Last month I wrote about how I updated, or “tuned up,” my refrigerator/freezer interior lighting. I then tuned up my microwave lighting too (which was nothing at all compared to my battle with the fridge). After two successes there I decided to tune up myself with a vaccination for Shingles.
You might ask yourself, “Well . . . what does this have to do with Solar PV or energy?
Ok, here it is then, my impatient readers! Bear with me. Say your solar PV system has 75,000 kWh's on it. Or 100,000. Does it need a tune-up? Or maybe you have just installed a new solar PV system. Could that already be in need of a tune-up too?
The simple truth is, without system monitoring, who knows?!
So the answer from me is a resounding, “YES! YES! YES!”
You say that monitoring is just too expensive, and that you can check your system production meter every day for yourself to see if your system, a living photovoltaic system that replicates plant photosynthesis through the grace of modern technology, works right? You can look at the panels daily and inspect them for damage, say, from an errant neighbor kid's baseball, a falling limb, or even just a plain old aging defect? Oh boy! Kid yourself, but please don't kid me!!
Beneath every big black show-stealing solar panel, today's modern PV systems have a little unsung hero, overshadowed by those panels, the seldom-complaining but nonetheless speaking (civilly and never over one another!) “brains” of the operation. By name, these miracle boxes, called Optimizers or Micro Inverters depending on approach, make big decisions for the showy but already quite busy panels. Like . . . when to generate. How much to generate. When to shut down the entire process, on and on.
But even these miracle boxes can get tired and quit. The inverter can't even tell when there is an issue most times because it's quite busy too. An otherwise perfectly looking panel, or 2 or 5 or 9, may not be functioning properly or at all. Even the optimizer sometimes will grow tired and fail.
What is the answer?
GET YOUR SOLAR PV SYSTEM a tune up! But how?
Set up System Monitoring now! A direct connection so all those civilly speaking, brainy kids can phone home to their “mothership” each production day. They love to talk! Why not allow them to speak for the system, to their mother, and most importantly, YOU, through a professionally supplied and installed monitoring portal?
Don't lose production (and revenue!) because you just didn't know! VaraUSA can help you pick the correct monitoring system for your PV setup. VaraUSA welcomes you as family. Ask questions and don't be afraid. Be informed! We want your system to work just like it should. To return every kilowatt hour possible. To even speak! We are all family here, and in my opinion, nothing is worse than a family that doesn't communicate. Please allow all those respectful, brainy children to call home everyday . . . to share exactly what is going on in their day. Can you imagine that? Kids that call home? That is exactly just the kind of tune-up that pays back every kilowatt hour.
Next month: The Beauty of Optimizers for Beginners (or even so called experts!)