IOT

SOLAR IOT

In the world Solar is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy source, with an average of 40 percent increasing in demand with respect to demand in power. Many energy companies are intensifying to offer solar, which is amongst the most energy-efficient and lucrative sources of renewable electricity on the market.

Today, solar energy companies have more variants than ever before to make most out of their equipment in terms of energy harvesting. Gathering the information of power obtained from solar panel using an IoT can resolve common challenges associated with complex energy grids and make it far easier to manage panels and energy output. For customer’s by installing an IoT system will meet the demand and also increase the overall efficiency of the system.

Asset Supervision may be a Challenge

While it has many benefits, solar power may be a challenge for energy companies once it comes to management. To start, you need to fix solar panels to the utility grid. You also need to confirm that your cellular modules, gateways and web platforms are all incorporated properly, without disruptions in connectivity. Assuming that your system is fully incorporated, you still want this equipment and software to tell you in real-time whether your solar station is supplying sufficient energy levels and sustaining load balance on the grid. Any renewable energy source, such as solar, wind, or biomass, experiences unstable energy generation with respect to changes in the weather condition and also by other environmental factors. The power grid will need to adapt with respect to these changes, so that it can ensure that you’re maximizing your grid usage for its full potential and also load at all times.

These factors are complicated by the fact that renewable energy plants, such as solar and wind, tend to be clustered and widely distributed. When an energy system becomes too complex, it could cause logistical terrible for technicians and additional grid managers. For example, making sure that each panel is running efficiently becomes tougher as adding more panels to the mix. What’s more, if having thousands of panels in a grid, there is a higher potential for susceptibilities in the system. Mostly, the more complex the system is and the more devices is placed in the grid, the more likely to have holes in the system’s security. It is recommended to choose an end-to-end system to minimize security risks and simplify the system.

WHAT is an IoT (Internet of Things) Platform?

 

solar iot

 

The internet of things is a simple architecture that is used to communicate between different sensors, chips and tags in consumer devices, heavy machines, remote assets and vehicles, that creates an internet-enabled connection and transmit data to the provider which the user can access remotely. A accurate end-to-end IoT Platform is a software context that is used to remotely connect all ‘things’, manage devices, collect data from different sensor, allows action management, analytics or imagining and that integrates with cloud services.

The IoT can assist in the integration of communications, control, and information processing across various transportation systems. Application of the IoT extends to all aspects of transportation systems (i.e. the vehicle, the infrastructure, and the driver or user). Dynamic interaction between these components of a transport system enables inter and intra vehicular communication, smart traffic control, smart parking, electronic toll collection systems, logistic and fleet management, vehicle control, and safety and road assistance.

Simple, Integrated Systems Are the Future of IoT in Solar Energy

While some challenges do occur, they do not need to be enervating for solar companies. By using IoT in solar energy, many issues can be solved with little effort and investment. The key to success is to install a simple, fully-integrated system which allows managing the entire grid. This also gives the ability to identify and fix problems in near real time.

The main benefit of using IoT in solar energy is that you can see exactly what’s happening with all the assets from one central control panel. By connecting the devices to a cloud network, you can identify where the problem originated and dispatch a technician to fix it before it disrupts your entire system. For instance, we may see that the network is running perfectly, but there is a problem with one of the devices. Without the IoT, it would be more difficult to determine whether the problem was network-related or hardware-related. The IoT provides the intelligence for you to identify issues in real time, as the error occurs so the source can be located and resolved quickly.

Using the IoT, your system will be less vulnerable to outages and productivity issues (resulting from downtime) and potentially costly security breaches. By installing a simple, end-to-end solution using IoT, you can manage the largest solar grids in the world, even with thousands of individual devices connected to your network.

The IoT and Smart Metering Innovations In Solar Grid

 

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In addition to providing companies with real-time monitoring of data, leveraging IoT in solar energy that has lead to development in smart metering. This has made the energy production more efficient both in terms of cost and as well as in logistics.

On the hardware side, companies can install OEM equipment to their grid, along with metering mechanisms that will track any data that the company needs to allow new services. With an integrated system, that can also seamlessly toggle back and forth between your OEM and metering equipment.

