Vermont, United States — Draker Labs, a provider of monitoring solutions for institutional and commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, has been selected by Photovoltaic Systems Manufacturing (PSM) to monitor PV systems that will be installed at 14 Arizona-based schools. Phoenix-based Salt River Project (SRP) is funding the installation and maintenance of the rooftop-mounted PV systems.
SRP will provide teachers with training and classroom materials related to renewable energy education. Data collected from Draker’s monitoring solutions will be available to students and faculty, allowing them to apply real-world data in a variety of classroom applications.
Each of the Arizona schools will be equipped with Draker’s Sentalis 1000PV platform, an end-to-end monitoring solution that includes both hardware and a web interface for data management and reporting. The Sentalis hardware includes a base station that aggregates data collected from instrumentation attached to solar panels and other PV equipment as well as a variety of environmental sensors that measure solar irradiance, wind conditions and ambient temperature, all of which impact energy production. The base station includes a ruggedized datalogger from Campbell Scientific.
System performance and reporting is made available through Draker’s Sentalis web interface, which provides a dashboard view of an entire portfolio of projects as well as site-specific data. Interactive graphs highlight real-time and historic data on a range of system-level metrics, including ‘actual versus expected’ energy production. Should the system detect an unexpected drop in performance or other anomaly, an alarm is automatically sent to maintenance personnel by email or text message alerting them to the problem.
SRP will install a kiosk in the lobby of each school to inform the public about the solar energy generation occurring on the school’s rooftop. Draker will provide the screen images on the kiosks that use animated graphics to show real time and historic solar energy production.
The SunSpec Alliance, of which Draker is a member company recently released a report defining open data standards for the renewable energy and photovoltaic (PV) industries, including the monitoring space. Watch the video below to learn more about that effort and how it is likely to impact the solar industry in the years to come.