Nice system monitoring by Solaredge

It will be recalled (blog post, May 4, 2024) that we had a failure in one of our two solar panel inverters.  Two days ago was the day that our service provider, Photon Brothers, came out and replaced the failed inverter (made by Solaredge) free of charge under warranty.  

Now today an email has arrived from the Solaredge monitoring system.  The email provides this report:

Summary of the alerts        
The following table contains the alerts that were opened/closed in the last 24 hours only.        
View in the monitoring platform        
Site Name Alert Type Impact Status Description
nnnnnn Inverter not producing energy – low voltage 5 CLOSED The inverter’s voltage is low; The inverter is not producing energy
nnnnnn Inverter production issue detected 5 CLOSED Inverter – Production issue detected

As you will see the monitoring system is letting me know that it has noticed that the inverter has been replaced.  The monitoring system has closed the alerts.

I think it is really nice that the Solaredge company provides such sophisticated automatic monitoring.  It gives me the sense that things are under control.

A report that I ought to have configured three years ago

click to enlarge

The executive summary is that one of the inverters in our solar panel system seems to have failed, so we are only generating about half as much energy as normal. The inverter will soon be replaced, and then we ought to be back to a normal level of energy generation. The inverter failed on about April 16, but I did not catch on that it had failed until just a week ago. If only I had set up an email alert back when the system was first installed, I could have learned about the inverter failure on the same day that it happened. I have just now turned on the email alert.

Here are the details.  Continue reading “A report that I ought to have configured three years ago”

More foot-dragging by Xcel Energy with installation of smart meters

It is February of 2024 and only now has Xcel Energy posted its schedule for installation of smart electric meters in Colorado for the year 2024.  You can see it here (archived here).  Conspicuously absent is any mention of Summit or Eagle counties.  The schedule does list “fourth quarter of 2024” for the following mountain locations:

    • Mountain locations east of Summit and Eagle counties scheduled for smart meter installation in 4Q24:
      • Black Hawk
      • Central City
      • Empire
      • Evergreen
      • Idaho Springs
    • Mountain locations west of Summit and Eagle counties scheduled for smart meter installation in 4Q24:
      • Fruita
      • Glenwood Springs
      • Grand Junction
      • Parachute
      • Rifle
      • Silt

The point of the smart meters is to enable the electric company to charge for electricity based upon the time of day.  See blog article.

This makes it look like Xcel Energy will not reach Summit and Eagle counties with its smart meters until 2025.

Time-of-day usage billing

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There are many states, including Colorado, where the electric company has worked it out with the state regulator to be able to charge for electricity based upon the time of day.  In Colorado, the cheap time is from 7 PM to 1PM Monday through Friday, and cheap time also happens all day Saturday and Sunday and some holidays.  If one has battery storage, this is an opportunity to engage in some arbitrage.   Continue reading “Time-of-day usage billing”

Inaugural post

This is the inaugural post for this blog.

I will be writing about this system which has the following:

  • about sixteen kilowatts of solar panels
  • two inverters providing about 18 kilowatts of inverter capacity
  • two Tesla Powerwalls
  • a Tesla Backup Gateway

The system has two whole-house surge protectors installed.