On the network side, using cellular connectivity in a solar energy array allows you to accommodate 2G, LPWA, and additional LTE networks for quicker, more trustworthy connections with low power requirements.

When it comes to grid, the smart metering will improve the system’s efficiency in a number of ways. There is a provision for choosing the place for the module in a grid asset in front of the solar inverter for maximum efficiency. You can also offer a link gateway product with help from your smart metering equipment. In general, any one of these connectivity solutions can be adapted to suit your needs and the demands of your industry.

Ready-to-Connect is the Perfect Solution

Every solar company should focus on simplifying the development of their connected products. This makes it far easier to focus on what’s important — producing electricity in the most efficient way possible, without spending years creating an integrated proof system to handle the equipment and data. That’s where Ready-to-Connect solutions come in. The Ready-to-Connect system is easy to install, deploy and provision, and it offers companies full visibility through Internet of Things platform. By using this integrated system, you ensure that your network, web platform, and devices are completely in sync with one another and easy to manage from just one cloud application.

Our end-to-end system also simplifies operations management and provides enhanced security, with fewer areas of vulnerability compared to systems that are built using hardware and software that aren’t fully integrated from the start. Ready-to-Connect integrates the SIM and module, eliminating the need for a physical plastic SIM. This will reduce the time to design and certify the solution and will increase connection reliability. From the start, your system will have a unique identity and secret key.

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Power Conversion

Basic Power conversion process

A power converter is an electrical or electro-mechanical device used for the purpose of converting electrical energy. This could be as simple as a transformer action to change the voltage of AC power, but also includes far more complex systems.

Power is the major backbone of any kind of electronic system and the power supply is what feeds the system. Choosing the right supply can be the critical difference between a device working at optimum levels and one that may deliver inconsistent results.

The primary task of power electronics is to process and control the flow of electric energy by supplying voltages and currents in a form that is optimally suited for user loads. Modern power electronic converters are involved in a very broad spectrum of applications like Switched Mode Power Supplies (SMPS), active power filters, electrical machine motion control, renewable energy conversion systems distributed power generation, flexible AC transmission systems, and vehicular technology, etc.

Power electronic converters can be found wherever there is a need to modify the electrical energy form with classical electronics in which electrical currents and voltage are used to carry information, whereas with power electronics, they carry power. Some examples of uses for power electronic systems are DC/DC converters used in many mobile devices, such as cell phones or PDAs, and AC/DC converters in computers and televisions. Large scale power electronics are used to control hundreds of megawatt of power flow across nation.

Types of power conversion

     DC to DC

  • Linear regulator
  • Voltage regulator
  • Motor–generator
  • Rotary converter
  • Switched-mode power supply

     DC to AC

  • Power inverter
  • Motor–generator
  • Rotary converter
  • Switched-mode power supply

AC Power Conversion

     AC to DC

  • Mains power supply unit (PUS)
  • Motor–generator
  • Rotary converter
  • Switched-mode power supply

    AC to AC

  • Transformer or auto transformer
  • Voltage converter
  • Voltage regulator
  • Cycloconverter
  • Variable-frequency transformer
  • Motor–generator
  • Rotary converter
  • Switched-mode power supply

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power conversion

Renewable energy usage in power conversion

Renewable energy is the energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replaced on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy frequently provides energy in four important areas: electricity generation, air and water heating/cooling, transportation, and rural (off-grid) energy services.

Solar energy conversion describes technologies ardent to the transformation of solar energy to other (useful) forms of energy, including electricity, fuel, and heat. It covers light-harvesting technologies including traditional semiconductor photovoltaic devices (PVs), emerging photo voltaics, solar fuel generation via electrolysis, artificial photosynthesis, and related forms of photo catalysis directed at the generation of energy rich molecules.

Solar grid-tie inverters are designed to rapidly disconnect from the grid if the utility grid goes down. This is an NEC requirement that certifies that in the event of a blackout, the grid tie inverter will shut down to avoid the energy it produces from harming any line workers who are sent to fix the power grid.

Grid-tie inverters that are available on the market today use a number of different technologies. The inverters may use the newer high-frequency transformers, conventional low-frequency transformers, or no transformer. Instead of converting direct current directly to 120 or 240 volts AC, high-frequency transformers employ a computerized multi-step process that involves converting the power to high-frequency AC and then back to DC and then to the final AC output voltage.

