage is through the roof.

Solar monitoring systems give you alerts the instant something goes wrong allowing you to repair your solar system in time. You can call your installer to discuss problems regarding solar performance and have it back online before more grid power is consumed.

Ensure maximum performance

Solar panels are supposed to function for a minimum of 25 years. But how can you know if their performance has dropped below the guaranteed level? A good monitoring system can check that for you.

Based on the direction and angle of the roofing system and weather conditions, you can check when the solar power is at the highest and lowest range. A solar monitor app can even send you alerts on poor performance.

Focus on safety and compliance

A good monitoring system should ensure safety before functionality. With solar monitoring, you can avoid any electrical fault that can result in a hazard. The device issues warnings when any component in your solar energy system is close to failing.

For instance, a solar panel that is about to break down, if left unchecked, such electrical faults can lead to voltage fluctuations or worse, an electrical fire.

Regulate electrical usage

It’s a known fact that the amount of electricity coming from regular power lines will always cost you more than free solar power. With module-level monitoring, you can maximize the amount of solar energy you use at home and reduce electricity bills.

Key Takeaways

More Energy-Saving Solutions

Monitoring the performance of your solar energy system gives you access to useful data insights that help improve energy efficiency. But without proper solar installation, no hardware can function appropriately.  

At HCB Solar, our qualified operators can help you get the most out of your solar energy system. Our licensed technicians provide residential solar monitoring services to local customers across Newcastle, Sydney, and the Hunter Valley.

As leading solar technology experts, we can configure, optimize, and install solar power monitoring systems, as per your structural requirements. For remote troubleshooting options, give our experts a call – contact us now

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