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Why Most Solar and Storage Deployment Software Fails




Software

Why Most Solar and Storage Deployment Software Fails

Oct 28, 2021 07:27 AM ET

Nothing is more important to the success of a solar and energy storage project than using the right tools.  Solar and energy storage deployments are complex, involving an intricate matrix of behind-the-meter usage dynamics matched to the right front-of-meter strategies.  One wrong calculation and the economics of the entire project could fail.

Although there are several tools available to aid solar and storage owners and developers, most stop short of being the ideal solution.  One of the primary issues is that while one might offer adequate pre-installation calculations and another will monitor and alert when the system is down, what’s lacking is a cohesive, all-in-one solution that covers pre-installation to post-installation through to monitoring.  Second, accurate calculations and analysis are a moving target; without a vigilant team behind the platform, even the smallest missed rate change could be disastrous for the system owner. Staying on top of changing utility rates is so critical that some platforms, such as industry-leading Energy Toolbase, employs a dedicated in-house team for this task alone.

Pre-Installation Modeling

Most solar and storage developers who have been in the game longer than a few years remember the days of modeling systems in spreadsheets.  Someone on the team with a bit of Excel experience puts formulas into a few cells and before long it becomes the company’s primary analytics tool.  Although cumbersome, time consuming, and error-prone, it gets embedded into company culture – its users unaware of the availability of off-the-shelf platforms that offer an order of magnitude of superiority.

Post-Installation Control

Energy management systems (EMS) are a critical piece to maximizing the value of an installation, especially when energy storage is involved.  Optimally discharging an energy storage system is often a moving target, requiring complex machine learning and forecasting.  Sounds complicated?  It is – only the top EMS platforms are doing it in an accurate and reliable way.  Energy management is a dance between behind-the-meter and front-of-the-meter strategies that can include peak-demand shaving, arbitrage, PV self-consumption and other methods of optimizing value streams.  A platform lacking expertise in any area could result in significant opportunity loss.

Post-Installation Monitoring

Simply being alerted to a downed system is no longer good enough.  Modern monitoring software has the capability to not only detect issues, but help diagnose and quickly resolve them.  This is only possible with all-in-one systems where the modeling and monitoring systems are the same platform, speaking the same language.  With direct insight into how a system was designed in pre-installation, monitoring software can easily recognize when the installed system is not performing as intended.  This is especially true in the case of OEM warranty compliance.

Solar and energy storage can be deployed simply when the right tools are used.  Modern solar and energy storage software can provide a cohesive suite of project modeling, storage control, and asset monitoring.  Selecting the right solar and storage developer software can make or break your solar and energy storage project.  Why take the risk when trusted and reliable tools are readily available today.




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solar software

energy storage software



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