Solar inverters may be classified into three broad types:

1. Stand-alone inverters, used in isolated systems where the inverter draws its DC energy from batteries charged by photovoltaic arrays. Many stand-alone inverters also integrate integral battery chargers to replenish the battery from an AC source, when available. Normally these do not interface in any way with the utility grid, and as such, are not required to have anti-islanding protection.

2.Grid-tie inverters, which match phase with a utility-supplied sine wave. Grid-tie inverters are designed to shut down automatically upon loss of utility supply, for safety reasons. They do not provide backup power during utility outages.

3.Battery backup inverters are special inverters which areintended to draw energy from a battery, manage the battery charge via an onboard charger, and export excess energy to the utility grid. These inverters are capable of supplying AC energy to selected loads during a utility outage, and are required to have anti-islanding protection.

powerconv

Advancement of Artificial Intelligence in power conversion

The combination of artificial intelligence and renewable energy seems to be the perfect match of an emerging technology with a maturing industry. Until starting mining asteroids or producing cheap, limitless nuclear fusion energy, it is needed to find ways to conserve resources and make renewable energy systems cheaper and more efficient to manufacture, install and operate. The development of AI-powered solutions for every facet of the renewable’s energy supply chain won’t just make it cheaper to power things like smart security systems.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) concept contains machines learning and acting on data sets without human programming or intervention. With the help of Machine Learning Algorithms, it does prophetic maintenance and energy forecasting. It also ensures extreme yield out of photo voltaic system.

Hybrid Inverters

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Hybrid power system

A solar inverter or PV inverter is a type of electrical converter which converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) that could be fed into a commercial electrical grid or used by a local, off-grid electrical network. It is a critical balance of system (BOS)–component in a photovoltaic system, letting the use of ordinary AC-powered equipment. Solar power inverters have special functions revised for use with photovoltaic arrays, including maximum power point tracking and anti-islanding protection.

An intelligent hybrid inverter or smart grid inverter is a trending generation of inverter for solar applications which uses renewable energy for home consumption, specifically for solar photovoltaic installations. Some see this as a new technology, however in some parts of the world the application of such products has been around since the 1990s. Electricity from solar panels is generated only during the day, with peak generation around midday. Generation fluctuates and might not be synchronized with a load’s electricity consumption. To overcome this gap between what is produced and what is consumed during the evening, when there is no solar electricity production, it is required to store energy for later use and manage energy storage and consumption with an intelligent hybrid (smart grid) inverter. With the development of systems that contain renewable energy sources and rising electricity prices, private companies and research laboratories have developed smart inverters for synchronizing energy production and consumption.

Advanced Hybrid invertors are available which uses artificial intelligence based system which collectively collects the data for period of time like power generated, power used for a particular amount of time.

The innovative electronic architecture of the hybrid inverter and its intelligent management of energy sources make it possible to optimize the life of a solar battery. Unlike the off grid systems that charge almost the entire solar electricity production in batteries before it’s available for use, hybrid invertor stores only the excess production and discharges only the power needed to complement the solar production.

Hybrid Inverters come in varying styles, ratings, functionalities and build qualities to suit different applications. Knowing the application is vital when selecting a Hybrid or Inverter. The technology is being developed from two directions.

Battery based off grid inverters are being further developed for on grid connection (also referred to a multi-mode inverter). Grid tie inverters are being further developed for diverting energy to and from batteries.

For More Information: https://thethingscloud.com/

GRID HYBRID INVERTERS

Demand of Inverters in Indian Market

Indian Inverter market is estimated to exceed $ 720 million by 2023.This predicted   growth in market could be ascribed to increase in power backup demand across   residential, commercial as well as industrial sectors. Furthermore, initiatives taken   by government to improve the electrification rate in India coupled with the  technological development is further expected to influence India inverter market in a  positive way. India inverter market has been segmented into several categories listed  below:

Market by means of type:  

 I.  Pure Sine Wave
 II. Modified Sine Wave
 III. Square Wave

Market by means of application: 

 IV. Residential
 V. Commercial
 VI. Industrial

Market by means of Capacity: 

 VII. Up to 2 kVA
 VIII. 2-10 kVA
 IX. Above 10 kVA

Types of Inverters:

Application wise inverter can be of two types. They are online and offline inverters.An online inverter is always “on” and powering the load, constantly drawing off a charged battery bank and battery charger/dc power supply. The major benefit of this inverter is that if grid power fails, the inverter starts relying exclusively on battery bank to feed inverter. As the inverter has been powering load initially, no interlude is seen by the load. Even though this online setup is ideal for mission critical applications it is more expensive to run due to efficiency losses in conversion.

