Analytics (3)

Although highly durable, solar panels will degrade in efficiency over time. This means that a 30 year old panel will not produce as much electricity as it did when it was brand new. It is important to take this factor into consideration in order for you to determine if your system is producing at the rate that it should. This is especially important if you want to hold your solar installer accountable for promises made when they sold you your system.

Solar panels typically come with 20 year warranties that guarantee that the panels will produce at least 80% of the rated power after 20 years of use. The rate at which the panels degrade depends on the brand and model of panel. Each manufacturer provides estimates for degradation rates, which are typically highest in the first year and then lower for subsequent years. For example, the LG335N1C-A5 panel is projected to degrade by 2% in the first year, and 0.5% for each subsequent year. By contrast, the LG335N1C-V5 panel is projected to lose 2% in its first year, but only 0.33% in each subsequent year. Over the course of a couple of decades, these differences can be significant.

SolarView takes this degradation into consideration as it provides you with ongoing reports of system performance. The Settings page allows you to configure the monthly production estimates, as provided to you by your solar installer, and the degradation rates for the panels, as provided by the panel manufacturer:

Once this information has been entered into the SolarView settings, the system will keep track of your production month over month, and year over year, so you will know if the system is producing energy at the rates guaranteed in your installation contract. If the system is falling short of your installer’s contractual guarantees you will have the data that you need to explore remedies.

SolarView gives you access to this data in two ways. Each month, SolarView will email and/or text a production report to you that will also include an estimate of production surplus or deficit based on the estimates and degradation rates that you entered in Settings. In addition, the Reports menu in the SolarView desktop monitor will allow you to browse results by year. In the example below, the report reveals that the system has been producing a surplus of energy, compared to the estimates provided by the solar installer, since going online in October, 2019.

Categories: Analytics, Monitoring

In order to understand whether or not your system is producing according to expectations, it is critically important to configure SolarView with monthly production estimates. When your solar installation company made a proposal to you, that proposal should have included an estimate of the expected energy production they would be delivering with their system. That estimate should have taken into consideration variable factors such as climate, shading, and roof vent locations relative to the proposed solar panel models and configuration. If this estimate was done systematically and comprehensively, it should include a month-by-month breakdown of anticipated production for the proposed system, stated in kWh units of production.

If you don’t already have these estimates, you should obtain them from your solar installer. Plug that data into your SolarView settings page.

Once this data is entered, SolarView will provide a continuous view of the accuracy of those estimates over the full life of your system. You can find this information by going to the Reports menu in the SolarView Desktop app and selecting “Actual vs Projected”. If it turns out that your installer significantly over-estimated your production, this report will give you the necessary ammunition to discuss an appropriate remediation plan with your installer. After all, lost production equates to a bigger electric bill, so if their estimates were not reasonably accurate then some form of mitigation may be in order.

Categories: Analytics, Features

It’s easy to export your production data in a format that can be opened in Excel for detailed analysis.

  1. In the SolarView Desktop app, go to the Reports menu.
  2. Select Custom Report.
  3. Select the date range and time increment for the report.
  4. Select CSV as the report format.
  5. Click the Generate Report function.

The report will be exported and should automatically open up in Excel, provided you have Excel installed on the computer. (If you do not have Excel, some other program that recognizes the CSV format may launch instead.)

Category: Analytics

Features (18)

SolarView gathers data on your solar energy production from the SolarEdge data servers, which in turn collect data from your inverter. We report precisely the data that is provided by SolarEdge. To the extent that there is any difference between data that we report and data that you find directly on the SolarEdge app or website, these differences are under the control of SolarEdge. Typically you will not see any differences or they will be inconsequential. Usually any differences will resolve with the next data sync.

Category: Monitoring

SolarView regularly checks your current reported power production. During daylight hours these checks occur every 15 minutes. The resulting power data is displayed in a green status bar at the top of the SolarView Desktop app window.

However, if the data being reported by SolarEdge is “stale”, meaning SolarEdge has not updated its information in over an hour, SolarView presents the power information with an orange status bar.

What this means is that although SolarEdge is not reporting an error or problem, SolarView has determined that SolarEdge has not updated information about your inverter in over an hour.

