We feel that one of the most enjoyable aspects of having a solar PV system is tracking how much energy the system has generated over time! There are many PV monitoring options available on the market, and we’ll work with you to figure out which is the best fit for you.
Below is an overview, with links to “live “examples, of some of the more popular monitoring systems our homeowner’s use. Each of these monitoring systems are web-based, and can be customized with different charts, gauges, graphics and reports. They all also provide data analytics on system performance, which allows us to quickly identify any problems so troubleshooting can begin immediately.
Deck’s monitoring system monitors and analyzes your entire solar array. This monitoring system is compatible with numerous inverters.
Deck “Live” Example, Homeowner – Blairstown, NJ
Deck “Live: Example, Homeowner – Whitehouse Station, NJ
Enphase’s monitoring system, Enlighten, tracks each solar module’s power output/performance on an individual basis. This monitoring system can only be purchased when using Enphase microinverters.
Enphase “Live” Example, Homeowner – Califon, NJ
Locus’ monitoring system comes free with all of our NRG leases! This monitoring system is very user friendly and allows you (and us) to easily monitor, maintain and optimize system performance. Similar to Deck, Locus monitors the entire solar array’s performance and is compatible with most inverters on the market.
As you provide us with input through the design process, we will evaluate and present you with the best options from a variety of technologies, vendors, and models! Below is an overview of the various components a solar PV system can be comprised of.
Photo-Voltaic (PV) Modules
“Panels” that convert the sun’s energy to electricity. From a homeowner’s perspective, there are three major differentiating factors between the available options: cost, efficiency/size, and aesthetics. A summary of the most popular technologies follows, but keep in mind we offer a large number of manufacturers and models to choose from in each technology category. We will walk you through the tradeoffs of each in designing the optimal system for your needs.
Efficiency/Size: Highest efficiency/Smallest install footprint
Aesthetics: Typical panel module design, all black option
Efficiency/Size: Slightly lower efficiency/Slightly larger footprint than monocrystalline
Aesthetics: Typical panel module design, option for black frame and backing with blue silicon
Cost: Lowest for materials, but much less efficient so larger footprint
Efficiency/Size: Lower efficiency/Larger footprint
Aesthetics: Very thin, often “rolled” onto roofs or formed into shingles
Solar panels are typically mounted in an open clearing on your property on poles or long rails, or on a building roof. We will work with you to determine the best fit for your property and your needs.
The power that is fed to your home through the grid, and that runs through the wires in your home is known as alternating current (AC) power. Solar panels inherently produce direct current (DC) power, which needs to be converted to AC power before being used in your home or sold back into the grid. The inverter takes care of this DC to AC conversion and we will select the best inverter for your needs.
Renewable energy systems, including solar, can either be connected to the local electricity grid (grid-tied) or be completely “off the grid”, with advantages to each. Grid-tied systems require an interconnectivity agreement with your utility (we will walk you through this), an inverter (we will provide and install), and may or may-not have a battery backup. With a grid-tied system, you can power your home with solar, sell extra power back to the grid through net metering, and draw power from the grid when you are using more energy that is being generated by your solar system.
Insolation refers to the amount of solar energy available for conversion by your solar panels. The dominating factors that determine insolation are geographic positioning, time of year and angle with respect to the sun. We have formulas to determine the insolation of your property, which are absolutely critical in determining the size of the system needed to meet your energy requirements.
For safety and diagnostic purposes, a DC disconnect switch is installed between the PV modules and the inverter. We will select the DC disconnect based on your system’s energy needs.
For safety and diagnostic purposes, an AC disconnect switch is installed between the inverter and you home’s “main” power supply. We will select the AC disconnect based on your system’s energy needs.
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