Solar Maintenance Blog

Solar Monitoring: What You Need to Know

November 11, 2019

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are always stationary – whether the sun is shining or not. In fact, their ability to generate clean power without moving is one of the primary advantages that solar has over other renewable energy technologies like wind or hydropower.

However, this lack of motion also means that if the performance of your PV system starts to suffer, there won’t be any indication that something is wrong until you receive your next utility bill—that’s assuming you’re paying close attention to each and every electricity statement.

Your entire system could stop working altogether, and you might not discover this for months – maybe even years. Whether you’re a residential, commercial, or industrial solar customer, the result is the same:

  • Lost financial savings that extend the payback period of your clean power investment.
  • Lost environmental savings due to your greater reliance on grid electricity (made from fossil fuel).

 With solar monitoring, however, it’s possible to protect those savings and extract the most value from your PV system.

What Is Solar Monitoring – and How Does It Work?

Solar monitoring is a powerful technology that allows you to track your PV system’s performance. It accomplishes this with an on-site meter that measures your solar installation’s clean energy output in real-time and relays that information to a database where it can be tracked and monitored.

If your PV system starts to underperform – whether due to dust build-up, pest infestations, or even hailstorms – solar monitoring allows you to intervene and correct the issue before your monthly (or annual) utility bill savings disappear forever.

With a high-quality solar meter, your solar installation’s performance data is stored in the cloud. This allows you to track your energy generation and savings in real-time from any browser or smart device.

You can even track your system’s output if you’re traveling on the other side of the world.

With our solar monitoring solutions, however, you don’t have to actively check any of your installation’s performance data.

To learn why, keep reading.

Our Approach to Solar Monitoring

Once you sign up for our solar monitoring services, we’ll track your solar performance and alert you if your solar performance starts to dip. 

Because solar output varies naturally throughout the day, we analyze several variables when determining the current health of your PV system, including:

  • Your solar installation’s historic performance over the previous several days, months, and years.
  • Local weather conditions, to account for things like cloud cover or haze.
  • Solar radiation in your neighborhood. This changes throughout the year, depending on the sun’s position (or the Earth’s tilt).
  • How much solar energy other PV systems in the area are currently generating at that exact moment in time.

These data points allow us to detect even the smallest deviations from your solar installation’s normal baseline. If your PV system isn’t producing as much clean electricity as it should, we’ll immediately determine the root cause and either:

  • Help you troubleshoot the problem over the phone (for smaller fixes)
  • Dispatch a service technician to correct the issue (for bigger fixes).

All of the above is automatically included in our core solar monitoring service.

How Much Are Your Solar Savings Worth to You?

All it takes is one tiny glitch to severely impact your monthly utility bill savings. And if undetected long enough, those forfeited savings can easily exceed several thousand dollars – even for smaller, residential PV installations.

But with our standalone solar monitoring service, you can safeguard those savings for just $75 a year (or less than 21 cents a day). That’s a very wise investment given the peace of mind you’ll enjoy knowing that your solar installation is performing precisely as it should.

Visit our Solar Monitoring Services page to learn how this powerful solution can help protect the ROI of your clean power investment.

For even more peace of mind, our solar monitoring plan is best paired with our comprehensive maintenance service. For as little as $159 per year, you benefit from real-time solar monitoring and alerts – plus: 

  • System inspections
  • System servicing and repair
  • Labor required to replace defective equipment

If you want the peace of mind that comes from knowing your system will continue operating at peak performance throughout its many years of service we recommend one of our maintenance plans. It’s the safest and most affordable way to protect your solar savings throughout the 25+ years of your installation’s warrantied lifetime.

To learn more about getting started, visit our Solar Maintenance and Monitoring page.

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