Offline inverter simply powers the load from the grid directly until any such grid failure is detected, and then it switches to inverter power quickly. As there are no inverter losses except grid failure, it is more efficient.

Solar Inverters:

A solar inverter is a common inverter but it consumes energy from the sun that is solar energy.This type of inverter aids in changing the Direct Current (DC) into Alternating Current (AC) by using solar power. DC is the power which flows in one direction in the circuit and helps in providing current when there is lack of electricity. Direct current is used for small appliances such as gadgets, iPod, MP3 players, etc. where there is power stored in the battery. In the case of AC is the power that supplies back and forth inside the circuit. Mostly, the AC power is used for household appliances.A solar inverter helps many devices that run on DC power to run on AC power so that the operator makes use of the AC power.

                     solar

Solar Inverter

Solar market is broadly classified into three segments globally as,
1. Solar Off-Grid

Solar Off grid inverters are primarily meant to be used with solar power systems (or any renewable energy) for a home or business totally disconnected from the electric utility company. They can also be used for providing emergency backup power when the electric company’s power fails.

solar-off-grid

Solar Off-Grid

solar off-grid-system

solar off-grid system

2. Solar tie/ grid tie

A grid-tie inverter is a power inverter which converts direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (AC) with an ability to harmonize to interface with a utility line and provides net metering ability.

Net metering system allows a solar power system owner to sell excess energy back to the utility. This profligately reduces or even eliminates electricity bill.

3. Solar Hybrid Grid-Feed: Grid Interactive Inverters

Grid-interactive systems are based on their grid-tied and off-grid equivalents.

As like the inverter in grid-tied systems, the grid interactive inverter can convert solar-generated DC power into AC power that is then fed directly to the grid.

solar-grid-feed

Solar Grid-Feed

Solar Grid-Interactive:

In a grid interactive environment, the inverter functions lot more.

 i) the inverter keeps the battery fully charged so that it can take over during power outages.
  ii) when the grid goes down, which is when the inverter kicks in, the grid interactive inverter effortlessly converts DC power into AC power from the fully charged battery while still converting solar generated DC power and using that as well.

Solar Grid-Interactive

Challenges of Solar Inverter :  

 i) Solar inverter works efficiently and produces DC only when the daylight is strong enough.
 ii) Solar Inverters can work when there is no Sunshine but the battery which is available in that is charged fully with the help of Sunshine.
 iii) Since inverter failures have been accountable for almost 80 percent of all PV system downtime, increase in inverter reliability can intensely expand the overall reliability of a PV system. Enhanced reliability not only improves the return on investment for the PV project by avoiding lost energy production, it reduces the cost of repairs or replacement of failed inverters over the lifetime of the project.
 iv) Among these challenges are the need for improving PV system reliability, maximizing total energy harvest and resolving the unique problems allied with high-penetration of PV generation on the grid.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) concept involves machines learning and acting on data sets without human programming or intervention. With the help of Machine Learning Algorithms, it does prophetic maintenance and energy forecasting. It also ensures extreme yield out of photo voltaic system. Also cloud based remote monitoring helps to monitor and analyze the data by using mobile and web dashboard.

Inverters are the electronic heartbeat of a solar system, which connects solar arrays to the grid and accordingly, to battery storage. As some of the utilities continue to shift their rate structures in ways that often harm grid-tied residential solar customers, inverter manufacturers are working to make battery integration seamless.

Hybrid inverters are becoming more common across the manufacturing sector:

A battery-enabled inverter, or battery-based inverter, is something that can do a lot more than just sell back power to the grid”. “It can store power, it can work off-grid, it can store power for time-of-use (rate structures).”

