What is Solar PV Monitoring, and Why Does It Matter?

In Raise Your Solar I.Q., Residential Solar, Solar Advice by The LeverEdge

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Residential and commercial solar power systems are very complex, highly sophisticated feats of engineering and design. At the LeverEdge, we’ve been involved in hundreds of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects that have provided our customers with ongoing energy cost reduction and increased independence from grid-sourced electricity.

Among these projects, one of the most important features for reliability and operational transparency is the PV monitoring system, which is what we’re discussing in this week’s blog post.


PV Monitoring for Performance Insights

Of all of the highest-rated PV monitoring systems on the market, the one with the most value for our customers is the Envoy system from Enphase. To better understand why, let’s start with what the monitoring system actually does.

Inverter Performance – Every inverter that is installed as part of a PV system has the unique job of converting direct-current electricity to alternating-current electricity. The efficiency of this ‘job’ can be tracked by the Envoy system, showing the home or business owner exactly where the system is working well and where inefficiencies are located, down to the exact module.

Load Management – The term ‘load management’ refers to how well the PV system is intelligently balancing the electrical load placed on the entire system. PV monitoring gives real-time insights into how the load is changing and what the PV system is doing to account for these changes.

When a precision PV monitoring system like Envoy from Enphase is used as part of an overall solar power solution, downtime is reduced, efficiency is optimized, and the system owner simply gets more out of their solar PV investment.


PV Monitoring for Firmware Updates

Did you know that within each microinverter, there is a small chunk of computer code known as ‘firmware’? This firmware is responsible for the operation of the inverter, as it contains specific instructions for exactly how the hardware is supposed to operate. Over time, refinements can be made to this firmware, and with an adequate PV monitoring system like Enphase’s Envoy, firmware updates can be ‘pushed out’ to each microinverter, assuring that they’re always performing optimally, with the most current firmware.

With all of the benefits that come with a high-quality, modern PV monitoring system, you’re missing out by not having one installed as part of your solar power generation equipment. To inquire about PV monitoring, contact us today.

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