Monitoring, Solar

California Solar Sites Use New Monitoring Software

Solar systems in southern California are being monitored over the internet using software from a Canadian company.

VICTORIA, British Columbia, CA, 2001-12-31 [] Power Measurement has installed its ION(R) energy meters and software at distribution generation facilities of RealEnergy, to support real-time energy monitoring of DG assets and customer billing. RealEnergy owns and manages on-site DG facilities for large commercial facilities, in order to stabilize energy markets and high spot prices by providing low-cost electricity during peak demand hours, and serving as guaranteed sources of power during supply-side outages. RealEnergy will install ION 7500 power meters at sites around the U.S. and will use ION software at its Los Angeles headquarters for nation-wide data collection, cost analysis, reporting and billing. The first projects include the 200 kW solar facility in Fountain Valley, currently the largest solar site in the western hemisphere, as well as a solar site in Carlsbad. The units have also been installed on an application that monitors two 30 kW Capstone microturbines. “The ION meters and software are a strong fit with our DG operations and will help us expand our services quickly and affordably across the country,” says RealEnergy president Paul Slye. “Distributed generation will have a direct impact on California’s energy needs by reducing dependence on the traditional electricity grid and, in turn, lowering energy costs and increasing power reliability for end users. RealEnergy plans to add 20 power plants in southern California over the next few months, removing enough demand from the power grid to prevent 5,000 homes from experiencing blackouts. “Our ION technology has been optimized for environments such as generator sites,” explains John Eggink of Power Measurement. “The meters are industrially hardened, and they integrate a wide range of analysis, control and communications capabilities. This eliminates the need for separate, high-priced computers at each site, which can be vulnerable to power disturbances.” ION meters offer direct connection to the internet from each remote site, and the software can upload electricity usage and fuel feed data directly from generator meters, and automatically send monthly bills to clients through e-mail.