Big solar monitoring questions answered at online show

Around 25% of all solar sites will be hit by a problem that affects production severely, and this could happen as often as every quarter.

The result is many farmers and businesses potentially losing thousands in a month.

“This was the big question asked to us at the recent Low Carbon Agriculture Online 2021,” said Simon Hopkins of HIT Energy Services.

“If a fault occurs in the DC supply, how long will it go unnoticed or be blamed on the weather? And also, how much will it cost the system owner?”

The event was aimed at discussing what part farmers, landowners and agricultural industry operators can play in helping the U.K. achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

It was a chance for us to chat to owners of the 130 sites across the U.K. and Ireland we currently look after, as well as illustrating how our unique solar monitoring platform can help everyone live greener lives.

Our engineers were the first to operate a 1MW site, and have worked on some of the largest and most complex in the country.

The experience means we have become the go-to company for commissioning and communications.

Our unique HIT Energy Guard monitors system output on an hourly basis, and if performance ever drops even for a short period, we can send an engineer out to fix it before it starts costing the owner money.

It means we are able to deal with the other main concern of system owners at the show – what are the main factors that affect Solar PV performance?

Simon added: “Everyone is no doubt that tariff changes led to a rush to install and poor installation – but systems have to operate for 20 years or more, so if it was badly fitted, problems are created in the long run.

“There are also changes to the Great British weather, which can go from sub-zero temperatures to heavy rain and sun, with DC cables open to the elements.

“We had a very wet August with lots of moisture and I woke up one morning to find 45 inverters not working on one platform.”

The good news is, we are able to solve all these issues – with a free health check to make sure panels are fully firing, and then monitoring them 24/7 to ensure there’s never an issue again.

Our network is growing and we now look after Solar PV across the U.K. and Ireland worth £16.5m, producing enough energy to power 3,500 houses.

This is just the tip of the iceberg and there are so many people out there who are either not fully utilising their Solar PV properly or could benefit from having it installed.

The show was a great way of catching up with many of our clients, albeit in a different way to usual, and meeting many other business owners who could benefit from our unique offering.

As our business development manager Debbie Parker said, hopefully virtual shows won’t become the new norm, and we will be enjoying them together in both the event space and bar next year.

“The light means it’s on, but is it really working for you?” she asked.

“Maybe yes, but more often than not, no.

“Let’s not waste that precious big yellow thing in the sky. Let’s use it to our benefit and keep the nation solar-powered.”