What fun is a new solar co-generation facility if you do not know what your are producing. The Sunpower system come with a few bell and whistles in the monitoring area.
The first monitoring device is a small glass display panel that shows what the system is producing. It displays daily and life time production.
Then there is the website that Sunpower monitors hour by hour solar panel production. Pretty cool to see what your system is doing at different times through the day. The information is presented in a very elegant and simple manner. Very easy to grasp the concept. Its is so simple that you do not realize the wealth of information.
But there was a problem in paradise. How can I manage my electrical usage only seeing what I’m producing? Well Sunpower has a solution. They can add a device to your incomong electrical street service and add consumption to your monitoring system.
So now I get both production and usage hour by hour. You would be surprised how aware this make you of what and when you are using electricity. Now that I get the full picture I can start managing usage much more effectively and know if I we are using more then was produced or producing more then we were usinging.
Some of the additional cool stuff the website also captures is historical data. You can quickly look at the graph that runs along the bottom of the page or you can look at monthly and yearly production vs usage.
You can also go back in time and look and any given day and see all the details of production vs usage. Very nice for comparisons when you are trying different techniques of managing usage.
But the best and coolest monitoring is available using an iPhone application. On the iPhone you get the current day production vs usage, plus monthly and yearly history. The big ting missing on the iPhone is the ability to go back and look at previous days.