In a typical SolarEdge installation SolarEdge will check with your inverter every 15 minutes, so you should not see this orange condition. However we have seen situations that might result in a “stale data” condition:

  • There could be a communication issue between your inverter and the SolarEdge server that is preventing a normal update. These kinds of conditions will normally clear up on their own after an hour or two.
  • It could be that your solar installation company has intentionally configured your inverter to not report in to SolarEdge servers every 15 minutes. We have seen cases where the installer has intentionally configured the inverter to report only every few hours. In such a case your data will be stale far more often than it is fresh, and we would recommend that your ask your solar installation company to change the configuration. After all, you are paying for up to date data so you should be able to get it.
Category: General Usage

On modern large computer screens, the default view of the SolarView Desktop app takes only a small amount of space, and you can locate it at any point on the display that is convenient. However if you have limited display space you can do one of the following:

  • “Collapse” the SolarView Desktop app by double-clicking the Display / Collapse icon (between the top status bar and the current temperature display). This will collapse the SolarView window down to a minimal size as shown here:

 

 

  • Alternatively, you can click the minimize button on the SolarView Desktop app window. This will remove the app window from view but leave the task try icon on display in the lower right corner of your screen. Hovering the mouse over that icon will give the current energy production in a pop-up balloon.

Category: General Usage

Weather information can be useful for understanding fluctuations in energy production, but cannot be assumed to be fully accurate at all times. SolarView obtains weather and other data from publicly available sources and reports the information provided by those sources. This information is provided for convenience and is neither guaranteed to be fully accurate nor essential to the operation of the SolarView products and services.

Category: General Usage

We love hearing from our customers. Click on the Contact link to submit suggestions or ask questions.

SolarView currently offers a mobile app for Android which can be downloaded through Google Play.

At the present time, the SolarView Desktop app runs only on Windows computers, laptops, and tablets. However, it is possible to sign up for the SolarView monitoring service without the use of the desktop app. You would still get email and text notifications of detected errors as well as daily and  monthly production reports. If you are interested in this service, contact us so that we may configure a non-desktop account for you.

The SolarEdge app is excellent, so far as it goes. However, it is missing some extremely desirable and useful features that homeowners want and need. These missing features are provided only by SolarView:.

  • SolarView does not require navigation of web pages or scrolling around to find key data.
  • SolarView is very fast and visually compact. In fact you don’t even need to app on display in order for your solar system to be actively monitored.
  • SolarView tracks your actual energy production versus the estimated production as promised or guaranteed by your solar company.
  • SolarView takes into consideration the degradation of your solar panels over time.
  • SolarView proactively notifies you of any detected system faults or errors.
  • SolarView provides regular production reports by mobile notification, email, or text message.

You can monitor your own solar energy system by manually navigating apps and web sites, but we believe that the purpose of computers is to do the work for you. SolarView checks your system all day and all night, every day of the year, and lets you know when there is something requiring attention. We believe a monitoring system should work for you, not the other way around.

Categories: Features, Monitoring

Of course. The SolarView mobile app supports Android notifications. In addition, SolarView mobile and desktop apps allow you to send alerts and reports to email or text addresses. Text notifications will work for every major mobile phone company that provides email to text service.

Unlike monitoring services offered by most solar installer and maintenance companies, SolarView is fully automated. This means it is operating around the clock. You do not need to be running the SolarView Desktop app or even have your computer turned on.

Category: Monitoring

Yes. The SolarView monitoring service runs independently of the SolarView app. For the SolarView mobile app experience, monitoring runs even when the app is asleep. When you are running the SolarView Desktop app, it will synchronize with the SolarView monitoring service, however the service continues to operate whether or not the SolarView Desktop app is running, and you will continue to receive email and text notifications and reports.

Category: Monitoring

Yes. SolarView licensing is not computer based, but rather it is based on your unique SolarEdge inverter installation. This means you can run the SolarView app on as many computers or mobile devices as you wish (subject to the technical limitation discussed below).

Feel free to skip the following if you do not have an interest in a technical explanation.

Technical limitation: Although SolarView licensing does not limit the number of computers where you can run the software, there are certain limitations imposed by SolarEdge. These scenarios are very unlikely to be an issue but are mentioned for the sake of completeness. In particular, SolarEdge limits the quantity of data requests being issued from a single network address in a single 24-hour period.This network address would be the address of the modem on your network and so it will be shared by all computers on that network.

In practice this limitation should never be a problem because even if you are running multiple copies of SolarView they are most likely running on different networks (e.g., one on your home network and another on your laptop connected to an office network or hotel network, and so on). Under certain circumstances (e.g., if your home and network were located at the North Pole and there were 24 hours of daylight) you would hit this limitation if you were running more than three copies of SolarView on the same network.Somewhere in the continental United States you could theoretically hit the limit with five or more instances depending on the time of year.

