Solar Production Tracking Software: The Features, Benefits, and Brands

Solar production tracking software can be an easy and stress-free way for people to keep tabs on panel performance. Users can monitor energy output, troubleshoot problems, and share production data with others through tracking software.

Installers usually provide tracking software for free. It often comes bundled with inverter hardware. When this isn’t the case, some installers offer software with more features for a fee.

For those looking to start tracking their solar production, there are a variety of options available on the market. Many options seamlessly integrate with smartphones, tablets and laptops. This piece will explore the features of the most popular solar production tracking software in 2017.

Enphase Energy’s Enphase Enlighten

Enphase Energy’s solar production tracking software, Enphase Enlighten, also called MyEnlighten, is a robust platform offered on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and through a web browser. The platform lets users look through a solar panel’s historical production on a daily, monthly, or hourly basis. This software is included for free when the installer or homeowner uses Enphase microinverters.

Enlighten offers troubleshooting tips for common issues. It also has social media sharing buttons built in (should you want to show off your awesome solar production!) The layout of the program is intuitive, and integrates charts, graphs, and colors for easy viewing.

The software also lets users check out modeled estimated performance data. The entire system is backed up on secure servers 24/7. Automated emails can be setup to alert users about system problems. Most tracking systems just monitor the inverter, but Enphase Enlighten gives deeper insight into performance.

Fronius’ Solar.web

Fronius’ solar production tracking software, Solar.web, lets consumers easily get an overview of solar panel system production. It presents data through visualizations and graphs and offers automatic notifications in case of problems. Along with a mobile and web-based portal, the company has an online tool to support the precise dimensioning of photovoltaic systems (Fronius Solar.Configurator).

Users have the ability to display information in public spaces through Fronius Solar.TV. The use of the Fronius.Solar.Web system requires a Fronius inverter and a ‘Datamanager function.’

In contrast, Enphase MyEnlighten can be set up and installed through the Enphase Installer Toolkit App. There’s no need for an inverter or other hardware to get it up and running at the start.

Besides the free Fronius.Solar.Web, Fronius.Solar.Web Premium offers additional features after purchase. The paid program can get self-consumption data ready for CSV export and provide permanent overviews of power consumption. Unlike Enphase Energy, Fronius does not have any hardware at the panel level, so consumers are not able to track the performance of individual panels.

SMA’s Sunny Portal

SMA’s solar production tracking software, Sunny Portal, is very similar to some of the other programs listed above. However, the entire program is only available for those in the European Union. It includes a free and paid version. The software offers up detailed analytics that are not seen in some of the other programs like wind speed, irradiation, and the resulting performance radio consideration.

In addition, the program has some advanced features that are not as readily accessible in other software. For example, homeowners can use the portal to control lights remotely to save energy.

New firmware is in development that will allow consumers to figure out when connected loads will run. This lets users know when to when to do certain power intensive tasks like charging an electric vehicle. Information reports and analytics are available in a variety of formats and can be sent by email.

ABB’s Aurora

ABB’s solar production tracking software, Aurora Vision Plant Management Platform, is a cloud-based system that can be accessed through a computer and via apps on the Google Play and Apple App Store. Like many of the other tracking systems, the platform lets consumers keep track of the energy output and other metrics for solar panels and get alerts about any problems.

The system is one of the better platforms if consumers are looking to share information because of several distribution tools built into the software. Diagnostic reports or monitoring data are easily able to be sent to installers and other people. Users can set up customized profiles to be shared and create reports about a system to be disseminated. There’s also a wide range of privacy settings on the platform to keep information safe and secure.

 

SolarEdge’s Monitoring Platform

SolarEdge’s solar production tracking software, SolarEdge Monitoring Platform, requires less physical equipment than other systems. No hardware or wires are needed to send data from power optimizers to inverters since all sensors are built in. Data is sent over normal power lines. However, the inverter and real time monitoring is only free for 25 years.

The software has pretty advanced integration with social media platforms to share real-time system performance. The company also has a demo account prospective customers can log into to explore around in before acquiring the system. It’s also well-equipped to play a part in presentations and seminars. The program comes with a special kiosk mode that lets performance data display well in large public spaces.

Similar to Enphase Energy, the platform lets consumers track individual panel level performance through the use of an optimizer attached to each panel.

 

SolarCity’s PowerGuide

SolarCity’s solar production tracking software, PowerGuide, is automatically activated when consumers turn a solar system on. It does not require any additional setup or configuration. The networking system technology associated with the PowerGuide is the same used to control many home automation devices.

SolarCity’s also collects data from systems that are in use to help their research.The company’s been looking into information about weather patterns to try and see if they can account for cloud cover in energy production.

Even though the PowerGuide can be used to keep track of real-time energy usage, the company says it is not necessarily designed to replace an app from a utility.

 

SunRun’s mySunRun

SunRun’s solar production tracking software, mySunRun, has very similar features and functionality to other programs. It can be found on desktop, the Apple Store, and Google Play. The software has a built in feature that lets consumers earn money through an ambassador program for getting other people to sign up.

The program’s dashboard lets consumers keep track of energy generation, learn about carbon savings, and measure the amount of sunlight per day. The program is aesthetically pleasing, but lacks some of the more advanced features that other solar power tracking softwares have.