Satellite data for performance checks
14 March 2013
smartblue AG (link is external), a service provider offering service and maintenance concepts for PV systems, is integrating satellite data in its Smart Control (link is external) monitoring solution in future. The output of each solar power plant is simulated with respect to its size, tilt, orientation, etc., and the portion of the solar radiation that is lost due to cloud cover is subtracted on this basis. The precise values that are determined using this method make it possible to accurately determine the tolerance between the simulated value and actual performance, and the owner of the system or service technician is contacted automatically if the value deviates too much. To this end, the actual data measured on the system is transmitted to the smartblue AG servers, where it is prepared and analysed in a central location. The actual data and the simulated values are then compared by the error algorithm, and maintenance tickets are created and sent. Users have an insight into the entire process via their web browser.
Dr Philipp Geiger, Executive Manager of smartblue AG, explained his view of the new monitoring solution as follows: “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.’
According to the manufacturer, external data is used for control purposes to ensure that the system can continue working even if it is affected by weather, such as the current snow front, and doesn’t trigger constant alerts for system owners and service technicians. The price of the Smart Control solution varies depending on the size of the system, but the system is tailored to the needs of professional maintenance companies. The information provided by the manufacturer states that the price for using Smart Control is significantly less than one euro per kWp per year.