Using Solar Analytics to diagnose faults

There are countless causes for under-performance in residential solar; here are three specific case studies that show how Solar Analytics Monitoring identifies, analyses and diagnoses three specific solar faults - incorrect inverter settings, total system outage and string faults.

1. Incorrect Inverter Setting

This residential solar system had been installed with an incorrectly configured inverter setting, which meant that it was severely under-performing. Solar Analytics Monitoring detected this anomaly and notified the solar installer to fix the configuration straight away, saving their customer hundreds of dollars.

The only alternative detection of an incorrect inverter setting would be noticing a much higher-than-expected electricity cost when the electricity bill arrives.

You can see here that the inverter setting was correctly configured at 3pm on the 14th October 2016; and the solar production is immediately rectified, and reflected in their solar profile below:

Remote solar fault diagnostics
Remote solar fault diagnostics

2. Total System Outage

Total System outages (or zero generation faults) are not uncommon. Here, Solar Analytics Monitoring notified the installer when the PV system stopped producing energy unexpectedly. Again, these issues can go unnoticed until a much higher-than-normal electricity bill arrives.  

Remote solar fault diagnostics

3. String Fault

By comparing the measured solar production data vs the expected solar PV output, Solar Analytics Monioring detected a string fault in this system. In the image below, you see a system with 2 strings (7.5kW and 2.5kW separately). You can see on the second day, the 2.5kW string is at fault and the lost solar energy production is reflected in the area in blue.

Having faults rectified as soon as possible undoubtedly saves money by recovering solar production quickly, but it's also the peace of mind that comes with monitoring that is valued by solar households.

Find out more about Solar Analytics Monitoring here.

Solar Analytics
We are Australian Photovoltaic Engineers, Software Developers, Scientists, Solar Technicians and Designers, all passionate about sustainable energy and the power of solar.
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