Battery-enabled inverters vary from traditional inverters as when there is a grid outage, normal inverters must shut down completely, while hybrid inverters connected to batteries can simply switch to an off-grid mode temporarily and continue to power the home appliances.

Combining a hybrid inverter with even a small amount of battery backup from solar energy can allow homeowners to self-supply power, avoid demand charges and peak time-of-use rates and still get high value for solar systems despite shifting state policies.

Solar customers with hybrid inverters paired with batteries can choose to store power during the peak solar production times in the afternoon and consume that power in the evening, when electricity costs are highest.

Hybrid inverters paired with batteries can help in avoiding demand charges by storing solar energy during high solar production times, then be programmed to self-supply power from the battery instead of buying power from the grid once the house consumes a certain amount of energy.

Grid Hybrid Inverter in which makes the inverter function more effectively by generating power, consuming it in effective way and saves additional power to grid. Its overall functioning can be recorded by using smart metering and efficiency can be analyzed.

Advanced Hybrid inverters are available. It uses artificial intelligence based system which collectively collects the data for period of time like power generated, power used for a particular amount of time. Depending on the data recorded the artificial based system makes itself suitable for that particular place or environment making use of all the power generated by the solar panel. Our solar based inverters are available in the range of 1KW and 5KW.

What do we have?

IoT

Advanced Hybrid inverters are available.For solar photo voltaic power generation, the grid hybrid inverters brings a new dimension than a simple inverter that are being used currently, this is also a part of the attached devices family existing in the Internet of Things (IoT)!

Advanced Hybrid inverters are available.To ensure compliance with security and privacy requirements, IoT has advantage of these connected objects to provide services for solar power generation.

The grid hybrid inverters is connected to the web and has the ability to communicate with other objects to collect the data from solar cell like how much power generated at what time, the load power consumption at different time intervals, and charge and discharge cycle of the battery.

Smart Inverter

The hybrid smart inverter can be configured for various configurations depending on type, i.e., system with batteries or system without batteries and also it adapts itself according to the environment in real time. The smart inverter has inbuilt artificial intelligence that acts as neurons for the solar systems. It is smart power generating manager which adapts itself depending upon the requirement at that place considering the data which are readily available like the charge and discharge cycle of the battery, load power consumption, type of environment and much more parameters.

The innovative electronic architecture of the hybrid inverter and its intelligent management of energy sources make it possible to optimize the life of a solar battery. Unlike the off grid systems that charge almost the entire solar electricity production in batteries before it’s available for use, hybrid inverter stores only the excess production and discharges only the power needed to complement the solar production.

The hybrid inverters for solar self-consumption are the heart of any installation dedicated to photovoltaic self-production with batteries. With artificial intelligence, the solutions are true energy managers that adapt to their environment. This is much more than just a solar inverter!

Choosing a hybrid inverter for solar self-consumption today is heading for the future and also having an assurance period of over 5 years.

For More Informations: https://thethingscloud.com/

Grid Synchronization and it’s unique Challenges in India

What is Grid Synchronization?

Synchronization is the process of matching the voltage and frequency of a generator or other source to a running network. An AC generator cannot deliver power to an electrical grid unless it is running at the same frequency as the network. If two segments of a grid are disconnected, they cannot exchange AC power again until they are brought back into exact synchronization.

A direct current (DC) generator can be connected to a power network by adjusting its open-circuit terminal voltage to match the network voltage, by either adjusting its speed or its field excitation. The exact engine speed is not critical. However, an AC generator must match both the amplitude and the timing of the network voltage, which requires both speed and excitation to be systematically controlled for synchronization.

In modern grids, synchronization of generators is carried out by automatic systems.

 

Problems in India?

In India, the need for a good grid synchronization is even more than countries like the US because of the following reasons –

  1. Varying voltage – The voltage in India is one of the most unstable in the world which is ranging from 110V to 270V. This variance adversely affects the inverter and can cause damage to its internal components.
  2. Frequency – Frequency variance(40-60Hz) is as extreme as voltage variance and can also affect the inverter performance adversely.
  3. Power Cuts  – In India the power cut problems are not new. The power cuts can vary from 2 to many times a day depending upon the area one is living and can again hinder the performance of the inverter.

 

Why is Grid Synchronization necessary is necessary and which scheme to choose?

