An unlimited supply of clean energy

  Dec 28, 2020   

IoT-powered solar system

The interconnection of several small computers that are a part of everyday objects can be called IoT. These include security systems, temperature control systems, cars, smart electronic appliances in your home and offices, speakers, and even alarm clocks! Over 100+ billion, such devices are connected to the internet, and they send and receive data internally.

There is a new paradigm in residential renewable energy systems, and it is the incorporation of the Internet of Things. Given the steady growth of renewable power generation and significant market share, IoT-based technology accentuates efficiency and automation like never before. In a two-fold measure, novel tech is helping save millions of dollars on electricity while decreasing the carbon footprint! In addition to the devices listed here, solar PV systems can be integrated alongside to amplify the results and maximize the output you get out of your system.

When your residential energy system is part of a massive network of similar devices, what gives you an edge over the others are ways to optimize your capacity, output, and productivity. This is one of the primary routes where IoT comes in.

  • High-tech sensors and intelligent connected gadgets assimilate large amounts of real-time energy data and send it to the power grid. This is then stored and analyzed.
  • The sensors also send real-time data about the health of the PV panels, batteries, and overall system. Consequently, we observe a rise in productivity, safety, and optimum utilization of resources. 
  • Internet-connected smart meters collect usage data and send detailed reports about energy usage, thus allowing transparency in the process. Such information can help to understand their energy consumption habits and adjust them accordingly to optimize usage.
  • IoT powered smart grids enable operators to manage the energy demand better. Further, the data provided by an IoT fueled system helps power companies form better strategies and plans regarding the distribution and transformation of energy. 
  • Another great advantage of an IoT powered solar panel system is the prevention of theft and vandalism. The IoT can detect movement around the panel, thus alerting you to possible damage. 

Solar Energy Monitoring Systems Using The IoT

Solar Power Monitoring devices are an essential part of any residential solar PV installation. It is necessary to know how well your system is performing and improve your returns over the coming years. You should know when your system fails to perform at its expected level so the problem can be addressed immediately.

Some essential components make up the IoT infrastructure you need:

  1. Sensor devices: There are three types of Sensors used for an IoT powered system- Temperature sensor, humidity sensor, and a light sensor. 
  2. Actuators: Actuators are devices that transform motion into energy. For example, an actuator can be used to realign the solar panels to have the sunlight incident perpendicularly on the surface.
  3. Communication Technologies: Wireless systems are used for communication between all other parts of the IoT-powered solar system. It can be WiFi (high power), Bluetooth (low-range), LPWAN (commonly used), or LoRa (long-range), and several others.
  4.  IoT Data: Computing and analyzing the data generated by IoT allows a more in-depth insight and accurate response to the system. Analytic techniques are used on this data to draw suitable conclusions and produce forecasts.
  5.  Cloud Computing: This allows the storage and analysis of the data collected from the IoT-powered solar system. Most of the data that the IoT devices produce is stored online on the cloud, i.e., at some remote data centers. 

How IoT Solar Power Monitoring Devices Work

Your solar array consists of thousands of individual panels, all of which are independently producing some energy. Bringing them together with a solar inverter makes it possible to convert single small direct current (DC) voltages into alternating current (AC) energy used to power your residence. Wired sensors are present and monitor various aspects:

Low Power Wide Area Networks– LPWAN is a solution that is reliable, scalable, but also cost-effective to support the vast number of end-points that solar PV systems are. LPWAN architecture helps you keep data privacy and ownership issues at bay.

Companies can install additional OEM equipment to the solar panels, such as Battery Energy Storage Systems, to adapt to solar production. That way, the stored energy can be delivered at peak times while tracking any data that the company needs to enable new services.

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