Libelium and SmartDataSystem have launched solar panel monitoring IoT kits that enable control of the different performance parameters in photovoltaic plants. The photovoltaic market is experiencing considerable global growth. Analysts predict more than 120 solar energy gigawatts will be installed this year, with a stable annual growth rate between 40% and 50% just in Europe. According to Libelium, currently, solar energy is profitable simply by itself, with no need for additional public grants. Nevertheless, it is imperative to maintain strict control over the operating parameters of the plants.
One of the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) to be considered for the return on investment (ROI) of facilities is the Performance Ratio (PR), which combines solar radiation with the generation of energy. This measure permits the detection of performance drops in real-time and allows immediate action and correction, avoiding and minimizing negative impact.
Any variation in the PR, which must be between 80% and 90%, can help the operations personnel of the plant detect design failures, cleaning or any other internal or external factors. Reportedly, kits developed by Libelium and SmartDataSystem allow users to monitor environmental and physical parameters directly related to the photovoltaic modules. Not only can they measure solar radiation, air temperature and temperature of the cell, they also allow direct integration with the photovoltaic inverters. Permitting the collation of information on string voltage and current, AC voltage and current, DC and AC energy generation, alarms, etc.
These kits also allow the integration of any Modbus-RTU operating device on RS-485, such as electrical network analyzers for the measurement of the energy consumed in the building in which the photovoltaic systems are located. With photovoltaic systems connected to the interior networks of buildings, it is possible to calculate how much of the energy consumed has been self-generated. It is a key factor in verifying the correct dimensions of photovoltaic systems, since the objective is to minimize the export of energy to the national grid and maximize self-consumption.
Libelium offers four IoT kits with different configurations including hardware and connectivity. For more information, read the Smart Agriculture Xtreme Technical Guide. Also, checkout the individual kits in The IoT Marketplace: