Understanding Fronius Smart Meter Technology

Fronius make high quality solar inverters, and is one of the leading solar inverter providers in Australia. So if you have a Fronius rooftop solar system, or are thinking of buying one, this article will explain how to get the most out of your Fronius solar system. If you are considering buying a solar system, read this article for independent advice.

Solar Analytics and Fronius Smart Meter are two cutting-edge technologies designed to provide homeowners with real-time insights into their solar energy production and consumption. Solar Analytics is a comprehensive monitoring platform that goes beyond the standard monitoring systems. It offers detailed analytics, helping you understand how your solar system is performing and identify opportunities for improvement. The Fronius Smart Meter is a monitoring device that measures the energy consumption in your household. It seamlessly integrates with Fronius inverters and provides valuable data on how much energy your solar panels are generating and how much energy your home is consuming.

Unlocking the Power of Consumption Monitoring with Fronius Solar Inverters and Smart Meters

All Fronius inverters come with built in WiFi so that you can track your solar energy generation. To learn more about monitoring your solar system, and why getting a Fronius Smart Meter for consumption monitoring is important, read this article. In summary, consumption monitoring will measure how much electricity you are consuming, which allows you maximise your savings by choosing the best retail electricity plan, shifting your big energy loads, and determining when it makes financial sense to add a battery or other smart energy appliance. Find out more about how it works here.

If you already have a Fronius solar system, you can see if you have a Fronius Smart consumption meter by logging into your Fronius app seeing if you can see your energy consumption as well as energy produced. Fortunately for those without a Fronius Smart consumption meter, the Australian government has recently forced your energy retailer to allow you to share your energy data with authorised third parties through Consumer Data Rights (CDR) open energy. Solar Analytics is the first company to be authorised under open energy CDR, which means you can authorise access and get all the extra savings benefits even if you don't have a consumption meter.

A Breeze to Install: Setting Up Your Fronius Smart Meter and Monitoring

When you have your Fronius solar system installed, your solar installer or retailer will most likely set up your Fronius inverter to connect to your home WiFi. You can then download the Fronius SolarWeb app, and start monitoring your solar.

If your Fronius inverter has not yet been connected to your WiFi, you can follow the simple steps here courtesy of solar retailer MC Electrical. If your WiFi does not extend to reach your Fronius inverter, you will need to add a wifi extender. 

Once you are connected, we highly recommend adding the 30 day free trial with Solar Analytics to increase your solar savings. To do this follow the steps listed at Solar Analytics.

Why also get Solar Analytics? Fronius has a good solar app, but it is missing a number of key features that will save you an extra $400 every year and maximise your solar savings:

  • True Performance - make sure your solar is performing at 100%
  • Plan Optimiser - takes the guesswork out of finding the right solar energy plan
  • Battery Calculator - know when it's the right time to invest in a battery and which size
  • Energy Insights - shift your electricity usage and make the most of your solar
  • Open Energy - consumption data from CDR (if you don't have a consumption meter)

Although this review is few years old, and omits the recently added features of Solar Analytics, it is a good independent comparison of Fronius and Solar Analytics.

Powering Up Your Solar Game: Fronius Smart Meter in Action

Now that you have access to your Fronius and Solar Analytics apps, let’s see how they help you make the most of your solar system. Below are images of the main dashboard from each app for sample solar systems. You can also see a walk through here for Solar Analytics, and here for Fronius.

Your dashboard provides an overview of your solar production and energy consumption, as well as your savings.

Fronius dashboard without consumption (top) or with consumption meter (bottom)
Solar Analytics dashboard

For more insights into getting more from your solar, read this article.

Energy Insights: Your Window to Solar Success

The most common reasons to use your solar dashboard are:

  • Check my solar system is working
  • See when is the best time to run my big energy appliances
  • See how much my solar has saved me
  • Figure out why I just got an unexpectedly high electricity bill
  • Decide if I should add a solar battery to reduce my energy bill
  • Decide if I should shift my off peak hot water to run from my solar to optimise power consumption

Counting Your Savings: Fronius Smart Meter's Superpower

The main reason most of us invest in rooftop solar is to save money. So after you have had your solar system for a year it is good to check you are saving as much as you expected, and investigate what else you can do to save even more.

Both the Fronius app and Solar Analytics show your savings, however Solar Analytics is much more sophisticated and accurate because it includes different tariff types, tariff structures, daily supply charge and other details. And soon, Solar Analytics will automatically capture this electricity tariff information through your CDR authorisation, saving you time and providing even more accurate insights.

