How can the performance of a solar panel array be tracked?

1 Posts
Feb 2, 2009 12:47 pm
How can the performance of a solar panel array be tracked?

Does anyone have ideas on how to track solar panel performance over time?

One way to track performance is to record the actual energy produced (measured by a solar power systems production meter) along with the cumulative incident solar energy (measured by collecting solar irradiance data -- see for example the "Solar Data Logger" from Micro Circuit Labs).

Monitoring the ratio of the produced versus incident energy over time helps track system performance and can be used to indicate when adjustment or maintenance may be needed. For example due to dust or snow covering the panels; shading of part of the array; or a faulty electrical connection.

Please post a reply if you have any suggestions on other ways to monitor solar panel performance.

Jeff
 
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