Locus Energy’s PVIQ Suite is a set of performance optimization tools that provides fleet managers with a much-needed means of evaluating how the actual performance of solar PV assets ranks against expected performance by identifying specific performance drivers. Such data is invaluable — not only for system stakeholders who can use it to identify and rectify problems, but also for financial institutions, which can use the PVIQ Suite as a means of ranking the value of solar PV assets. The PVIQ suite consists of three elements: Virtual Irradiance data, Performance Waterfall Analytics and a spreadsheet plug-In tool.
Virtual Irradiance (VI)
As the “fuel” for solar PV systems, solar irradiance is the most valuable data for assessing the performance of a solar PV system. But the ability to compare actual performance to expected performance is limited by the cost of acquiring granular irradiance data for a specific location. Using data from the 40,000 Locus Energy sensors across the country, as well as private and public historical and real-time data from weather stations, satellite imagery, federal agencies and other sources, Locus Energy’s proprietary algorithms can provide highly accurate, ground-level irradiance data across an install base or a geographic region on a 15-minute basis, thus eliminating the need for costly on-site sensors. When used with other modeling data — i.e., the type of panel or inverter — Locus Energy’s VI tool provides system stakeholders with a truly accurate assessment of how much energy their systems should be producing based on the amount of sunlight that is hitting the ground.
Using a range of algorithms and empirical models, PVIQ’s Waterfall report can remotely determine the root causes of a solar PV system’s failure to meet performance expectations. These reasons may include factors such as weather uncertainty, snow downtime, shading, equipment downtime, equipment degradation and inverter problems. The prescriptive analysis provided by Waterfall enables a specific, detailed understanding of which factors are most affecting the performance of a solar PV system and how the causes of the underperformance can best be addressed.
Locus Energy’s software plug-in provides direct access to the company’s databases through an Excel spreadsheet. This is a vital tool for system stakeholders and investors to assess the performance of solar PV assets, allowing them to quickly access and analyze complex sets of data. The use of plug-in also facilitates routine reporting for fleet owners and operators. With Plug-in, users can draw data from a wide range of performance models, thus reinforcing the ability of Locus Energy’s data analytics to serve as a vital platform for users who want to accurately model PV assets.
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