The impact of this limitation is that you might see “Unknown” in the SolarView status bar and you might see communication errors displayed. In such a case you could simply close one of the instances of SolarView and wait a few hours for SolarEdge to reset its counter.

No. SolarView is very efficient and compact software that will have little to no detectable impact on your computer operation, even if you leave the desktop app running at all times. SolarView consumes very little memory, disk space, and processing resources.

Be aware that SolarView is highly dependent on live internet access. If your internet connectivity is slow or unreliable, SolarView may lose synchronization with cloud-based servers that provide its data. If your internet is service is down, SolarView will stop working until service is restored.

No. The SolarView Desktop app is small and fast and so should run on any reasonable Windows computer. Although we provide technical support only for Windows 7 and Windows 10, SolarView should run without a problem on any version of Windows with normal performance. The most important dependency for SolarView is reliable internet connectivity.

Although highly durable, solar panels will degrade in efficiency over time. This means that a 30 year old panel will not produce as much electricity as it did when it was brand new. It is important to take this factor into consideration in order for you to determine if your system is producing at the rate that it should. This is especially important if you want to hold your solar installer accountable for promises made when they sold you your system.

Solar panels typically come with 20 year warranties that guarantee that the panels will produce at least 80% of the rated power after 20 years of use. The rate at which the panels degrade depends on the brand and model of panel. Each manufacturer provides estimates for degradation rates, which are typically highest in the first year and then lower for subsequent years. For example, the LG335N1C-A5 panel is projected to degrade by 2% in the first year, and 0.5% for each subsequent year. By contrast, the LG335N1C-V5 panel is projected to lose 2% in its first year, but only 0.33% in each subsequent year. Over the course of a couple of decades, these differences can be significant.

SolarView takes this degradation into consideration as it provides you with ongoing reports of system performance. The Settings page allows you to configure the monthly production estimates, as provided to you by your solar installer, and the degradation rates for the panels, as provided by the panel manufacturer:

Once this information has been entered into the SolarView settings, the system will keep track of your production month over month, and year over year, so you will know if the system is producing energy at the rates guaranteed in your installation contract. If the system is falling short of your installer’s contractual guarantees you will have the data that you need to explore remedies.

SolarView gives you access to this data in two ways. Each month, SolarView will email and/or text a production report to you that will also include an estimate of production surplus or deficit based on the estimates and degradation rates that you entered in Settings. In addition, the Reports menu in the SolarView desktop monitor will allow you to browse results by year. In the example below, the report reveals that the system has been producing a surplus of energy, compared to the estimates provided by the solar installer, since going online in October, 2019.

Categories: Analytics, Monitoring

In order to understand whether or not your system is producing according to expectations, it is critically important to configure SolarView with monthly production estimates. When your solar installation company made a proposal to you, that proposal should have included an estimate of the expected energy production they would be delivering with their system. That estimate should have taken into consideration variable factors such as climate, shading, and roof vent locations relative to the proposed solar panel models and configuration. If this estimate was done systematically and comprehensively, it should include a month-by-month breakdown of anticipated production for the proposed system, stated in kWh units of production.

If you don’t already have these estimates, you should obtain them from your solar installer. Plug that data into your SolarView settings page.

Once this data is entered, SolarView will provide a continuous view of the accuracy of those estimates over the full life of your system. You can find this information by going to the Reports menu in the SolarView Desktop app and selecting “Actual vs Projected”. If it turns out that your installer significantly over-estimated your production, this report will give you the necessary ammunition to discuss an appropriate remediation plan with your installer. After all, lost production equates to a bigger electric bill, so if their estimates were not reasonably accurate then some form of mitigation may be in order.

Categories: Analytics, Features

It’s easy to export your production data in a format that can be opened in Excel for detailed analysis.

  1. In the SolarView Desktop app, go to the Reports menu.
  2. Select Custom Report.
  3. Select the date range and time increment for the report.
  4. Select CSV as the report format.
  5. Click the Generate Report function.

The report will be exported and should automatically open up in Excel, provided you have Excel installed on the computer. (If you do not have Excel, some other program that recognizes the CSV format may launch instead.)

