Friday, April 27, 2012

How to Read your SMA Inverter

To all of you out there who have ever stood in front of your inverter, squinting, doing your best to understand the data flashing right before your very eyes: I feel your pain.

I receive questions nearly every day from our clients about how to read their SMA inverter. Despite proving a list of important and interesting data, I can certainly see how interpreting and applying all the numbers can be difficult.

So, I took a few pictures of our SunPower SMA inverter here at Cosmic Solar headquarters in Valley Center. This system was installed late 2011 alongside another system which has been running for six years strong.

 "E-today"

  
This metric shows how many kilowatt hours your solar system has produced today. At our office today, we produced 22.37 kWhs. Not too bad for "so-so" weather.


 "C02 saved"


This screen informs how many pounds of carbon dioxide have been prevented from being released into the atmosphere since the first day your solar system was turned on. Believe it or not, major utility companies receive much of their energy production from oil and coal burning facilities. Solar energy is "clean" energy for your home and creates absolutely no environmental pollutants. At the Cosmic Solar offices, our newer system has prevented 13,854 pounds of C02 from being released into the atmosphere.


 "Pac"


"Pac" is a metric that tells you how many kWhs your system is producing each hour. This number changes constantly as the available amount of sunlight varies. At the moment, our system is producing 5,110 watts -- or 5.11 kilowatts -- each hour. Not bad!


  "E-total"


 This metric shows how many kilowatts your system has produced since day one of turning on the system. In six short months, we've produced about 8,150 kilowatt hours on our 5.0 kW DC system. Impressive, if we do say so ourselves.

One last word of advice!

If you'll notice, all the pictures above show a picture of a "tapping fist." This is meant to inform the user that tapping on the inverter will help scroll through the various metrics more quickly. Instead of having to wait for your screen to scroll through again, you can simply tap on the inverter to bring up the screen you're interested in.

Consider yourself informed! Would anyone out there like to share some interesting data from their SMA inverter? Feel free to fire away in the comment section below.

10 comments:

  1. so it's 45kwh per day in average for your system? that's impressive, according to Clean Energy Council states that the average daily production is 21kwh for 5kw system. are you sure 8150kwh is for only 6 months? hope to hear back from you soon.

    Clean Energy Council link http://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/resourcecentre/Consumer-Info/solarPV-guide.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi TshingOnn,

    Wow, you're right. I checked our web monitoring system and it's been 10 months. Time flies!

    Thanks very much for the comment and keeping me honest!

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