How to get the Most Out of Your Rooftop Solar

Rooftop solar panels are a smart investment for homes and businesses looking to reduce their electricity costs and carbon footprint. But did you know that monitoring your solar system can help you maximise your savings and maintain optimal performance? In this blog post, we’ll explore how to monitor your solar system effectively and get the most out of your investment.

How do solar panels work?

Inforgraphic showing how solar systems work.
  1. Solar panels convert sunlight to usable energy.
  2. A solar inverter transforms this energy into AC electricity.
  3. The power is routed through to the switchboard, which manages where the energy is used, becoming a either a usable powersource for our homes and businesses, or redirected back to the grid. If you have a battery, this surplus power could be stored for later use.
  4. The utility meter records how much was used by the home/business, and how much was exported to the grid.
  5. Depending on your tarriff, the grid may pay YOU for the electricity you supply to the grid.

Solar Monitoring

1. Understanding Solar Monitoring

Most solar inverters, such as the Solar Edge inverter, come with a monitoring software app. This app measures:

1. Solar Production – how much solar electricity you are generating each day.

2. Home Electricity Consumption – how much solar electricity your home/business is using.

3. Surplus Electricity – how much electricity is going to the grid.

By keeping an eye on your system’s performance, you can spot any issues early and ensure your solar panels are operating efficiently.

2. Benefits of Solar Monitoring

Here are some key benefits of monitoring your solar system:

  • Identify Underperforming Panels: Monitoring allows you to detect any underperforming panels and address issues like shading, debris or panel damage.
  • Optimise Energy Usage: By tracking your energy production and consumption, you can adjust your habits to use more solar power during peak production times. For example, you might decide to run yoru dishwasher in the daytime rather than at night.
  • Maximise Savings: Monitoring helps you understand how much energy you’re producing and using, allowing you to adjust your lifestyle to save more money.
  • Track System Health: Regular surveillance helps you keep an eye on your system’s health and schedule maintenance or repairs when needed.

3. How to Monitor Your Solar System

There are a few different ways you can monitor your solar system:

  • Inverter Monitoring: Many inverters come with built-in monitoring capabilities, providing real-time data on your system’s performance.
  • Dedicated Monitoring Devices: You can install a separate monitoring device that connects to your inverter, providing detailed data and analytics.
  • Mobile Apps: Many solar companies offer mobile apps that allow you to monitor your solar system from anywhere, giving you convenient access to your data.

Mobile apps allow you to monitor your solar system from anywhere. Image source: Solar Edge

4. Tips for Effective Solar Monitoring

  • Check Regularly: Make it a habit to check your solar system’s performance regularly to catch any issues early.
  • Set Alerts: Use your monitoring app to set alerts for any unusual activity or drops in performance.
  • Compare Data: Compare your current energy production and usage data with previous months or years to identify trends and potential problems.
Example of the Solar Edge monitoring system showing energy production and consumption monitoring. Image source: Solar Edge

5. Example of a day’s energy consumption

The image above shows a customer’s energy usage on a sunny Saturday in April. During the day, the solar panels produced far more energy than the customer used. This is okay as the excess energy was sold back to the grid. However, if the customer moved some of the electriocal appliance activity from the evening to the day time, they may have saved themselves even more money by using the excess power produced themselves.

Find out more:

Monitoring your solar system is key to getting the most out of your rooftop solar investment. By understanding your system’s performance and making adjustments as needed, you can maximise your savings and ensure your solar panels are running efficiently. Start monitoring your solar system today to enjoy all these benefits and more!

The Solar Edge website is a great place to start. They have a video which can be accessed below that explains how to make the most of your monitoring platform.

For more information on solar monitoring and optimising your rooftop to produce solar energy, contact our team at Sunlit Solar. We’re here to help you make the most of your investment and achieve a greener, more sustainable future.

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