Every solar panel has a limit and will eventually fail to produce at its full potential. This is due to various factors, including wear, tear, and naturally-occurring degradation.
While there are many ways to monitor solar panels, including running your analysis on a spreadsheet, the most reliable way of monitoring solar power systems is still the tried and true method of mounting a solar monitoring system that can give you real-time consumption updates. In this review, we will look at five of the most efficient and reliable high-resolution monitoring systems on the market by 2022.
Solar Panel Monitoring Systems: Quick Overview
Solar monitoring systems are used to monitor the solar panels installed on your home or business roof. These systems’ primary purpose is to ensure that your solar panel works correctly. This will allow you to know if it needs repairs or service before any damage is done to it.
Whichever product you decide to install, it should possess a few key features. It should be energy efficient while operating autonomously and in automatic mode. It should also know how to detect different weather conditions, including storms. An ideal system alerts homeowners and renters when there is a power failure or any other irregularity in the solar system. When you have a good amount of knowledge about how these systems work, you can handle any problems that may arise with ease. You can also use this knowledge when choosing which one you want to purchase for your home or business needs.
5 Solar Panel Monitoring Systems That Will Keep You Innovative In 2022
1. Enphase IQ7
Enphase IQ7 is a revolutionary power meter that gives homeowners unprecedented visibility into their home’s solar production and consumption. Enphase IQ7 replaces the traditional meter with a sleek, modern touch screen display that gives homeowners real-time information about their home’s solar production and consumption. The system is easy to install, requires no additional hardware or wiring, and works seamlessly with existing grid-tied inverters. Enphase IQ7 solar monitoring system is loaded with innovative features such as:
- You can monitor your solar system’s performance in real-time through the Enphase Enlighten app and web portal.
- The IQ7 monitoring system allows you to see how much energy your solar panels are producing at any given moment, along with more detailed information about the health of each panel in your array.
- In addition to real-time data, the IQ7 also records historical performance data to analyze trends over time and compare how your system performs against others in similar locations around the world.
- The IQ7 has built-in weather station technology that allows it to report local weather conditions to the system so that you can get an accurate picture of what is happening during the day or night at your location (i.e., temperature, humidity, wind speed).
The IQ7 has achieved great success as one of the leading products among other kinds of monitoring devices. It has a variety of capabilities, most of which are intuitive and self-explanatory. To put it simply, if you need an excellent solar monitoring system, Enphase IQ7 solar panel monitoring system is what you need.
SolarEdge is a leading manufacturer of inverters and optimizers, and they have developed a complete solar monitoring system that can be used on any size solar system. It is a seamless solution that monitors every aspect of your solar energy production. The SolarEdge Monitoring system includes many useful features, such as:
- SolarEdge Monitoring enables you to track and analyze your system performance from a single dashboard. You can view your current system performance metrics and install graphics and status alerts for events like the inverter down or under-voltage conditions.
- The system stores data in real-time and provides immediate access to the most recent data points. This makes it easy to diagnose problems and make critical decisions when needed.
- The platform delivers efficient fleet management and enables operators to improve O&M activities.
- The SolarEdge Monitoring Platform can monitor multiple inverters simultaneously, giving you up-to-the-second information on each inverter.
- It also has access to historical data going back and can be used to compare multiple solar arrays over time.
Sense is another solar monitoring system that has been making waves in the solar energy monitoring industry. It is an all-in-one solar panel and battery monitor, but with several key differences from other systems.
- Sense can help you estimate your monthly electricity costs by setting an amount you want to spend in the app. This helps you understand the real-time application of your energy use in dollar amounts rather than just kilowatt-hours.
- The system visualizes the performance of each module, allowing you to identify weak spots and take action before they become critical.
- The solar panel monitoring system can be installed in half an hour and even less and can help you keep an eye on your panels.
- The Sense home energy monitor uses artificial intelligence to show how much energy is being used in a home at any given time, even if it is not solar-powered.
- The system records excess solar power sent to the grid from your solar panels.
- The system abides with both UL and IEC requirements. It complies with all applicable safety regulations and can be used in Canadian and American residences.
Unlike the competition, Sense has taken a different approach. It is pretty technical to install but an easy-to-use system that can pay reasonably quickly once you take advantage of cloud storage capability, home automation features, and early warning alerts of power grid disturbances. Combined with its other features, this gives it an immediate edge over other monitoring platforms. If you are looking for a way to monitor solar production, Sense Monitor is the cheapest and easiest solution to install.
Curb has been around for a while but has recently made some significant improvements to its platform, including seeing detailed information on individual PV systems and automatic alerts when your panels are not performing as expected. Curb has many components, including a base station, gateway, and solar panel. All these components work together to provide you with an easy-to-read display showing how much energy you are using and how much money you are saving. Curb includes a variety of valuable features, such as:
- Curb plugs right into the breaker panel and relays real-time data on a home’s energy use and generation with its easy-to-use app.
- You can also see how much energy you have generated over time and compare it to previous days and months.
- Curb sends you suggestions on how to save money and energy and alerts you if you have exceeded your budget or left something on inadvertently.
- Instead of using AI to detect appliances by their usage profile, Curb uses CTs attached to each of your circuits, providing individual readings.
- If something is wrong with your system, like low battery levels or high temperatures, then the Curb monitoring system will notify you through email or text messages so that you can take action immediately and avoid costly repairs later on down the line.
The Curb solar monitoring system is a reasonably effective and affordable solar monitoring system, but in some ways, it falls short of its competitors in the same space. However, they have continued to improve the product on a monthly basis over the past year and have already added additional features. It does not require too much hardware to put together and is not prohibitively expensive either.
5. Smappee Solar
The Smappee solar monitoring system is one of those products that has won the hearts of many customers for many different reasons. Smappee solar is essentially a smart home device that gives you a comprehensive view of your electricity usage; you can also control and automate devices as per your current needs. The best part, however, is the Smappee solar app. With this, you can stay on top of the energy generated and consumed by your solar panels. Smappee solar has a few features that make it incredibly useful, such as:
- Smappee solar helps you choose which appliances use energy and in what order to prioritize the essential devices and prevent wasting energy by having to turn off electronics.
- The Smappee app and Dashboard provide a clear, detailed look at the energy flows in your home.
- The Smappee solar can control your energy usage by preventing you from overloading your electrical panel and tripping a circuit breaker when you use two heavy appliances at once.
- The energy data visualization shows a precise breakdown by day, week, month, and year.
- Smappee also links to other devices on the IoT, giving you more control over your home.
Overall, we think Smappee is one of the best solar panel monitoring systems. It has the functionality and design to appeal to a wide range of environmental and technology aficionados, but it is not so complicated or expensive that it would not fall within reach of everyday homeowners. Homeowners can install it with relative ease, even if they are unfamiliar with the technology. So as long as customers want a simple way to monitor their solar panels, Smappee should be able to provide them with this convenience for years to come.
A monitoring system is an absolute must-have if you are a solar panel owner. When you have panels that produce more clean energy than you can use, it is nice to be able to sell the excess back to your home’s utility company for cash. And on the flip side, when you need to buy extra power from them on a cloudy or stormy day, that will also make your bill a lot higher. With a monitoring system, you can figure out exactly when and how much you are making or spending with your solar panels and take measures to optimize it properly.
The five solar monitoring systems we have touched upon here are all great. But in the end, you have to choose what works for you based on your particular needs. The best way to do that is to have a professional, experienced time to identify what’ll serve you best.
Our team at Solar Medix is ready to answer your questions and give you a no-obligation price quote. Feel free to call us at 732-785-4814 or book a consultation online. And we’ll get in touch within 24 hours.