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Remote string monitoring enables the operator of a commercial or utility scale Solar PV power plant to know immediately if an individual PV string is underperforming or needs maintenance, and can potentially save hundreds to thousands of dollars in Operations and Maintenance (O&M) costs, Service Costs, or kWh of plant production. The TEAL PVobserver™ is an optional embedded unit in the TEALsolar™ Configurable Combiner Box, which is typically installed between the Solar PV modules and the grid-tied Solar PV inverter, and is designed to monitor the current of each PV module string as well as the string voltage, and communicate the processed data to the internet via standard communications protocols and connections. The TEAL PVobserver™ is also SunSpec Compliant, and communicates easily with other SunSpec Compliant PV monitoring systems.
The initial product offering of the flexible PVobserver™ string monitoring and communication platform will consist of individual string current monitoring, combined DC bus voltage monitoring, a microprocessor based PVobserver™ control module for communications and power calculations, and a symbiotic power supply. The symbiotic power supply in the PVobserver™ will be powered from the DC bus that it is monitoring, consuming typically less than 10W, or much less than 0.1% of the DC power flowing through the combiner box. The initial communications platform will use the DC output wires to transmit the data using the Echelon LonWorks protocols, which will be converted into SunSpec Alliance compatible Modbus over TCP-IP to your web connection. No extra wires will be needed for either the power supply input or the data communication output. Additional future wireless communication options will be available, as well as separately fed 120VAC power supply input as an option.