The Best Ways To Monitor Your Solar Power System
If you’re a homeowner with a new solar power system, you may be thinking, “Monitoring? What’s that, and why does it matter?” There are several reasons why it matters and several ways to do it! Once you’ve finished this article, you’ll have a good idea of how to keep track of your solar power system’s output and your own energy usage. Read on to discover the best ways to monitor your solar power system.
Why Is Monitoring Important?
Homeowners who wonder why monitoring is important are probably coming from an experience where they simply saw what their energy bill was every month, gritted their teeth, and paid it. While you’re certainly not in the minority if that sounds like you, you did decide to take the next steps to learn more about solar power.
That means you’re not happy with the amount of money you’re paying every month for electricity, and you want to do something about it! A solar power monitoring system can help carry that spirit through even after you’ve installed your panels.
Keeping an Eye on Your Usage
One of the main reasons to monitor your solar power system is that you can learn the usual amount of electricity generation and set those numbers as targets for you and your household. In other words, if your solar panel system produces 25 kWh on an average day, you can try and tailor your lifestyle to only use 25 kWh of energy each day.
That way, when you get your energy bill after installing solar panels, you have a very good chance of seeing that magic number: zero. Whether you decide to make significant changes to your energy usage or not, monitoring the electricity that your panels produce relative to your energy needs will make you more energy-conscious.
Keeping an Eye on Your Panels
The other big benefit of monitoring your solar power generation is that you might notice unexpected dips in your energy production. Energy generation will fluctuate throughout the course of a year as weather and temperature changes, but these differences should be gradual and relatively minimal. When you spot a significant drop in energy production, you’ll know that something is wrong and can address it quickly to get your system back to full capacity quickly.
While it is quite rare to have a solar panel become damaged or go offline, it has been known to happen. If you spot the symptoms of a damaged panel, you can give us a call, and we’ll come running! As you’re probably aware, our solar panels come with a lengthy warranty. We aren’t expecting anything to go wrong, but if it does, you don’t need to worry—we’ll make it right quickly.
Additionally, you may notice small, consistent drops in energy production throughout the life of your solar panel system. These could be due to dust or debris collecting on your panels, like fallen tree branches. When you notice dips in generation like this, perform a visual inspection of your panels to see if there’s anything you can clear off to solve the problem.
How Does Solar Monitoring Work?
Now that you have a sense of why solar monitoring is an important feature of your systems, you may be wondering about the mechanisms that go into making this process work. In addition to software that is necessary to visualize the power that your solar system is generating, you also need hardware.
When our pros at NM Solar Group install panels for you, they’ll include hardware attached to your array that keeps track of the energy flowing through your inverters. Inverters are an essential part of your system that converts DC voltage to AC voltage, allowing your home to make use of the electricity.
An internet connection allows this piece of hardware to send information to an app so you can see exactly what your solar panels are doing. As long as this hardware is connected to the internet, you’ll be able to monitor your panels from anywhere with your phone!
Using Your Monitoring System
One of the best features that come with solar monitoring systems is the ability to see both current performance and historical energy generation. This comparison of figures will allow you to easily notice whether everything is working as intended. If you see that you typically generate 30 kWh of power on a sunny day and you’re projected to generate half of that, you’ll instantly know that there’s an issue you need to address.
If you need assistance setting up or using your system, you can count on us. We’re one of the best solar companies in El Paso, TX, and we’ve been doing this for a long time! Our team is happy to help you troubleshoot any issues you’re having with your monitoring system to make sure you can keep a close eye on your solar panel production.
Judging Production Off Your Power Bill
Some people believe that they can see how their solar panels are working without a monitoring system by checking their monthly electric bill. While there is some useful information on the bill, it won’t tell you what you need to know.
An electric bill is good for telling you how much extra solar power you produced each month. In other words, if your solar panel system produces enough energy to power your home and then produces a bit more, that excess energy will usually go back to the grid. On your monthly bill, they’ll tell you how much excess energy you provided them, if any. This is not useful information if you want to see the amount of electricity your panels produced in a month; for that, you need a solar monitoring system.
Now that you know the best ways to monitor your solar power system, get in touch with NM Solar Group! We can assist you whether you need help figuring out solar monitoring or if you’re interested in installing a solar panel system of your own. Either way, we’re here to help you escape from a world of ridiculous electricity charges and enter one of sustainable power.