It’s been one month since 19,000 attendees gathered in Anaheim, CA for Solar Power International. The Solar-Log® team was lucky to be one of the exhibitors showcasing the newest in solar power technology.  We spoke with hundreds of attendees over 3 days and discussed the best solar monitoring solutions available. It is impossible to recap all of the questions we received, so we’ve selected a small sampling of the product questions. Here they are, the top Solar-Log® solar plant monitoring product questions from SPI 2018….

Is Solar-Log® compatible with battery storage?

Solar-Log® is compatible with a number of different battery storage options from several manufacturers and more are constantly being integrated. Through the Solar-Log WEB Enerest™ solar monitoring platform, users can visual battery state-of-charge and energy flow, including battery power consumption and grid feed-in. Solar-Log® currently offers forecast-based battery charging with Varta storage systems. Based on the solar PV plant yield forecast, Solar-Log® can determine the best time to charge the battery with the goal of having a 100% charge status by the end of the day.

Can Solar-Log® help with peak demand shaving?

Solar-Log’s energy management functionality is not referred to as peak demand shaving but the integration of battery systems and consumption control provide ways to optimize the consumption of self-produced power.  Once a user understands how their energy is consumed, they can adjust accordingly and lower the cost of purchasing power from the grid.

Can the new Solar-Log 50 be used to monitor commercial solar systems?

The Solar-Log 50 is typically considered to be a residential solar monitoring device because it is limited to 15kW plants. It can be used on very small commercial systems because it is not limited to single-phase. The Solar-Log 50 communicates directly with the inverter through RS485 or LAN connection so compatibility is not dependent on system phase.

What solar PV yield forecasting tools do you offer?

The Solar-Log WEB Enerest™ portal offers integrated yield forecasting so you can visualize how much energy your solar plant should be producing over the next three days. It also includes a monthly target yield as well as an ongoing percentage of how well that target is being met. Additional tools like onsite weather sensors can be installed to help with the accuracy of the predicted power production.

Are underperforming inverters flagged through the solar monitoring platform? If so, are notices sent out?

Solar-Log® will compare inverters and MPP trackers to determine if any are underperforming. If the solar monitoring system detects an error with an inverter then the user will be notified via email. The notifications can be customized and defined by the user so they only receive those error messages that are relevant to that particular plant and location.

Can the Solar-Log 1200 be installed outdoors to monitor solar plants?

The Solar-Log 1200 is not rated for outdoor installation on its own, however, we do have outdoor installation boxes to house the data loggers.

Is Solar-Log® monitoring compatible with Inverter “XYZ”?

Solar-Log® is compatible with over 100 different inverter brands on the market and over 1,000 different models. One of our unique features is that you can monitor your entire fleet of solar plants, regardless of inverter brand. Check out our online component database to see the complete list of compatible inverters.