How to Monitor Your Solar Power Usage?
Do you think about whether or not the investment in solar panels is really worth it? How do you know that your solar panels are actually producing enough power? Are you on top of your energy consumption, solar electricity production, electricity export and power grid consumption?
If you are worried about the performance of your solar panels, don’t worry – you’re not alone. It is a substantial investment and everyone wants to know whether they have made the right financial decision. This is why you need a solar monitoring system.
What Is Solar Monitoring System?
A solar monitoring system is a combination of hardware and software that keeps track of solar electricity production, power consumed through the main grid, battery or solar panels, battery charging, electricity exported to or drawn from the grid and other relevant data.
It also has the capability to alert you in case something isn’t working.
Think of it as a 24 x 7 employee that keeps track of everything related to the performance of your solar panels. The collected data is uploaded through Wi-Fi to a central hub and can be accessed through your phone or computer.
It will also alert you if there is a problem with the solar power system or other such issues.
Benefits of Solar Monitoring System
1). Get timely alerts — Your solar energy system is like any other system which means things can stop working at any time. However, you wouldn’t know unless you check for it specifically. The solution could be as simple as flicking a few switches but without a solar monitoring system, you wouldn’t know that your system isn’t working as it should. A monitoring system will send you an SMS or email or both if there is something wrong with the solar power system.
2). Monitor performance — Solar panels are required to have a minimum performance guarantee for several years. However, you wouldn’t know whether your solar panels are performing as they should. This is where a monitoring system shines as it will tell you whether your system is performing adequately.
3). Inverter problems — If something is wrong with the solar inverter, it might affect the overall performance of your solar power system. In such situations, a monitoring system will send you an alert. You can then call the service company for appropriate repairs or replacement.
4). Fault warnings – Electrical faults can happen due to a variety of reasons. If a solar panel develops a fault it could lead to a panel breakdown which may, in turn, cause a roof fire. A monitoring system will alert you in advance so you can try and avert a disaster.
5). Electricity bill management — After installation of a solar panel system, you would expect your electricity bill to go down substantially. That is the experience of most homeowners with rooftop solar power.
Having said that, when the system isn’t working as it should, you could be in for a shockingly high electricity bill. A monitoring system will help you figure out the reasons for unexpectedly high bills. In fact, it could alert you to prevent this from even happening.
6). Keep things simple – How much do you understand about your electricity bill? There are so many “meaningless” numbers there and most of the info doesn’t make any sense to the average consumer.
A good monitoring system will help you make sense of all those numbers which means it will be easier for you to track your usage. This monitoring system should help you save money in the long run.
7). Energy-efficient home — A well-designed monitoring system will help you identify appliances that are always drawing power. You can then use this information to make those appliances run on solar electricity instead of drawing power from the mains. In short, it should help you make your home more energy efficient and save money.
Which One You Should Buy?
First and foremost, it is important for you to understand that a monitoring system is a combination of hardware and software. Good quality hardware without well-designed software isn’t going to cut it.
This is why you should choose a monitoring system that has been designed from the ground up for homeowners with rooftop solar to get the most out of their investment.
Whichever system you choose, you need to make sure that it offers:
- Real-time alerts
- Reliable and accurate information
- Proper warranty
- Compatibility with your system
- Intuitive user interface
- Remote access
It’s true that a solar monitoring system is an extra cost on top of the thousands of dollars you have already spent on a good quality solar panel power system. However, think of it as an investment that allows you to get the most out of your system.
You expect your solar panels to keep working for at least 25 years and you won’t know whether they are performing as promised without a proper monitoring system. On top of that, a monitoring system will also help you make your home more energy efficient and save money in the long run. It should pay for itself within a few years.
Switch to Solar Energy!
Macedon Ranges Solar Power is approved and accredited by the Clean Energy Council. We offer a wide range of solar panel solutions for residential and commercial installations at affordable prices.
Save money with solar power today. Please give us a call today on 1300 693 113 or make an enquiry.