What is Solar Monitoring?
Solar monitoring is an ambiguous term to refer to a range of activities that include monitoring of photovoltaic systems and solar activity. Most commonly, it refers to the suite of systems that observe and report on photovoltaic systems.
- It is an ambiguous term.
- Typically refers to the software that monitors a photovoltaic system.
- Solar monitoring software can report on solar array efficiencies and savings.
Understanding Solar Monitoring
Solar monitoring can refer to a range of activities ranging from the monitoring of photovoltaic hardware to the activity of the sun. Most commonly, solar monitoring is used to refer to the output measurement of a photovoltaic system in order to track how efficient a solar array is performing, as well as capture and record data related to the system.
Solar monitoring software allows the owner of a solar array to easily see how many kilowatts of power are being produced by their photovoltaic system at any given time, how much money is being saved by not using grid power, and quickly determine if anything is wrong or underperforming. In the event that something is wrong with a solar array, a good monitoring software would be able to show where the issue is so that it can be corrected in the least amount of time.
Due to the various interpretations of the term, the term can make it difficult even for experts to understand what is meant.
Photovoltaic System – A photovoltaic system refers to the entire system of photovoltaic devices and supporting equipment required to generate electricity from light. A complete system may include some or all of the following: a photovoltaic array, an inverter, mounting, cabling, a solar tracker, and a battery.
Inverter – Or power inverter, is a device which converts direct current energy to alternating current energy so that it can be used by typical household appliances.
Battery – A storage device for electrical energy, typically in a chemical solution, that can be used as a source of power.