Remote Monitoring a Solar Power System with Outback Power’s OpticsRE

Outback Power has created a nice tool for remotely monitoring and configuring your solar power system from any Internet connected PC, tablet, or smartphone. OpticsRE allows you to log in to your system to view real time data, as well as historical data, alarms, alerts, and settings.

To get your system online, you need a Mate3 (not a Mate or Mate2) or an AXS Port. Either of these devices can be plugged into your ethernet hub, switch, or WiFi hotspot to connect to the Internet.

OutBack Power Mate3 and AXS port for OpticsREOpticsRE is particularly useful for installers who have multiple systems that they have maintenance contracts for. Email alerts can be sent to the installer, notifying them of any potential issues. A quick glance at the map screen shows color coded indicators of all of their systems, allowing them to quickly spot any issues that may need to be addressed. It allows them to be proactive instead of reactive.

Screenshot of OpticsRE in browserOnce logged into a system, you can see daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly information. With a user friendly view, it is easy to determine the health of the system, and monitor its performance. It shows how many watt hours the system generates, and if it is a grid tie system, how many kWh you are selling back to the grid. It also keeps track of how often the generator runs when using Auto Gen Start capability. Looking at historical usage helps you determine if you have your system sized correctly, or if it makes financial sense to increase the number of solar panels in your solar array, battery bank, or just make sure you have enough generator fuel on hand for the upcoming season.

Screenshots of OpticsRE interfaceWith different login levels, it allows some users to be view only, and others to be able to configure the system, keeping curious users from causing problems. One of the convenient capabilities is being able to remotely start your generator, instead of having to drive hours to the remote location to manually start it. It also lets you tweak the configurations. Perhaps you want to increase the battery bank voltage before you sell power to the grid, or change the charging rates. Any changes to the system are logged, including the user name, for accountability.

A very helpful feature allows you to send a message to Outback Power, with a screenshot of the screen you are looking at, giving you quick access to help when needed. With the screenshot, you are both literally on the same page, making communication easier. If needed, you can give the Support team the login info to allow them to log in if a higher level of help is needed.

For a video demo of the Outback Power OpticsRE, check out our video we did with Outback Power’s John Webber at:
http://www.altestore.com/video/video-Demo-of-Remote-Monitoring-with-Optics-RE-from-OutBack-Power-v37/

About Author

Amy Beaudet
Amy Beaudet has been in the solar industry at the altE Store since 2007. She’s been a sales rep, an instructor, and an all around solar evangelist, sharing her passion for solar around the world. When not at work, she’s either sailing or skiing, depending on the season, but odds are good she’s still talking about solar on the boat or on the slopes. See more of Amy Beaudet's blog posts.