Case Study : Weather Monitoring for Solar Rooftop Projects

Introduction

Solar rooftop projects are witnessing a steep rise in the number of installations. Commercial spaces like office spaces, hotels, hospitals etc. are increasingly opting for rooftop solar installation to avail the benefit of reduced energy bills. Being the market leader in utility-scale solar plant monitoring, Aeron has a strong presence in a rooftop solar segment as well. Aeron provides solutions like weather monitoring, inverter monitoring, etc. which are very crucial for gauging the performance of the rooftop solar plant and take corrective actions accordingly.

One Of The Installation Sites

The company under the scope of this case study is a reputed EPC of rooftop solar plants having multiple installations in India. In 2015, Aeron was chosen to provide monitoring services to 4 sites where this company had rooftop plant installations. Out of the four sites, two sites were commercial office spaces and the other two were hotels.

The Scope Of  Work

Aeron was commissioned to provide weather monitoring along with inverter & energy monitoring for all the four sites. The weather parameters required to be monitored were solar irradiance, wind speed, wind direction, humidity, ambient temperature and module temperature. All the sites were using Schneider make energy meter and inverters from two different manufacturers; SMA and Delta.

Aeron WMS At One Of The Sites

Challenges

The project was quite a challenge to execute because of numerous site-specific customisations required. The first challenge was that these sites were using inverters from two different manufacturers. Both the inverters had a custom protocol which needed to be implemented in the data logger for integration. On top of that, these inverters had client specific firmware customizations. The second challenge was to keep the cost low and deliver it in the shortest possible time. None of the sites had SCADA hence web portal interfaces were required to be customized to provide various calculated plant performance parameters and energy generation graphs.

Solution

Aeron team devised a unique solution for each of the sites, chose the right sensor, configured the data logger according to the types of equipment at various sites and installed and commissioned the whole system. Custom pages were built on the web portal to give a user-friendly interface. The solution is supported by a proactive support team.

Benefits

It’s been two years since the solution was provided to a client and all the systems are working uninterrupted at all the four locations. The users are getting regular and real-time data at their respective locations helping them monitor plant performance, schedule maintenance and carry out other corrective actions.