Why Solar Monitoring?
Watch the webinar below on “Why Solar Monitoring” with Arturo Zarate with Deck Monitoring.
Be sure to tune in June 14th for the #SolarMOOC live lecture on “Managing the Project” with Martifer Solar‘s Daniel Dus at 6pm CDT.
Why Solar Monitoring with Arturo Zarate
Lecture Slide Set
PV Monitoring References
Why Solar Monitoring Q&A
1. How do you manually test your PV System performance if you don’t have access to a monitoring system?
Using a multimeter, test for voltage and current and use Ohm’s law to determine power output: Volts x Current = Watts
Always be sure to use protective PPE and follow proper safety procedures.
2. How does CT (current transformer) work?
It measures current and relays this to the monitoring system for inclusion in data collection and analysis.
3. How does barometric pressure and humidity effect the performance of the PV system?
Barometric pressure and humidity help indicate weather conditions that impact the performance of a PV system. Also, they can lead to degradations in the module over time and then reduce power output. A lot of humidity may also effect the electronics in the inverter if it is exposed. If you see a loss in power that correlates with weather data telling you that there has been an unusual amount of humidity in the area (increased air mass and clouds from storms), this may help you determine the cause of reduced power. Extreme weather condition read outs in your monitoring system may explain a loss in power due to reduced sun hours or damage to the system, and this would then help you determine possible troubleshooting and maintenance tactics.
4. What is one primary observation that can be made from the the data provided by a monitoring system?
Pay attention to the irradiance sensor output. If your expected power is more than what you are getting, make sure the irradiance sensor is correctly placed at the same plane as the module surface area.
5. What do the numbers on the monitoring system tell you and how does this help?
Looking at generation vs. consumption can inspire conservation. Also, seeing weather data and irradiance data will help you understand reasons for power output fluctuations and clarfy that perfomance is as it should be or not. You can watch the history of your systems performance and determine if you need to schedule maintenance on a certain part of the system. You can track ROI. This data can be used to educate the public about the possibilities behind solar aplication for energy production.
5. What is the most important information provided by a PV monitoring system and why?
A clear view on how the PV system is performing, and is it producing as it was designed for. A monitoring system can play a critical role in operation and maintenance of a PV system by tacking a proactive maintenance vs reactive maintenance approach.