Distributed Energy Resources
Monitoring Remote Solar Assets
Problem Statement & Background
Solar generation asset owners are seeking a cost‐effective approach to remote solar power monitoring at various locations. These systems can be deployed on rooftops and parking structures in (sub)urban environments, as well as utility-scale deployments in remote locations. These solar assets need to be under constant supervision, and the capture and storage of sensor data in an OEM agnostic system are critical to making an accurate quantitative analysis of their performance. In many cases, the Owner/Operators are dependent upon the OEM provisioned inverter and/or data gateway to provide the necessary data. However there are two apparent shortfalls to this approach: (a) the inverters provide access to a limited amount of data; (b) the gateways originally scoped into the projects are fairly unintelligent and can only periodically transmit the data to the enterprise. In addition to the inverters, connectivity to transducers (current transformers, potential transformers, RTDs) can be tough gateway technologies.
Proposed Solution Summary
SenseOps proposes to install an intelligent edge device in proximity to the solar array to monitor all available sensor data exposed through the Inverter and Transducers. The SenseOps solution is to install unobtrusive solar monitoring sensors directly on the various utility feeds at each site (even down to the individual circuit or string level) and bring the real-time data to a SenseOps intelligent gateway device(s) installed at one or many sites. These SenseOps gateways acquire and store the data locally, perform analytics and present the relevant information to the site host and operators on their devices (smartphone, computer, kiosk/displays). The Owner/Operator has a “fleet” view of all sites and can perform analytics and benchmarks to improve their availability, operating efficiency and overall equipment effectiveness. Further, the data collected from the solar monitoring system can be utilized for production accounting and a wide variety of asset management reporting requirements. Utilizing predictive analytics tools and leveraging the same data can identify and predict trends and events, such as production forecasts, load profiles, failure events and other forward-looking analyses.
Solution Scope Details
- SenseOps Gateway connects to existing inverters, data loggers, control systems, grid equipment and/or PLCs.
- In addition to existing data sources, SenseOps deploys solar monitoring sensors onto previously un‐instrumented assets or at
lower levels, at a granular level as required, even down to the individual circuit/string level.
- SenseOps Gateway provides intelligent data aggregation and compression with up to one-year of local data history
- SenseOps Gateway with secure login provides local/tenant visualization of the data and analytics on their
smartphone, computer and/or kiosk/display.
- Internet connectivity for the Gateway provided by 4G/LTE router can “piggyback” on existing wi‐fi, enabling
- Owner/Operator visibility into individual Distributed Energy Resource (DER) performance.
- SenseOps Cloud Service provides aggregated “fleet” visualization, event detection, analytics and reporting
across portfolio(s) of assets.
- Entire solution delivered and maintained “as‐a‐service” in an economical subscription based model.
- Monitor and provide direct feedback on site performance.
- Real‐time identification of events (e.g. inverter failure), notifications to owner, operator, site managers and
warranty providers. Notifications can be integrated into work management system(s), initiating work orders.
- Benchmark usage across sites, technology types, seasonal/weather patterns. Identifying “best practices” sites,
as well as sites with significant “room to improve.” Tracking site improvements over time and enabling
incentive/penalty based approaches to warranty and O&M provider contracts.
- Leverage Time‐Of‐Use utility tariffs and shared on‐site generation/energy storage technologies to optimize
revenue potentials from the facility.
- Engineer, Procure and Construct – Transducers, Sensors, Cabling, Gateways, Connectivity.
- Install and configure SenseOps solutions in a site-appropriate manner, connecting communications from existing
systems and new wired/wireless sensors to SenseOps Gateway.
- Configure 4G/LTE router and service plan.
- Configure SenseOps embedded software to collect, aggregate and analyze data. Provide local visualization of the
data by users (tenants/facilities managers) in the proximal network at the facility.
- Configure SenseOps Cloud Connect to receive data from Gateways and external data sources, to enable Owner/Operator “fleetwide” analytics and visualization.
- Host, manage and maintain edge and cloud systems “as a Service.”