Solar power installations are becoming increasingly popular as the world moves towards renewable energy sources.
However, traditional solar power systems are limited in their ability to manage energy, while the Internet of Things (IoT) can address the challenges of:
- Using several vendor specific dashboards to be able to monitor devices from different brands in one solar installation.
- Needing additional dashboards to monitor other key equipment in the facility.
- Giving away renewable energy for “free.”
- Automatically determining the best time to charge / discharge your batteries based on daily data.
In that sense, the benefits of having a smart solar installation are many and include:
- Shorter payback time and higher ROI (return on investment) by optimizing surplus energy choosing the best energy price.
- Utilizing surplus energy for other equipment in the facility to not give energy away.
- Increased energy independence.
- No vendor lock-in.
- Cost savings and higher revenues.
- Increased reliability, efficiency and less downtime thanks to remote monitoring.
“EVALAN is expert in the management and monitoring of solar energy systems with BACE, Build A Connection Everywhere, an IoT solution consisting of a gateway, a cloud PaaS and a user-friendly dashboard” states Emre Toparlar, Senior Product Manager at EVALAN.
EVALAN envisions 3 main use cases, out of which today’s article will discuss the first one:
Use case 1. Monitoring all devices
This use case is perfect for a business looking to monitor an entire solar installation, as well as other devices in the facility with a single IoT Platform.
Solar panels are not the only element to focus on when dealing with solar system energy generation. In addition to panels, solar power installations also typically include inverters, a battery management system and batteries.
The multiplicity of devices can present three challenges you need to overcome to monitor your entire solar installation:
- Vendor lock-in: You might be stuck using devices from the same vendor.
- Multiple dashboards: Not many dashboards support working with other brands and you may end up having to use multiple dashboards.
- Building a solution from scratch: You must build a number for IoT services from scratch to support and integrate all devices from different suppliers into one system.
With BACE, EVALAN helps you to overcome all of them!
BACE Plus includes:
- A multi-protocol IoT Gateway with built-in connectivity.
- A data pipeline that connects all devices in a solar power installation to the cloud to monitor them remotely and in real time.
As shown in the diagram, the solution collects all the desired data from each device and provides it as an API (Application Programming Interface) or Webhook to any application or database you want.
Since BACE Plus provides information in a consistent and neat way, it gives simplicity and flexibility to use the critical data in whichever way it is necessary, like catering to different stakeholders.
Furthermore, if there are other energy intensive assets in the facility such as pumps, motors or industrial fridges that you would like to monitor (even if they are not part of the solar system), you can simultaneously do so with EVALAN’s solution.
“This is highly valuable because, although some devices like inverters and EV Chargers in a facility come with an IoT connector, their functionality is limited to that one device or system, and they don’t interact with each other” adds Emre Toparlar.
The technology you need: BACE IoT
BACE Plus is best suited to connect your assets. This BACE module connects straight to your device via one of the several built-in protocols and creates reliable bi-directional communication between your device and the cloud application. The collected information from each device is provided to you as an API or Webhook to any application or database you want in a neat and consistent way so that it can be used however it is necessary to cater to different stakeholders.
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