Solar Analytics: Keep track of your solar system productivity

Published: 29 June 2021

With a monitoring application like Solar Analytics, you can know exactly how your system is performing over time.

Australian home business owners can expect a reduction on their power bills as soon as they install a solar system. However, the power bill only indicates that you are consuming less, and it doesn’t show exactly how your solar panels are performing. With a monitoring application like Solar Analytics, you can know exactly how your system is performing over time.

  • Ausgrid carried out a study with 8,000 solar power systems, and the data revealed that 51.8% of these systems were not reaching optimal generation.
  • When your solar installation has a monitoring system, issues can be detected and fixed as soon as they happen.
  • A solar system that is underperforming represents a wasted investment, since it doesn’t achieve the highest possible savings.

By tracking solar productivity, Solar Analytics provides a detailed picture of how your solar system is performing, displaying electricity generation in kilowatt-hours and the corresponding power bill savings. The app also generates an immediate notification when an issue is detected. Solar Analytics focuses on maximising your solar savings, by ensuring that your system is always working optimally. Without a monitoring system, you can only know that your solar system has issues when the next power bill arrives and your savings are less than usual.

Setting up Solar Analytics for your solar power system

Solar Analytics uses a Solar Smart Monitor to communicate with your inverter – the device that converts DC power from solar panels and batteries into the AC power needed by home appliances. The Solar Smart Monitor has a compact design, and a licensed electrician can easily install the unit inside your meter box.

  • The Solar Smart Monitor can measure 5-second live data.
  • It can use 3G, 4G, WiFi and Ethernet connections.
  • The monitoring unit can measure up to six electrical circuits, and it has Class 1 accuracy under IEC/AS standards.

By connecting to your inverter, the Solar Smart Monitor can keep track of how electricity moves between your solar panels, batteries, electrical devices and the local grid connection. Solar Analytics is compatible not only with traditional inverters, but also hybrid inverters that combine solar panels and batteries.

If you have a traditional solar system without batteries, Solar Analytics can help upgrade your installation. Once the smart monitor has gathered at least 30 days of data, it will display a solar battery calculator option in the app, which helps you find the optimal energy storage capacity to complement your solar panels.

How Solar Analytics tracks your electricity generation

Solar Analytics monitors the electricity generation of your solar panels throughout the day, and it also keeps track of consumption. The app displays solar battery charging and usage, in case you have one, and it will also keep track of electric vehicle charging.

Once the smart monitor is connected and operating, you can check the Solar Analytics dashboard at any time. The dashboard can be accessed from a desktop computer or a mobile device, and it displays plenty of information about your solar system performance and your electricity consumption:

  • Solar power generation and savings.
  • Solar electricity sold to the grid, and also how much you have consumed from the grid with the corresponding cost.
  • A comparison between your actual solar generation and how much your system should be producing based on data analysis.
  • Solar system diagnostics, where you can keep track of faults and alerts.

Solar Analytics will display how much electricity is being produced and consumed in real time, measured in kilowatts. The dashboard will break down electricity into solar generation consumed locally, energy consumed from the grid, and solar generation that is exported to the grid. By tracking solar productivity at all times, Solar Analytics can help you detect issues that may be affecting productivity, such as shading.

Solar Analytics can also display a daily solar production curve, which shows how solar panels are generating electricity each hour of the day. The curve not only displays solar power generation, but also data like energy consumption, battery usage and EV charging – these measurements are also displayed hour by hour, you can see how solar generation matches consumption and charging.

Optimising generation and consumption with Solar Analytics

Solar Analytics will keep tracking solar productivity with live 30-second data for the last hour. This information is very useful, since it can be used to identify which appliances are consuming the most energy, and you can also know the exact moment when the system was affected by an issue.

  • By displaying both solar generation and home consumption, the dashboard can help you find the best hours to use high-power devices like water heaters and pool pumps.
  • Ideally, these devices should be used when solar panels are very productive or when batteries are fully charged, so you don’t consume electricity from the grid.

Another very useful feature of Solar Analytics is being able to predict how much power your solar system should be generating, based on past data. The app can compare expected production with actual production on a daily basis, and this is another way to detect issues that may be lowering your solar generation.

Solar Analytics is more than just a monitoring system, since it can use data analysis to tell you how much your solar panels should be producing each day. Solar Analytics is not limited to simple monitoring, since it also helps you optimise generation and consumption.

For more information visit our Solar Monitoring page.

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