PV Monitoring in the O&M Sector

by Vivian Bullinger | 25.05.2011

When a service provider in the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) sector assumes responsibility for someone else's investment, he is certainly aware that he shares a great deal of responsibility for its success. To this end, he carefully selects his components and systems. In this way, in addition to the desired result for the investor, he also creates a cost-covering company structure for himself in the long term, which allows him to continue to grow. This is especially true when selecting a monitoring system or monitoring service.

Online Monitoring with Solar-Log WEB Enerest™ 4

With the Solar-Log WEB Enerest™ 4 online platform, operators and service providers monitor their PV plants worldwide. The system immediately detects any errors or faults that occur in the PV plant and analyzes them in a targeted manner. In addition to error detection and evaluation, the Solar-Log™ system offers additional support in the form of remote configuration. Here, adjustments can be made to the device settings, plant monitoring and device communication that are necessary for the grid connection. This function often avoids costly trips to the site and thus saves valuable time for the O&M provider. A positive side effect is that the radius of action of an O&M service provider is significantly extended. It thus enables him to provide optimum support for more plants, even at greater distances.


Here you can see the fleet view and analysis graph of the Solar-Log™ solution.

The monitoring system offers various options for visualization. Thus, it is set up entirely according to the individual requirements of each user, and relevant data can always be seen at a glance. Two functions "Pinboard" and "Slideshow" are worth highlighting for the O&M provider. They compile all relevant information for the technical operations manager on one screen. The link with the "Slideshow" function displays the values from all preselected plants on a rolling basis and in the same view. The plant manager thus has a continuous overview of all the plants in his portfolio without having to constantly call them up again. For a general overview, the fleet overview - which includes a status bar for each fleet - and the error ticker are helpful. The latter displays newly detected error messages in the plants according to error type. Thanks to these functions, the plant manager can go directly into the analysis to analyze the problem quickly and to the point.

Mobile with the Solar-Log™ Enerest 4 APP

Plant Data always Available on the Move

A modern and flexible system monitoring system naturally also includes an app (application software). With this, you have all the data of the PV systems at your fingertips at all times and are informed directly in the event of possible problems. Linked to the Solar-Log WEB Enerest™ portal, the in-house app offers many monitoring options, interactive graphics and very easy handling.

After logging in, operators can see all the PV plants they manage at a glance. For a better overview, each plant can be provided with an individual image. The start page, also called pinboard, also offers individual views of one or more PV plants. The clear visualization of daily and historical plant data as well as connected components (i.e. heat pump or heating rod) supports easy management. Thanks to another function, the "News Center", the user is always kept up to date, because current status messages about the PV system are sent directly to him. The APP also offers a feature regarding the expected yield forecasts. Based on the weather data, the APP creates a weather yield forecast and thus the expected electricity production.

Modular principle for the Solar-Log™ hardware

Hardware According to the Modular Construction Kit Principle

Thanks to the Solar-Log™ modular hardware system, you only have to pay for what you actually need. If further requirements, such as direct marketing, are added in the future, the basic system can be easily expanded. For this purpose, additional hardware modules for further interfaces and licenses are available to expand the range of functions.

Customer Loyalty in the O&M Area

What are the advantages of professional PV monitoring in the O&M sector? In addition to the already mentioned possibilities and advantages of a monitoring system, it can also contribute to long-term customer loyalty. This should not be underestimated, especially in the segment > 30kWp PV systems are further expanded after the construction date or integrated into the energy management of the property in the course of further renovations or new construction measures. Attractive potentials arise here over time.

In order to offer the monitoring of PV systems as a service, a certain initial investment is necessary, which also involves a risk. This is where the Solar-Log™ WEB-4U Service comes in. The Solar-Log™ Service monitors the commissioned plants, informs about emerging errors, or incorrect configurations and provides advice in case of problems. For plant operators and the operators of the respective PV plants, this means the certainty that any failures are detected promptly and malfunctions are quickly eliminated. This creates security and frees them up for other tasks. As a service provider for technical operations management, they remain the first point of contact for their customers.

Monitoring as a Service: Data Protection - a Must

Another important point in this area is data protection and security. Here, there are major differences between the individual monitoring providers. Solar-Log™ attaches the highest importance to the security of customer data and also regularly obtains advice from external experts in this area. Upon request, the user receives a complete evaluation of the data stored in Solar-Log WEB Enerest™ 4. Communication between the data logger, the online platform and the respective end devices must be strongly encrypted. This is done by using encrypted protocols or a dedicated VPN communication. A VPN here is an end-to-end corridor that no other user can see into.

Building on the Professional

Solar-Log™ as the pioneer of PV monitoring with the experience of 330,000 installed data loggers worldwide offers a professional and system-open monitoring and energy management system that is characterized by intuitive handling and clear presentation. It is compatible with components from more than 130 manufacturers. The number of inverter models alone that can be integrated currently amounts to over 2,300 models. This ensures that the user can meet all of today's and tomorrow's challenges and provides customers with a solution that helps them achieve their goals and monitors their investment. With a global network of service partners, we offer on-site assistance for each country in case of problems or in the design phase. This protects the time and financial budget of the plant operator and ensures a sustainable return on investment.

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