Now, this is where Grid synchronization come into the picture. The purpose of synchronization is to monitor, access, enable, and automatically take the control action to prevent the abnormalities of voltage and frequency by the minimization of difference in voltage, frequency, and phase angle between the corresponding phases of the generator output and grid supply.

India has unstable grid. It keeps varying in different regions and states of India. The voltage varies from 110 to 270V(already stated),  because of that grid feed is affected by unstable voltage which directly affects the inverters.

A good synchronization scheme must:

  1. Proficiently detect the phase angle of the utility signal
  2. Track the phase and frequency variations smoothly
  3. Forcefully reject disturbances and harmonics.

These factors, together with the implementation simplicity and the cost are all important when examining the credibility of a synchronization scheme.

 

Six Reasons why Remote Monitoring Solution is essential for your roof top Solar Installations!

In the era of fast development, we are consuming a lot of energy in our homes. With the advent of Roof-top Solar Installations, now everyone has access to the generation of electricity. As the popular saying goes, what can be measured, can be managed. Homeowners often tend to ignore the importance of remote monitoring system when they Opt-in for Solar Installations. Monitoring is empowerment. This empowerment in electricity generation is known as Remote Monitoring System or RMS in short. So let us dive deep and see how we can utilize this power –

1) Tracking power system – Remote Monitoring System regularly monitors, collects and transmits the whole data related to the power produced by the Solar PV System. It displays the key performance data such as each system/equipment performance, each parameter like solar panel voltage(input voltage), solar panel current(input current), grid voltage(output voltage), grid current(output current).

2) Maintenance and Servicing – RMS gives you the power to have less to nill downtime. Downtime “refers to a period of time that a system fails to provide or perform its primary function”. What RMS does is predicts when your power system can break or have some malfunctioning or just start underperforming. It gives you a warning so that you can accordingly call the service department. The best part is that RMS is also available at remote locations that will let your system provider know when there is going to be a problem and they will call you for servicing. That right there is peace of mind guaranteed so you don’t have to worry about the breakdown, ever!

3) Predictive Forecasting – RMS lets you see how much energy will be produced in near future like in two days or a week. You can see the forecasting each and every day and can plan your usage accordingly.

4) Report Generation –  Remote Monitoring System can generate various types of mission-critical reports. You can even make customizable reports as you see fit. You can also make it from comprehensible to complicated with a lot of parameters in place.

5) Integrating Sensors – RMS can easily integrate external sensors such as a pyrometer, temperature sensors etc which helps you to analyze the performance of various different components. A must for any techie lover or anyone who wants to have deep down analysis.

6) Controlling the system remotely – Probably one of the best features of a Remote Monitoring system is that you can control the whole power system of your house or workplace just through an app. Through this app, you can switch ON or OFF any equipment remotely! Adding on, you can also be notified if you are using more than your average power consumption. Not only this but you can also get notifications on your mobile if any equipment is not performing according to the standards.

Why ThingsWiFi is the best choice for Remote Monitoring System

ThingsWiFi is a WiFi-based RMS system for Solar Grid Inverters and Solar Grid Interactive or Hybrid Inverters. It will keep on updating each pulse of your solar system promptly. Also, it helps you with the predictive maintenance of your system and the forecasting of the generation. It is a smart monitoring system that will provide you with –                                   

1) WiFi-based communication – Generally normal RMS use sim based communication that costs you an extra charge every month. But Things WiFi lets you use your home or office wifi for all the communications between you and the system, saving you from the extra bill and giving you a smooth service.

2) Integrate external sensors – With Things WiFi, you can easily integrate any and all sensors External Sensors are pyranometer, temperature sensors, wind meter, battery management systems etc and get all their reports and analysis.

3) Multi inverter compatibility – You will be able to integrate any type of inverter with ThingsWifi such as ThingsHifi, Delta, SMA, ABB etc. This gives you the power to choose over time any inverter that you like, without changing the whole system.

4) Dashboard availability – You don’t need to worry to get an extra device or a new operating system to see the dashboard of Things WiFi. Be it Web or mobile, Android or IOS, you can easily access the dashboard from the device you are already having.

Things WiFi makes it easy for you so that you can monitor different inverters connected to your system from a single platform. It allows you to connect and monitor up to 28 inverters at a time!

