One of the first steps in most analyses of solar PV systems is to determine expected system production based on the weather the system has experienced. One approach is to use the production from clusters of solar PV systems to estimate the weather adjustment, an approach involving relative performance algorithms. Locus Energy, a solar monitoring and data analytics platform provider for the residential, commercial and utility sectors, however, has evolved past using relative performance algorithms that compare the performance of a solar PV system with that of its neighbors, replacing this approach with a satellite imagery-based Virtual Irradiance system.
Locus Energy’s Virtual Irradiance (VI) satellite-based irradiance tool is one of three elements in its PVIQ Suite, which provides advanced performance analytics enabling asset managers to boost productivity, reduce operations and management costs and mitigate risk. Locus’ VI tool allows asset managers to easily identify which systems are not meeting performance expectations. The other PVIQ elements include an analysis tool to quantify system losses from specific effects like snow or shading, and an Excel plug-in that allows users to stream data directly into spreadsheets, dramatically reducing the time required to prepare performance reports.