Deciding Monitoring Options

Monitoring can be done on the system level or module level. String inverters, in which one or several inverters is mounted away from the array, can only be monitored on a system level. Micro-inverters can be monitored either on the system level or module level. Both systems tell you how much power you have generated and are accessible anywhere by internet. Most include some indication of how much CO2 production your system has avoided. Many systems will send you an alert when there is a problem, including the loss of grid power from the utility company.

SMA's Sunny Portal is a system level monitor for use with SMA brand string and micro inverters. Many SMA systems can be monitored from one Sunny Portal account – handy for monitoring several properties or complex installations that include several inverters. Thousands of installations throughout the world can be monitored publicly.

Sorapro can monitor any brand of either string or micro inverter on a system level.  It is different from other systems in that it connects at the circuit box rather than at the inverter. Sorapro integrates nicely with email and social media, sending you an email if it detects a problem, and posting your energy savings to your Facebook LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter account.

Enphase offers a monitor for its micro inverters at the module level. Because enphase systems are often a good choice where shading is present (one shaded module does not influence the production of the other modules), it is helpful to see output – the effect of shading – for each module.

Utah Applied Solar Energy, LLC  2015