Before installing Solar-Log® products, the following are a few best practices to follow to ensure that installation is as smooth as possible. Here are 6 ways to avoid monitoring installation errors.
1. Know Before You go
When it comes to installing hardware, we find that the most common monitoring installation errors occur with the wiring. Wiring instructions for external devices, like inverters, will vary by manufacturer and even by model. To avoid wiring errors, we strongly suggest that installers familiarize themselves with the proper installation steps before visiting the site.
2. Use Quality Material
Communication drops are often the result of bad cabling. We suggest using high-quality cabling to avoid communication issues due to poor wire quality.
3. Have a Laptop Onsite
Having a laptop onsite for the initial programming will speed up the installation process. Automatic device detection can be done to confirm that all devices, including the data logger, are connected correctly and communicating with the web-based software platform. Confirming this upon initial setup lowers the likelihood of having to revisit the site to troubleshoot installation errors. Setting up or importing the system configuration settings in advance also helps shorten the time needed on site.
4. Input All Data
Regarding the monitoring software, incorrect or incomplete data entry can create errors with notifications. If settings are not correct, the system could generate many false error alerts, or it may not send any alerts at all. For example, when using module fields to compare output values, the alerts will be less reliable if the orientation and pitch are not correctly defined. The inverter values, generator power per MPPT values, DC values, AC values, and the module fields should be set correctly in order for the monitoring to function properly. This assists in precise performance error detection and accurate performance alerts.
5. Connect to a Stable Network
Network changes or firewall issues impact data push and transfer. If the internet connection is not stable, there may be gaps in the data. Data gaps or missing data can lessen the accuracy of error detection and make troubleshooting more difficult. A stable Internet connection should be available from the beginning and network settings should be handled with administrators if a company network is involved.
6. Carefully Install CTs
Incorrect positioning of CTs (current transformers) is a common mistake. CTs are used with metering solar power production or building consumption. If CTs are installed backward they will measure the incorrect value. It is important to pay close attention to the installation instructions to be sure that CTs are installed correctly.