Remote monitoring of the solar plant has become an important parameter to ensure the safe and continuous operation of the solar plant and maintain a high performance ratio. The performance ratio is the ratio of the actual and theoretically possible energy outputs. It is largely independent of the orientation of a PV plant and the incident solar irradiation on the PV plant. For this reason, the performance ratio can be used to compare PV plants supplying the grid at different locations all over the world. Solar plant output varies with the weather conditions and is important to record and assess the plant performance ratio throughout the year. The IoT based weather sensors and inverter monitoring system allows us to continuously assess the performance ratio of the plant and take necessary steps in case the PR is less than benchmark rate.
Weather monitoring system for a solar plant consists of most importantly two solar irradiance sensors for angular and horizontal radiation, wind speed sensor, temperature sensor, rain gauge and humidity sensor. These data points are collected to calculate the plant performance ratio throughout the year. The module temperature sensor provides valuable input about the module health, since very high temperatures above 60 degrees might damage the modules. The wind sensors and rain gauge provide data about the ambient cooling process and the annual rainfall falling on modules respectively. To track the performance ratio and compare it with the other installations the weather station is a must for a solar plant.