5) Analyzing Data – Analysing data becomes just so easy and fun with ThingsWiFi. Things WiFi gives you the complete freedom to choose different types of graphs with respect to different sensors, style, comprehensibility etc. 

Fig: Web Dash Board

Fig: Mobile Dash Board

7 Things to ensure before buying a solar inverter

So you have already decided to opt for the clean solar power system at your home or office. But before implementing the solar installation make sure that that you are going for the right solar inverter which is considered to be the heart of your solar power system. It is said so because a solar panel can convert the direct current into alternating current only with the help of an inverter. Not only this but a solar inverter reduces the user’s overall electricity consumption and the money spent on paying the monthly utility bill. So keeping up in mind its immense importance, we have aligned some important aspects to look for in a solar inverter.

 

1) Calculate your power requirements

Before buying a solar inverter you should know what are your power requirements. When there is a power cut determine what are the equipments that are necessary for you at such time. Then look for the power ratings of these equipments. For eg: you would want to use three ceiling fans(90W each), three tubelights(30W each), one CFL(15W), one laptop(70W) and one desktop(120W). Then your power requirement will be the sum of the watts of all the equipments i.e 565 W.

 

2) Determine VA rating of the inverter

Often VA rating and Watt rating are confused to be the same but they are actually not. Watt is the power drawn or supplied by an equipment. VA is the apparent power which is obtained by multiplying the Voltage and Current supplied by an equipment. The relation between VA and Watt is as follows –  Power rating of the inverter (VA) = Total power requirement (Watt)/Power Factor (PF) of the inverter.

Check the PF of the inverter, generally, it lies between 0.6 to 0.8.

So applying the above, you would need an inverter whose VA rating lies between 706 VA to 940 VA (Approx).

If the amount of VA rating is less than your power requirement then your inverter will get tripped because of overload and nobody wants that to happen at their hour of need.

 

3) Check the certifications of the inverter

Certifications ensure that your solar inverter is not only safe but also at par with the standards set by the leading solar power generating organizations. There are some standards that are mandatory to have in the solar inverter while other standards are used to verify the various power ratings as promised by the manufacturer. All in all make sure your inverter is certified for the respective standards. Typically Solar Inverters should comply to several of the IEC standards and a few required certifications are stated here.

  • IEC 62116- Anti-islanding
  • IEC 62109- Safety
  • IEC 61683- Efficiency
  • IEC 60068- Environmental
  • EN 61000- EMC
  • IEC 60529- Ingress Protection

 

4) Servicing and maintenance 

Generally, the lifespan of a good solar inverter is in many years, even when it is subjected to very harsh conditions. But to make sure that the inverter is working with its full efficiency, yearly servicing is required. This includes qualified technicians to check the proper connections between the cables and the removal of the worn out parts of the inverter.

Make sure that the company is always available for you when the time comes and always show support.

 

5) Support during Voltage variation  

There are times when there are sudden variations in voltage such as low grid voltage. So at those times, it is important for the inverter to maintain giving continuous power supply to the household/workplace. For a good solar inverter, the voltage variation support should range from 120V to 280V.

 

6) Load Surge Capacity

Most equipments like AC, washing machine and pumps need inrush currents that can range from 3 to 10 times their steady-state currents. For eg – A 1KVA inverter with 3x surge rating can smoothly handle an AC or a washing machine than a 2KVA inverter with 1x surge rating. So it is very important for the solar inverter to have the surge capacity to handle such kind of sudden loads that is necessary for starting above stated electrical equipments.

 

7) Protections

Apart from all the above features that a solar inverter must have, you should always go for the one that has protections like – short circuit protection, battery protection, IP protection(for eg- If you are placing your inverter outside, please make sure you have at least IP 54 rating,though IP65 is the best option) and earth leakage protection. With these savior features put all your worries to rest and enjoy the clean solar power energy at your home.

 

ThingsCloud Remote Monitoring Solutions

ThingsWiFi- A  Iot based  remote monitoring system for ThingsHiFi (Made in India Grid Tied Inverter from Things Cloud) as well as third party inverters.

