Precise monitoring of solar power plants via satellite

Precise monitoring of solar power plants via satellite

12 March 2013

Monitoring solution for photovoltaic systems uses precise satellite data to compare output and also detects faults that creep in over time

Munich, 12 March 2013 – smartblue AG, a provider of intelligent service and maintenance concepts for photovoltaic systems, integrates satellite data in its Smart Control monitoring solution. A system’s target output is continually calculated based on the data. The product feature is now part of the monitoring solution and is more reliable and precise than most radiation sensors.

For the extended monitoring, the solution simulates the yield that solar power plants are designed to generate at a certain point in time. The portion of the solar radiation that is absorbed by the clouds is subtracted. This process is highly accurate thanks to the evaluation of data from weather satellites. Each solar power plant is simulated on an individual basis according to its size, orientation, tilt, etc. Calculated at regular intervals, the performance values are precise within a few percentage points and can then be referred to as comparative values. If the deviation from the energy that is actually generated falls outside a small tolerance threshold, the monitoring solution for photovoltaic systems automatically notifies the owner of the system or service technician. This method is more precise, reliable and cost-effective than conventional, local radiation sensors.


‘A wide range of factors influence the performance of a solar power plant. Monitoring systems are usually limited to the connected inverter and simply do not catch many faults that reduce output. That’s why our platform automatically compares the performance with adjacent systems or compares the system’s individual components with one another,’ says Dr Philipp Geiger, Executive Manager of smartblue AG. ‘Integrating the satellite data lets us expand the database we can evaluate without additional hardware. As a result, we offer installers the opportunity to further enhance the services they offer. The satellite reference data can be added to every system with just a click.’


The boom in newly built systems in recent years has opened up a great deal of potential for installers. Issues relating to monitoring and optimisation play a key role in this, and the possible returns have to be taken into account, as even a decrease of a couple of percentage points in the power yield can put the overall return of a system in the negative range. While a total failure can also be easily detected via manual readings, it’s the small but continual losses that are of vital importance for monitoring photovoltaic systems.


About smartblue AG

smartblue AG specialises in intelligent service and maintenance concepts for photovoltaic systems. The company develops, markets and operates web-based solutions that use intelligent methods to automatically detect faults in photovoltaic systems. Thanks to these innovative monitoring technologies, smartblue can determine whether any individual photovoltaic system is functioning perfectly at any time. A newly developed control panel for the technical management of solar power plants offers a flawless overview of numerous systems that require monitoring, maximises the stability of yields and minimises service costs. Smartblue brings its slogan ‘Simply smart monitoring’ to life by offering an attractive investment in the future and contributing to the energy transition to the maximum extent. smartblue AG was founded by Dr Philipp Geiger and Günter Seel, who are experts in the sector and related technology, in 2010.

PV Magazine