Fronius tariff settings (top) and savings (bottom)
Solar Analytics tariff settings (top) and savings (bottom)

Out with the Old: Why Fronius and Solar Analytics Beats Traditional Energy Monitoring

Traditional energy monitoring systems often provide basic information on energy production but lack the depth and detail offered by modern solutions like Solar Analytics and Fronius Smart Meter. The ability to get automated performance or savings alerts, and see at a glance how to best use your solar energy sets these technologies apart from their outdated counterparts.

The two most important of these modern features is the ability to see the best electricity plan to choose based on your energy data, and guidance on what else you can do to save even more.

Solar Analytics Plan Optimiser comparing all available energy plans
Solar Analytics Battery Calculator comparing different battery options

Find out more here.

Fronius Smart Meter Advantages: When you absolutely need one

Having a Fronius Smart Meter installed is required for any of the following situations:

  • You have a solar battery
  • You have a static export limit imposed by your local electricity network (also called a DNSP), eg 5kW maximum export is common for single phase homes
  • You have a flexible export, e3g in Sth Australia this is required for many new solar systems. Typically this allows you to export up to 10kW of solar most of the time, but you will occasionally have your solar exports restricted by the DNSP to match available capacity on the network  

Your Quick Start Guide to Fronius Smart Meter

The simplest way to get your Fronius and Solar Analytics setup correctly is to ask your solar retailer to do it when they install your solar system. If that is not possible then you can follow the simple steps here to connect your inverter to your home WiFi. 

Once you have done that, connect to Solar Analytics here to get your 30 day free trial and increase your solar savings.

Make it a habit to check your Solar Analytics and Fronius Smart Meter dashboards regularly. This allows you to stay informed about your energy performance and see how else you can reduce your electricity bill.

Explore the many features of your solar app to gain deeper insights into your energy usage patterns and maximise your solar savings.

Installation and Setup Tips

One of the key advantages of both Solar Analytics and Fronius Smart Meter is their user-friendly solar installation process. Setting up these monitoring systems doesn't require a degree in engineering; instead, they are designed for easy installation, making them accessible to all homeowners.

If you are having trouble connecting either Fronius or Solar Analytics, you can contact your solar retailer or support@solaranalytics.com or contact@fronius.com

Tackling Problems Head-On: Common Hurdles and Fixes

Connectivity Issues: Ensure that all connections are secure and that your monitoring devices are within the recommended range. In the case of persistent connectivity issues, consult the user manual or contact customer support.

Data Discrepancies: If you notice discrepancies in your data, such as unusual spikes or drops in production, check for environmental factors like shading or debris on solar panels. If the issue persists, seek guidance from customer support.

Software Updates: Regularly update the firmware and software of your monitoring devices to access the latest features and security enhancements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Solar Analytics and Fronius Smart Meter with any solar system?

No. While Solar Analytics is compatible with various solar inverters, Fronius Smart Meter is only available with Fronius inverters. 

Do I need internet connectivity for these monitoring systems?

Yes, both Solar Analytics and Fronius Smart Meter require internet connectivity to provide real-time data and updates. Ensure a stable internet connection for optimal performance.

How often should I check my monitoring dashboards?

Regular check-ins, at least once a week, are recommended to stay informed about your energy performance and quickly address any issues that may arise.

Why is my Fronius Smart Meter not detected?

If you can see solar generation in your Fronius SolarWeb app, but not consumption, then your Fronius Smart Meter is not being correctly detected. This can be difficult to rectify, so we recommend contacting either your solar retailer or contact@fronius.com

Can I access historical data and reports through these monitoring systems to track my energy usage over time?

The standard Fronius app will only show the last 3 days of energy production or consumption in the Energy Balance view. The Fronius Premium will show all historical data. Solar Analytics will show all history data and reports regardless of whether you have the standard free Fronius or Fronius Premium.

What is Fronius Premium monitoring?

Fronius Premium provides additional functionality int he Fronius app. It costs $33 pa and provides the following additional functionality:

  • Historical energy production in Energy Balance graph
  • Custom energy reports
  • Savings and RoI
  • 2 days weather / production forecast
  • Public display mode
  • Alexa capability

The Solar Analytics app additionally has the following functionality:

  • Detailed tariff and savings (automation coming soon)
  • Plan optimiser to find the best electricity plan
  • Data from your main electricity meter
  • More accurate fault identification and alerts
  • Battery calculator to know when to get a battery

Is it possible to integrate other smart home devices or appliances into the monitoring systems to further optimise energy consumption?

Yes this is possible, but it depends on your Smart Home control system which will determine if it can integrate with either Fronius or Solar Analytics. With Fronius premium you can connect to Alexa. Solar Analytics is working on Google Home, Apple and Alexa integration.