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Industrial Arduino monitoring of solar installations
Industrial open source based hardware solution for monitoring and control
The use of renewable energy is increasingly widespread. Known as alternative or green energies, they have a very low environmental impact since, besides using infinite natural resources (the sun, the wind, the water or the vegetable or animal biomass), they do not generate pollutants.
Solar energy: the clean and profitable alternative
If there is one renewable energy par excellence, it is the solar one. The application possibilities of photovoltaic solar energy are immense and range from the simplest, such as solar calculators and clocks, to the most complex, such as large electricity generation plants or power systems for artificial satellites.
Of all the alternative energies, solar is the most popular among users. And like all other renewable resources, it offers multiple advantages:
It helps you to promote self-consumption.
It is beneficial to the environment.
It comes from a free and inexhaustible natural resource.
It is capable of reaching isolated places.
The importance of industrial monitoring systems
One of the key points in a photovoltaic energy consumption or generation facility is the correct and reliable monitoring of the entire system. Thanks to this control:
You will know if your system gives you an optimal performance, according to the type of panels, the square meters of installation, and other key variables.
You can detect breakdowns, or anticipate and program correctly the maintenance of the elements that need your attention.
Your solar inverter will give you the maximum benefit. To monitor this device, which is responsible for transforming the energy produced by the solar panels into useful energy for your daily consumption, you can choose from several options: the one offered by the company you have the contract with, or that from companies specializing in customized solutions that already have experience in one or another inverter and will be able to adapt your control panel to your expectations or needs.
Data in the cloud are always available
Photovoltaic installations -whether domestic or those we can find in gyms, farms, and all kinds of industries- regularly send information to the cloud that can be consulted remotely at all times, or some kind of information that will only be consulted in person in fog computing.
Thanks to Industrial Shields' open source based Arduino PLC controllers, your solar installation can be permanently connected. Both the 20IOs and the Ethernet range, have optionals such as WiFi or GPRS, which will allow you to perfectly achieve the objective of monitoring the installation by facilitating the sending of data to the cloud or locally, using one or another communication channel.
Equipment adapting to your needs
In an installation, you have to monitor a wide range of variables, so it is important to have versatile equipment, configurable and adaptable to your needs. It is not just about consumption and generation; you can have a global and detailed vision of the installation to ensure that the performance is as expected. To prevent errors or stoppages due to unforeseen maintenance, it is important to be focused on other values that will indicate the health of each element of the installation and when you should check it, do preventive maintenance or replace it. By operating in advance, you ensure that the overall and individual performance of the installation is always at its best.
Forecast is the key
The configuration of alerts, alarms, reports, so that they are received via SMS, email, Whatsapp, etc., is fundamental for the installation itself to be self-managed as far as possible; thus, your intervention will be planned and without loss of time or resources.
In parallel, it is also important to monitor the state of the weather to see comparatively how it has affected the installation and the generation of energy. Although we know that meteorology is not an exact science, climate monitoring will help you project what production you can expect according to medium and long term forecasts.
Advantages of monitoring in photovoltaic plants
If you take into account everything we have exposed so far, you know that monitoring your solar installation will allow you:
To know at all times the current situation of the installation.
Decrease the time of return of the investment thanks to preventive actions.
Increase the life span of your devices.
Increase the viability and reliability of the system.
So if your goals are:
to know the solar energy produced,
improve the management and maintenance of your system,
improve the efficiency and availability of facilities and
reduce maintenance costs,