It helps to track the details on the performance of the entire solar system. It enables regular monitoring, collection and transmission of production data of photo voltaic systems. It displays key performance data including Energy generated (both current & cumulative data) & Energy fed to the Grid etc.

ThingsWiFi also allows to access data through your smart devices (Android or iOS) at any point of time and anywhere. It is one of the platform where the integrator can review all PV plants at the same time and ensure all are working in good shape. It also give insights on scheduling of O&M.

It also can be used to remotely monitor any device which works in Modbus protocol. It is been used by many energy management companies.

Attached images of Things Wifi which is connected with Delta Grid Tied inverter and screen shots of Mobile applications.

Solar Inverters

As we all know solar energy is one of the key answers to our energy problems. But technology to harness this energy is fragmented, with no single solution to address all the issues. Existing Solar Inverter technologies force the user to make a choice of whether to invest in an off grid or on grid solution.

On Grid solutions are impractical where power outages & fluctuations are more, like in remote villages and many tier 2 cities. Power outages & fluctuations during the day time cause wasting solar energy, which can be neither used locally nor fed back to the grid. Besides the wastage, grid feed solutions cannot provide 24 hour power backup and users will have to invest in additional backup infrastructure. An Off grid solution involves heavy investment in batteries and maintenance of the same.

Here we are analyzing these inverters below

Off Grid Systems

                                                                             Courtesy: Whole sale Solar

Off grid connected solar is a solar electricity system with battery backup. During the day, the batteries get charged as well supplies to the load. During the absence of sun ie evening or rainy days, can utilize the stored power in the battery. As it is off the utility grid its called Off grid system. It is also known as standalone systems.

Now days off grid systems are connected to grid to ensure there is no black out. In the absence of solar & battery backup, it makes sure that the loads are working either in bypass mode or battery which is being charged from the grid.

While designing the system, have to make sure the connected load should be equivalent to the capacity of the inverter and have enough surge handling capability if there is an inductive load.

Merits:

  • Standalone independent system (Can be used for remote places, forest & hill areas where utility grid reach is not possible)
  • Back up

Demerits:

  • Recurring cost of batteries (based on the life of batteries it may vary. Improper charging of batteries may cause recurring cost even worse. Lithium Ion batteries are with longer life, but the cost is too high as they are in the initial stages)
  • More losses
  • High System Cost

Grid Tied Solar System

                                                                          Courtesy: Whole sale Solar

 Grid tied or grid connected solar is a solar electricity system without batteries. During the day time, the generated power will be feed to the utility grid, if the grid is available. These inverters take grid voltage as reference voltage and fed to the grid.

 In the absence of grid, it will not feed to the grid, even though solar is available

Merits:

  • No recurring cost
  • Fastest ROI
  • Highly efficient

Demerits:

  • No back up
  • It will not generate power, if there is a high fluctuations in the grid
  • It will not generate power, if the grid is not available

Why Hybrid system?

As we seen above, there are merits and demerits in both the systems. If we have a system with the merits of both systems would be the answer for hybrid system. Hybrid system is nothing but grid tied system with battery bank.

During the day time it will charge the battery as well as supply to the load. If there is excess energy is generating, will feed back to the grid.

                                                                          Courtesy: Whole sale Solar

 Why ThingsCloud?

 We are building the next generation of clean, connected, controllable inverter that can work round the clock, irrespective of the state of local grid. Also it can learn our usage patterns and store only as much we required to serve the load, the balance will be sold back to the grid. And what we need is actual 24 hour access to energy. We believe, it can actually make a difference and accelerate adoption of solar solutions among the masses.

Our patented technology gives users the freedom from having to choose between an on grid or off grid solution. With our grid interactive solution, users can generate, consume, store or sell the solar energy. In addition, our machine learning algorithms, coupled with mobile app which can control, monitor, and improve your power consumption, generation and storage patterns. Learning of energy requirement patterns can improve the life of battery by controlling the charge-discharge cycles.

The “Things HiFi” inverter from Things Cloud does all of this and more. “Things HiFi” sends all energy generation and consumption parameters to the cloud, where algorithms are run to ensure every system runs at peak efficiency. Our mobile app keeps the user up to date and gives him regular tips on how he can improve energy efficiency. We can push improved control system algorithms to the inverter from the cloud. It is an always on, always learning solution.