Technology in all walks of life has moved on at a frightening pace in the 21st century, and seemingly new innovations have been very quickly left behind.
This is what struck us about the Solar PV monitoring market when we started researching developments aimed at keeping systems generating as much energy as possible.
Despite solar technology still being relatively new, what was on offer to help owners make the most of their investments was already stale and seemingly outdated.
The industry simply wasn’t in the 21st century.
To make sure solar didn’t get left behind, we designed the HIT Energy Guard, which has won a string of accolades, including beating hundreds of other products to be ranked seventh in the Midlands Tech 50 list.
It also won innovation product of the year at the Lincolnshire Technology and Innovation Awards in 2019 and 2020, as well as scooping online innovation at the NEC’s LAMMA 2020.
Lincolnshire Business Awards: 2020 (took place in March 2021)
This is how the HIT Energy Guard revolutionised the solar industry:
There was a boom between 2010 and 2016, with farmers, landowners and businesses rushing to have panels installed to take advantage of government incentive schemes for feeding into the National Grid – but that was where the innovation ended.
No thought was given to what would happen in the future when these systems started to age, became less efficient or had simple malfunctions.
“Looking back, people were being asked to pay millions in some cases with a simple reassurance this investment would keep generating the same sums year after year, well into the future,” Simon Hopkins of HIT Energy Services said.
“There were so many factors though that could affect this, ranging from the weather, rodents chewing through cables, malfunctions or even systems being poorly fitted.
“After researching the commercial solar PV monitoring market it was clear the market required a more robust and technical platform.”
Many owners were already losing hundreds or thousands of pounds in lost generation relatively soon after having their system installed and had nobody to turn to for help.
The situation made no sense – after all, the sun is one of the most reliable sources of energy there is (even taking into account the British weather).
Simon added: “It was almost as if farmers, landowners and businesses were being told ‘we have fitted this amazing piece of technology for you, and as long as the sun shines, it will keep working’.
“But life doesn’t work like that – you need to keep evolving what you offer, so the customer gets value for money.”
To give an analogy – in the 1970s, musicians were told the best way to get their work out was on records, in the 1980s it was tape cassettes, the 90s CDs, before iPods, phone apps and streaming services took over.
Technology is moving on even quicker in the 21st century, and we knew we had to marry this with our expert industry knowledge in keeping Solar PV up to date.
All owners wanted was a reassurance that their investment was operating at as close to 100% of its capacity at all times so they weren’t losing money – it sounded simple yet nobody was offering it.
Using two stages, we were able to fix the problem – firstly, we started offering a free health check to get Solar PV systems firing at as close to capacity as possible.
After that, we were able to attach our unique piece of technology we developed which would ensure correct production of any solar PV site and advise our dashboard should a fault occur informing our engineers for speedy reinstatement.
Simon said: “We believe our HIT Energy Guard really brings solar technology into the 21st century.
“Put simply, using an internet signal, it allows us to monitor the performance of every panel in a system 24/7. We are constantly keeping an eye on it, in all weather and at all times of day.
“If the amount a panel produces ever drops below the level of the others even for a short time, we are aware and can send an engineer to fix it before the fault starts costing the owner money.”
The beauty of our innovation is it can be fitted on any system anywhere in the U.K., Ireland, Europe or even the world and monitored from one of our bases.
And just like your iPhone gets regular updates, so does the HIT Energy Guard, meaning system owners can be reassured they are making the most of their investment.
We will keep innovating and making solar a reliable source of energy for everyone.
This isn’t just for farmers, landowners and businesses who signed up between 2010 and 2016, but those looking to utilise the sun in 2021 and beyond.
With a base at Lincoln University, we can keep moving the HIT Energy Guard forward with some of its most creative minds, utilising the newest technology.
It means we can keep solar at the forefront of the energy mix, not just now but well into the future.
You can join our solar revolution, starting with a free health check of your commercial system – details at www.hit-es.com