Today, Locus Energy announced the release of a game-changing loss-estimation feature on the SolarNOC™ Platform, the Virtual Irradiance (VI) Performance Waterfall.
The Performance Waterfall is a tool that analyzes the power generation data from a solar meter to determine whether the panel(s) and inverter(s) behind the meter are working as expected. For systems that are not performing to expectations, it helps determine why discrepancies arise between measured and modeled performance of a system.
Leveraging VI as the source of irradiance data, the Performance Waterfall analyzes the differences between the modeled and measured data series to estimate underperformance due to clipping, snow cover, partial system downtime, soiling, shading, and degradation.
Using these loss estimates, operators and owners of solar assets can better understand the as-built performance of their assets. This information helps reduce unnecessary truck rolls, increase fleet productivity, and improve the feedback loop around design and quoting.
“We believe the level of performance transparency this technology provides for residential solar is unprecedented,” said Michael Herzig, CEO of Locus Energy. “Making this data available to our customers will allow them to reach new levels of efficiency and cost reduction.”
These new features build on years of Locus technology research around modeling sunlight and PV system performance, and leverage the massive data sets from Locus Energy’s 130,000 monitored sites, in order to generate reliable results across all geographies and weather conditions.
Seasonal and geographic patterns in soiling rates have widely been suspected to be major shortcomings of relative performance metrics when all sites in a certain geographic area are affected together. The analysis output provided by the Performance Waterfall confirms that those suspicions are very well-founded. For example, in the month of September, large areas around Los Angeles show up to 25 percent soiling losses spread fairly evenly across neighborhoods, which are losses that would go largely undetected with relative performance analyses.
“Since the model is based on Locus Energy’s VI engine, the Performance Waterfall avoids data collection issues such as sensor shading, soiling, calibration issues, or installation errors.” Shawn Kerrigan, CTO of Locus Energy explained. “The inferred modeling calibration also eliminates the need for meta-data and creates a true as-built estimation.”