November 14, 2019
One of the greatest attributes of solar energy is its transparency. Solar system owners can access their system’s performance at virtually anytime, giving great insight to make sure their system is functioning properly. These capabilities allow you and your installer to discover any potential system malfunctions before a higher than expected electric bill arrives in your mailbox. That’s why system monitoring is a great benefit for solar owners.
Solar energy systems are low maintenance, reliable energy sources. But just like anything, components of a solar system can occasionally malfunction. Solar monitoring helps us find potential malfunctions and fix them before they have a big impact on your solar production and your electric bill.
Solar monitoring software will give you access to real-time production information and also show you historical system data. Historical data gives you the capability to track performance overtime to make sure your financial ROI is on track. Production data can be viewed by day, week, month, or year.
The most important benefit of system monitoring is the peace-of-mind it will give you. Your system can be checked on at any time. You don’t need to worry about issues going unnoticed or receiving a higher than expected electric bill. This software allows for panel-level or inverter level monitoring so the installer can quickly diagnose and resolve any issues.
Check out this video to get a glimpse into how solar system monitoring works. In this video, we use the Enlighten software from Enphase, but other software options will look and function similar to this.
Having a reliable internet source for your solar system is a must if you want monitoring capabilities. An unreliable internet connection will limit the data you’re able to capture. There is no way to monitor your system remotely if the system is not connected to the internet.
We suggest using a cable, DSL, or fixed wireless internet connection with adequate bandwidth support. Jet packs and Mifi are not acceptable sources of internet for solar monitoring.
At Paradise Energy, we use four main monitoring software packages – Enphase MyEnlighten, SolarEdge, SMA Sunny Portal, and Locus Energy. The software that is selected will be based on the brand of solar inverters that are installed with your system.
Enphase MyEnlighten is accessible from a web browser and a mobile app. You will be able to track your overall energy production and monitor your system’s overall health. If the proper additional hardware is installed, this software can also show you how much energy you are using compared to the amount of solar energy produced.
The SolarEdge Monitoring Platform provides a per panel and per inverter performance overview, as well as a whole system overview. Their software is available for viewing in a web browser and their mobile app. This software can also measure how much energy you are using if the proper additional hardware is installed.
Locus Energy uses a revenue-grade energy meter to monitor system performance. If the proper additional hardware is installed, this meter can monitor both solar energy production and your total energy consumption.
SMA Sunny Portal gives solar owners access to key information at any time with easy to use reporting options. The portal can be accessed on a PC or a mobile app.
We provide our Triple Ten Guarantee with each solar system we install, and a key component of this is 10 years of system monitoring. This includes three components: access, alerts, and action.
We do not review each system daily, and we don’t have a command center like NASA. The team relies on alerts generated by the software to know when there is an issue. However, we’re incentivized to fix issues quickly because of the performance guarantee portion of the Triple Ten Guarantee. We’re putting our money on the line, so we’ll make sure your system keeps producing what it’s supposed to.
You can still have us monitor your solar system even if it’s out of warranty or if your system wasn’t installed by us. We will set up alerts and diagnose issues for you. Once diagnosed, we will provide a quote and wait for your approval to complete the required work. If you’re interested in our solar maintenance services, visit our Solar System Maintenance page to meet our technicians and request a quote today.