Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Monitoring Your Solar Power Inverter's Output

Most Aussie householders wanting to know more about the output from their solar power system, usually install a SOLAR POWER MONITORING SYSTEM.  

This is a proven 'fool proof' way to know more about generated power, imported / exported power and finally total power consumption. 

Knowing all of these facts easily allows anyone to maximise solar power usage and increase electricity cost savings. 

Up to now most Aussie homes have had little feedback from their solar power inverter and in many cases are 100% unaware of any issue. In really unlucky cases, a total solar power outage may have occurred. In others a degrading over time of solar power output. So how have these householders found out about issues?


  • When checking the solar inverter
  • When checking the electricity bill


And guess what you and many of these householders, do not check frequently enough! 

Many householders simply complain there is no time. No time to check the inverter once a week, no time to spend five minutes checking the electricity bill once in three months? We would disagree! 

So this is where a solar power monitoring solution can really help you out. Saving you the time and importantly money off your electricity costs!

The Solar Power Monitoring System supplys that missing feedback. Where you now have data and awareness to know instantly everything about :


  • Generated power
  • Imported power
  • Exported power
  • Total consumption


These are the four main missing elements for many householders. Now imagine if you knew all of the above in real-time and had the ability to be alerted via email for example. 

Knowing what is happening above your roof and below it, has just got a lot easier! Forget the three month electricity bill delay or six! Ouch!

Imagine three months or six of lost generated solar power. Now depending on your metering connection, that literally could be hundreds of dollars off your solar power investment.

Imagine also how you could further maximise your solar power investment if you had all of the above data. You could easily :


  • Maximise the use of generated solar power
  • Reduce imported power
  • Reduce exported power when there is little financial return
  • Reduce electricity costs overall


So when it comes to installing a Solar Power Monitoring Solution, keeping an eye on everything 24/7 from anywhere, it really is painless, easy and affordable.


OK so since we have got your attention, on why monitoring your solar and consumption power is such a good move forwards for your home, let us have a quick look at what amount of power you should be seeing from your inverter and what can reduce this power output.

In this example we will talk about a 3 kW Solar Power System.

Would you expect to see close to 3 kW on your inverter's display? If you are thinking a big yes here, then you are joining a lot of Australians with a common misunderstanding. A common misunderstanding on the output of their Solar PV System.

When you chose the Solar Power System for your home, the sizing in kilowatts relates to the DC power upon the roof. This is the DC power from the solar panel array, not the available AC power for use under the roof. And this is where the confusion is for many householders.

Now we would say this misconception is there, because the output of your solar system was not fully explained to you, during the sale of the system. Or you may have forgotten, about such discussion on the possible losses of a solar pv system.

You should be aware of the averaged daily output for your Solar PV system. If not you may wish to visit this page AVERAGED DAILY SOLAR PV OUTPUT on our website.

The averaged daily output for any solar power system, takes into account all of the system's losses. Losses that occur in creating the usable AC power, for use underneath your roof by your appliances.

In layman's terms, this means your 3 kW above the roof will not generate 3000 watts of AC power, for use under the roof by your appliances!

So what are these losses? Well your Solar Power system will have losses due to,



  • Shading
  • Location
  • Roof orientation
  • Roof angles
  • Seasonal changes
  • Panel and inverter efficiencies

In total any Solar PV system could lose around 20%. So expect to see around 2400 watts of usable AC power from that 3000 watt Solar Power system.

In Australia the Clean Energy Council's Guide To Solar PV Installations, takes into account all of the possible Solar PV system losses. Before forecasting averaged daily output for all areas of Australia.

Now what you need to remember here, is in some cases you may be getting less power than you thought you were. If you were sold the system, knowing the averaged daily output, then everything is OK.

Do not worry, as your 3 kW solar system should still be averaging at least 11.7 kilowatts per day output, if all is in good order.

And 11.7 kilowatts of generated solar power, could be worth around $1280 to you, if you use it all. This is based on electricity being offset, at a tariff rate of 30 cents per kilowatt.

So when you install your SOLAR POWER MONITORING SOLUTION to keep an eye on your inverter's output, import / export power and total consumption, expect to see a little less power. Around anywhere up to 20%!


To learn more about the monitoring and analysis of your electricity usage and solar pv system's output, visit our CHOOSING YOUR ELECTRICITY MONITOR page, where we make the task of getting your data online, very easy.

Oct 2016 : We have edited this post to update it to reflect changes in energy monitoring. See this blog post where we discuss a great SOLAR PV MONITORING ANDROID APP suitable for all net metering environments. Instant awareness of generation, import / export and total consumption.

Sep 2017 : Net metering is not that financially favorable when only 6 or 8 cents is paid for exported power. So why not divert that same power to appliances in the home? Importantly on auto-pilot. See our SMART SOLAR POWER dashboard for all the information.

This blog post brought to you by Aussie Home Energy, a major player in the HOME ELECTRICITY REDUCTION SERVICE industry in Australia.

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