Installers and O&M providers at least two years old understand the struggle of monitoring solar portfolios across several different platforms.
Learning several software dashboards is difficult and time-consuming. Time spent checking each portal would be better spent prospecting new customers or installing more plants. The best way to consolidate to one monitoring portal is to start with one that will grow with the fleet.
Solar installers should first look at how many brands of inverters they are using across their fleet. New inverter brands come on the market while others fade away. It is important to select a monitoring portal that can support all different brands of inverters in current use and one that keeps adding new inverter models to its compatibility list.
When it comes to adding plants to a new monitoring portal, hardware options are as important as the solar monitoring software itself. System owners should select a brand that will have a wide range of monitoring tools to cover their robust monitoring needs, but also one that has low-cost, basic options for when they need to add new hardware to an existing system.
Last, but perhaps most importantly, installers should identify a solar monitoring platform that is committed to staying up with trends and ahead of the curve. Some questions to ask: Is the platform compatible with battery storage? Are there options for optimizing self-consumption once self-consumption becomes more valuable than feeding in to the grid? What are the options for feed-in management? Although some may not have an immediate need for these solutions, by selecting a monitoring portal with these options, they are essentially future-proofing their fleet and protecting the investment their customers have made in solar.
Monitoring should be an advantage, not a burden!