Category: Analytics

Currently, SolarView supports only SolarEdge inverters. If you are interested in an Enphase version of SolarView, or are interested in participating as a beta test site for an Enphase version, click the button below.

 

 

General Usage (3)

SolarView regularly checks your current reported power production. During daylight hours these checks occur every 15 minutes. The resulting power data is displayed in a green status bar at the top of the SolarView Desktop app window.

However, if the data being reported by SolarEdge is “stale”, meaning SolarEdge has not updated its information in over an hour, SolarView presents the power information with an orange status bar.

What this means is that although SolarEdge is not reporting an error or problem, SolarView has determined that SolarEdge has not updated information about your inverter in over an hour.

In a typical SolarEdge installation SolarEdge will check with your inverter every 15 minutes, so you should not see this orange condition. However we have seen situations that might result in a “stale data” condition:

  • There could be a communication issue between your inverter and the SolarEdge server that is preventing a normal update. These kinds of conditions will normally clear up on their own after an hour or two.
  • It could be that your solar installation company has intentionally configured your inverter to not report in to SolarEdge servers every 15 minutes. We have seen cases where the installer has intentionally configured the inverter to report only every few hours. In such a case your data will be stale far more often than it is fresh, and we would recommend that your ask your solar installation company to change the configuration. After all, you are paying for up to date data so you should be able to get it.
Category: General Usage

On modern large computer screens, the default view of the SolarView Desktop app takes only a small amount of space, and you can locate it at any point on the display that is convenient. However if you have limited display space you can do one of the following:

  • “Collapse” the SolarView Desktop app by double-clicking the Display / Collapse icon (between the top status bar and the current temperature display). This will collapse the SolarView window down to a minimal size as shown here:

 

 

  • Alternatively, you can click the minimize button on the SolarView Desktop app window. This will remove the app window from view but leave the task try icon on display in the lower right corner of your screen. Hovering the mouse over that icon will give the current energy production in a pop-up balloon.

Category: General Usage

Weather information can be useful for understanding fluctuations in energy production, but cannot be assumed to be fully accurate at all times. SolarView obtains weather and other data from publicly available sources and reports the information provided by those sources. This information is provided for convenience and is neither guaranteed to be fully accurate nor essential to the operation of the SolarView products and services.

Category: General Usage

Monitoring (6)

SolarView gathers data on your solar energy production from the SolarEdge data servers, which in turn collect data from your inverter. We report precisely the data that is provided by SolarEdge. To the extent that there is any difference between data that we report and data that you find directly on the SolarEdge app or website, these differences are under the control of SolarEdge. Typically you will not see any differences or they will be inconsequential. Usually any differences will resolve with the next data sync.

Category: Monitoring

The SolarEdge app is excellent, so far as it goes. However, it is missing some extremely desirable and useful features that homeowners want and need. These missing features are provided only by SolarView:.

  • SolarView does not require navigation of web pages or scrolling around to find key data.
  • SolarView is very fast and visually compact. In fact you don’t even need to app on display in order for your solar system to be actively monitored.
  • SolarView tracks your actual energy production versus the estimated production as promised or guaranteed by your solar company.
  • SolarView takes into consideration the degradation of your solar panels over time.
  • SolarView proactively notifies you of any detected system faults or errors.
  • SolarView provides regular production reports by mobile notification, email, or text message.

You can monitor your own solar energy system by manually navigating apps and web sites, but we believe that the purpose of computers is to do the work for you. SolarView checks your system all day and all night, every day of the year, and lets you know when there is something requiring attention. We believe a monitoring system should work for you, not the other way around.

Categories: Features, Monitoring

Of course. The SolarView mobile app supports Android notifications. In addition, SolarView mobile and desktop apps allow you to send alerts and reports to email or text addresses. Text notifications will work for every major mobile phone company that provides email to text service.

Unlike monitoring services offered by most solar installer and maintenance companies, SolarView is fully automated. This means it is operating around the clock. You do not need to be running the SolarView Desktop app or even have your computer turned on.

Category: Monitoring

Yes. The SolarView monitoring service runs independently of the SolarView app. For the SolarView mobile app experience, monitoring runs even when the app is asleep. When you are running the SolarView Desktop app, it will synchronize with the SolarView monitoring service, however the service continues to operate whether or not the SolarView Desktop app is running, and you will continue to receive email and text notifications and reports.

