The Importance of Remote Monitoring

March 3, 2021

As we have previously discussed solar PV arrays are relatively simple and straightforward systems

There is, however, a widespread misconception that solar systems are a ‘fit-and-forget’ technology. Whilst it is true that solar PV systems contain no moving parts, they are still made up of many different components that can, on occasion, go wrong.
Additionally, because most solar systems are installed in parallel with the grid, disturbances on the wider network can also cause problems with your solar array.
 
With this in mind, unless you have the time/resource to check your system yourself, we always advocate the installation of remote monitoring software and hardware to systems over 30kW.
 

Did you know?

That a 50kW system in the south of England – offline for two weeks in the summer – will cost its owner anywhere between £500 – £1,800 in lost electricity savings and FIT payments?
 
Remotely monitoring your solar PV array has several benefits including:

Fault Indication

The monitoring system can be configured to alert you should the system stop working unexpectedly. 
 
From there you can investigate and notify us if you discover a problem.

Performance Monitoring

The remote monitoring software can be configured to let you know anticipated output levels for your system; if it fails to hit these levels you are notified of the fact.
 
Again, from there you can investigate why this might be happening and notify us if you discover a problem.

BeBa’s Premier Plan

The benefits of remote monitoring are fantastic if you run a busy business and do not have the time or resource to manually check your system on a daily basis. However, if a fault or low-yield event were to occur, it still falls to you – the asset-owner – to instigate the fault-finding process.
 
Accordingly, BeBa have developed their Premier service plan to remove almost all of the hassle involved in operating a commercial solar PV array.
 
For a modest annual payment, not only will we remotely monitor the performance of your system from our HQ in Hemel Hempstead, if an issue were to present itself and we were unable to diagnose remotely, we will send an engineer to site free of charge (one free call out per year) to investigate and rectify the issue (2 hours on site, parts charged separately).
 
If, however, we are able to remotely diagnose the fault, it will result in quick and efficient repairs – particularly helpful in the middle of summer.
 
Additionally, because we look after over £147m worth of solar systems across the country, we are in a position to offer the following unique services:

Yield Comparison

Comparing system performance against an algorithm is one thing but what if we have the best summer on record?
 
As part of our Premier plan we proactively compare the performance of your system with others in your area so that we can be certain your array is making the most of the extra sunlight. If this isn’t happening we will treat the under performance as a fault.

Annual MOT and Report

Each year we will provide a comprehensive overview of the condition and performance of your solar array.
 
Not only will we provide a detailed service report documenting the checks we have carried out – particularly handy for your insurers if they ask about your solar array – we will also let you know of anything that might improve the overall performance of your system such as a panel clean.
 
Lastly, we will detail any work we have carried out to keep your system on track.
To discuss adding remote monitoring to your solar array or if you would like to apply to join one of our service plans please contact BeBa today.