Are you still using the solar monitoring that comes with the inverter?

When solar companies are still using the monitoring that comes with the inverter, they often say the reason is because it is “free”, or because professional monitoring and adding additional hardware would be too expensive.

Most solar installers or solar O&M companies are using multiple inverter brands. They have their solar fleet spread out across many monitoring software platforms. The number one pain point we hear from solar professionals is the amount of time it takes to manage their fleet when they have so many monitoring systems in place. Logging in and out of different online software programs takes up a lot of time. The process is made even more time-consuming when having to navigate and find the data you need to analyze the issue. We understand the frustration this causes, which is why Solar-Log® monitoring was designed to be inverter-agnostic.

Basic plant monitoring takes roughly 2 minutes per plant. This time will vary depending on the software used, but it is good general estimate. Logging out of one system, logging on to another, and locating the plant you are looking for takes roughly 10 minutes. Using these general estimates, let’s take a look at what it costs one installer to monitor his plants.

This installer has a fleet of 10 plants spread out across 3 different monitoring platforms. It takes him roughly 50 minutes per day to monitor his fleet (2 minutes x 10 plants, plus 10 minutes x 3 platform logins). Multiply that by 5 days a week and he is spending a little over 4 hours per week on just basic monitoring. That time increases significantly if plant malfunctions need to be analyzed or if actions need to be taken to address plant malfunctions or issues.

If this same installer were using a professional monitoring platform for all of his plants, he would only spend roughly 1.5 hours per week on basic monitoring (2 minutes x 10 plants x 5 days a week).

Imagine what you could do with an extra 2.5 hours found in your work week.

We all know the saying, time is money. Here is a look at what these “free” monitoring solutions are actually costing the installer in our example. This also includes a look at what it would cost if he were using just one professional monitoring solution.

Does the inverter-agnostic solution still seem too expensive?

Here is a look at the other reasons that installer choice the “free” monitoring: DOWNLOAD

Looking for more information about the differences between inverter-integrated monitoring and an external solution? Download these white papers:

Good Cop, Bad Cop; A Guide to Solar Monitoring Approaches (Part 1)
Good Cop, Bad Cop; A Guide to Solar Monitoring Approaches (Part 2)