Category: Monitoring

Although highly durable, solar panels will degrade in efficiency over time. This means that a 30 year old panel will not produce as much electricity as it did when it was brand new. It is important to take this factor into consideration in order for you to determine if your system is producing at the rate that it should. This is especially important if you want to hold your solar installer accountable for promises made when they sold you your system.

Solar panels typically come with 20 year warranties that guarantee that the panels will produce at least 80% of the rated power after 20 years of use. The rate at which the panels degrade depends on the brand and model of panel. Each manufacturer provides estimates for degradation rates, which are typically highest in the first year and then lower for subsequent years. For example, the LG335N1C-A5 panel is projected to degrade by 2% in the first year, and 0.5% for each subsequent year. By contrast, the LG335N1C-V5 panel is projected to lose 2% in its first year, but only 0.33% in each subsequent year. Over the course of a couple of decades, these differences can be significant.

SolarView takes this degradation into consideration as it provides you with ongoing reports of system performance. The Settings page allows you to configure the monthly production estimates, as provided to you by your solar installer, and the degradation rates for the panels, as provided by the panel manufacturer:

Once this information has been entered into the SolarView settings, the system will keep track of your production month over month, and year over year, so you will know if the system is producing energy at the rates guaranteed in your installation contract. If the system is falling short of your installer’s contractual guarantees you will have the data that you need to explore remedies.

SolarView gives you access to this data in two ways. Each month, SolarView will email and/or text a production report to you that will also include an estimate of production surplus or deficit based on the estimates and degradation rates that you entered in Settings. In addition, the Reports menu in the SolarView desktop monitor will allow you to browse results by year. In the example below, the report reveals that the system has been producing a surplus of energy, compared to the estimates provided by the solar installer, since going online in October, 2019.

Categories: Analytics, Monitoring

Supported Systems (7)

SolarView currently offers a mobile app for Android which can be downloaded through Google Play.

At the present time, the SolarView Desktop app runs only on Windows computers, laptops, and tablets. However, it is possible to sign up for the SolarView monitoring service without the use of the desktop app. You would still get email and text notifications of detected errors as well as daily and  monthly production reports. If you are interested in this service, contact us so that we may configure a non-desktop account for you.

Of course. The SolarView mobile app supports Android notifications. In addition, SolarView mobile and desktop apps allow you to send alerts and reports to email or text addresses. Text notifications will work for every major mobile phone company that provides email to text service.

Yes. SolarView licensing is not computer based, but rather it is based on your unique SolarEdge inverter installation. This means you can run the SolarView app on as many computers or mobile devices as you wish (subject to the technical limitation discussed below).

Feel free to skip the following if you do not have an interest in a technical explanation.

Technical limitation: Although SolarView licensing does not limit the number of computers where you can run the software, there are certain limitations imposed by SolarEdge. These scenarios are very unlikely to be an issue but are mentioned for the sake of completeness. In particular, SolarEdge limits the quantity of data requests being issued from a single network address in a single 24-hour period.This network address would be the address of the modem on your network and so it will be shared by all computers on that network.

In practice this limitation should never be a problem because even if you are running multiple copies of SolarView they are most likely running on different networks (e.g., one on your home network and another on your laptop connected to an office network or hotel network, and so on). Under certain circumstances (e.g., if your home and network were located at the North Pole and there were 24 hours of daylight) you would hit this limitation if you were running more than three copies of SolarView on the same network.Somewhere in the continental United States you could theoretically hit the limit with five or more instances depending on the time of year.

The impact of this limitation is that you might see “Unknown” in the SolarView status bar and you might see communication errors displayed. In such a case you could simply close one of the instances of SolarView and wait a few hours for SolarEdge to reset its counter.

No. SolarView is very efficient and compact software that will have little to no detectable impact on your computer operation, even if you leave the desktop app running at all times. SolarView consumes very little memory, disk space, and processing resources.

Be aware that SolarView is highly dependent on live internet access. If your internet connectivity is slow or unreliable, SolarView may lose synchronization with cloud-based servers that provide its data. If your internet is service is down, SolarView will stop working until service is restored.

No. The SolarView Desktop app is small and fast and so should run on any reasonable Windows computer. Although we provide technical support only for Windows 7 and Windows 10, SolarView should run without a problem on any version of Windows with normal performance. The most important dependency for SolarView is reliable internet connectivity.

Currently, SolarView supports only SolarEdge inverters. If you are interested in an Enphase version of SolarView, or are interested in participating as a beta test site for an Enphase version, click the button below.

 

 

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