There is a constant shift by companies to renewable and sustainable energy sources as they learn more about climate change and its impact in the coming future. Many companies today are installing rooftop solar panels at their local offices to meet their energy needs. These rooftops have not only provided them with clean and sustainable sources of energy but also helped them reduce their energy bills.
There is a steady increase in the installation of solar rooftop in the past few years but with it comes to the challenge of monitoring and managing these assets. Companies often face problems and need a solution capable of monitoring all its solar sites from a single platform.
In a case study, we considered a large organisation that had contracted MachinePulseTM to provide a solution for their newly installed rooftops in multiple offices across India. To ease their monitoring process, we offered them SolarPulseTM, a comprehensive solution which includes data acquisition hardware, cloud-based monitoring software and advanced analytics.
They currently have 10 sites using power for solar rooftops with an average capacity of 80 kW. These sites are completely monitored with the help of SolarPulseTM. The company will soon be expanding their solar installation to 50 in the coming year.
We have decoded our case study below to help you get a better understanding of the potential of SolarPulseTM.
An effective solution is absolutely necessary for monitoring and enhancing the performance of solar PV plants. The company, having no previous experience in solar power, found it extremally difficult to manage the vast profile site. They were using an on-site local SCADA for monitoring their rooftop assets which was a tedious and time-consuming task, and had to done daily. Thus, the O&M cost across its sites went really high.
Also, they had solar installations from different OEMs which meant the devices followed different data collections and reporting protocols. As a result, the company had to invest in customized software for each site.
MachinPulseTM provided them with its flagship remote PV monitoring solution – SolarPulseTM. It is an integrated, OEM-independent solution for the centralized management of geographically distributed solar plants.
- As all 10 solar sites of the company are monitored by SolarPulseTM, there is an increase in the efficiency of plant supervision
- All aspects of the solar assets are monitored in real-time
- Key metrics such as performance and yield can be obtained easily through any web browser or mobile device from anywhere in the world, without need for any additional software
- SolarPulseTM displays the global view of all the sites of the company along with the site’s name and KPIs such as PR and power generation units
- It supports all standard inverters, energy meters and environment sensors and has the capabilities of supporting all established protocols of data collection and reporting
- It ensures uniform reporting across sites and provides MIS for senior management
Advantages and Benefits
–Role based access
- SolarPulseTM provides the ability to demarcate areas of responsibility and access. Individual login and access permissions can be set across the portfolio
- Access rights can be assigned across different solar sites and their alarms
- The geographical display of plant locations and status constantly gives plant owners and operators a concise picture of the status of all plants assigned to their user account
- This helps to assign roles and responsibilities which ensures effective management of the distributed solar sites
– Performance Benchmarking across portfolio
- SolarPulseTM gives the portfolio owner the capability to compare various parameters across the sites such as performance ratio, irradiance, power generation etc. This helps to easily identify underperforming sites
- The company can also benchmark the sites against the best performing site and accordingly make decisions regarding servicing and maintenance
- It can also compare technological equipment used across locations or benchmark the different EPC companies contracted to build these sites. This will help the company to identify the best performing EPC contractors and equipment for its future projects
- Deploying SolarPulseTM for monitoring of the complete solar portfolio is more economical then having individual monitoring software at each site
- Without SolarPulseTM, physical checking of the site for maintenance of solar installations, panels and inverters would be required at each site. The time involved in this process is approximately 2 hours per day per site. Thus, for the 10 solar sites, it amounts to savings of 7,300 man hours per year. For the full portfolio of 50 sites, after expansion is completed, this number will stand at 36,650 man hours
- No need to set up an operational team at each site for maintenance of solar installations
- With SolarPulseTM, technicians are deployed on the site only when a fault or failure is detected. SolarPulseTM has thus helped to drastically reduce the cost of monitoring and maintenance of the solar sites
– Alarms and Notifications
- The alarms and notifications help operators to always remain alert to any faults and failures.
- These can be customized to suit the client’s needs, which can also be delivered via either SMS or Email to the respective O&M team based at different locations
- It thereby allows operators to immediately deploy personnel to the relevant site and take corrective action
SolarPulseTM has helped in unifying the command centre and providing a centralized solar monitoring solution for the company. It has enabled the client to manage many distributed solar assets from a single monitoring platform. It has also helped to reduce operational costs and increase power generation.