Q3 2015 PV Newsletter

3
Sep

Q3 2015 PV Newsletter

Case Study: 1 MW SCADA + Monitoring Solution Using AlsoEnergy Site Controller

SCADA Case Study

This newsletter highlights a SCADA case study: a 1 MW system in Panama that utilizes the AlsoEnergy site controller for a fully integrated SCADA-plus-monitoring solution. You can also find resources and answers to customer FAQs regarding Agency Reporting. Check out the various customized displays available from AlsoEnergy, including our new PowerPortal feature for Solar Gardens. Finally, see our busy schedule for AlsoEnergy industry speaking engagements for 2015.

[nextpage title=”Case Study: 1 MW SCADA + Monitoring Solution Using AlsoEnergy Site Controller”]

Case Study: 1 MW SCADA + Monitoring Solution Using AlsoEnergy Site Controller

SCADA Case Study

Problem
AlsoEnergy was asked to design a SCADA + Monitoring solution for this 1 MW project in La Mesa, Panama. The control spec called for the following features:

  • Voltage Regulation
  • Reactive Power Control
  • Curtailment

Solution
AlsoEnergy designed a fully integrated solution for control and performance monitoring. This solution utilizes the AlsoEnergy site controller rather than integrating with a third party SCADA system. This offers the convenience of a single source provider for service and support to cover all aspects of the SCADA + monitoring system.

Engineers for this system can access SCADA features and settings directly through PowerTrack software using a specially designed dashboard interface. Control features can be accessed through an on-site workstation, or remotely.

System Features

  • System includes a DNP3 interface to enable remote system control for the local utility.
  • System uses SolarSight Forecast for 5-day predicted power forecasts.
  • System provides 1 minute data granularity.
  • Site Controller comes with 5-year basic hardware warranty.

Contact one of our Account Executives to get more information about SCADA + Monitoring solutions from AlsoEnergy, or visit the SCADA section on our website.

[nextpage title=”AlsoEnergy Industry Speaking Schedule”]

AlsoEnergy Industry Speaking Schedule

Industry Speaking Calendar

AlsoEnergy is keeping a busy schedule of industry speaking engagements for the rest of 2015. See our executives share solar monitoring expertise at the following events:

Infocast Renewable Energy Asset Management 2015:

 
Infocast Solar O&M 2015:

 
PV Insider PV Operations & Maintenance USA 2015:

 
Solar Finance & Investment USA 2015:

 
GreenTech Media U.S. Solar Market Insight:

[nextpage title=”Get Custom Displays for all Your Project Stakeholders”]

Need Multiple Displays for Your Project Stakeholders?

Custom Displays

AlsoEnergy understands the wide range of stakeholders that participate in various solar power projects. From engineers to investors to end users, every one requires different data and analytics to get the information they need about generation from the array. That’s why AlsoEnergy offers an industry-leading range of options for customized displays tailored to all types of project stakeholders. No other monitoring provider matches the range of customized display options you get with AlsoEnergy.

If you are a prospective AlsoEnergy customer, you will appreciate the ability to generate separate displays tailored to the needs of all your project partners, your customers, and end users. If you are a current AlsoEnergy client, you may want to review your own portfolio for opportunities to deploy new displays better suited to the personnel involved in each project. This article outlines the various options available to AlsoEnergy clients.

PowerTrack

PowerTrack
 
Every AlsoEnergy client chooses between our 2 primary monitoring software programs: PowerTrack and DECK Monitoring. PowerTrack is the flagship monitoring software program from AlsoEnergy, offering the biggest feature set and the most robust performance analytics. PowerTrack is ideal for PV projects of all sizes, from residential to utility scale. PowerTrack is particularly recommended for clients who may require integration with SCADA systems.
Most users access PowerTrack from the web using a web browser. However, there are other options to access the PowerTrack application. PowerTrack is available as a desktop application for users who are unable to send data to the web due to security concerns, or for those who simply prefer to conduct all monitoring activities on site. Additionally, PowerApp is a unique new offering from AlsoEnergy that provides a direct link to the PowerTrack application. This allows many users to access their PowerTrack interface from their computer without using a web browser. (PowerApp is only available for Windows users.)

DECK Monitoring

DECK
 
DECK Monitoring software has been optimized for maximum ease of use. This program offers all fundamental monitoring features with an interface that is intuitive and easily understood by all users. DECK Monitoring is recommended for residential, commercial, and industrial PV projects.

Mobile App

Mobile
 
Contractors, installers, and other solar professionals who work in the field will appreciate the AlsoEnergy mobile app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
Our PV monitoring mobile app supports these functions:

  • See generation data in real time for sites and portfolio
  • Access production and performance analytics for sites and portfolio
  • View hardware device status
  • View alert status
  • Access live camera feed (if applicable)
  • Password protected

 

Custom PowerTrack Dashboards

CustomDash
 
AlsoEnergy can create fully customized displays for any project stakeholder needs. We will create displays populated with the data points and display features of your choosing. Create a display for investors showing only financial analytics, or create an intuitive portfolio overview for asset owners and managers.
AlsoEnergy has created some specialized templates for custom dashboards; for example, the screen grab show here illustrates a custom dashboard for subscribers with allocations in community Solar Garden projects.

Public Displays: PowerLobby, PowerDisplay, Mini Sites, and DECK Dashboards

AlsoEnergy offers a wide range of options for public displays.
 
PowLob
 
Clients and end users may choose to share these interactive displays on a kiosk or a wall mounted lobby monitor.
 
PowDis
 
Public displays can be accessed from any computer or mobile device (unless the client prefers a private web address).
 
Minis
 
Of course you can also tailor public displays to meet your needs for sharing data with project partners, too.
 
DEckDash
 
All public displays offer the following features:

  • Daily, monthly, and historical production views
  • Incorporate partner logos
  • Audio/video integration
  • Site information and customer content (such as slideshows)
  • Environmental offsets

 
Contact an AlsoEnergy Account Executive for more information about how to deploy custom displays for your solar projects.

[nextpage title=”NEW: Subscriber Portal for Solar Garden Projects”]

NEW: Subscriber Portal for Solar Garden Projects

PowerPortal

One great advantage of AlsoEnergy monitoring solutions is the versatility to create multiple levels of web interfaces tailored to the needs of all stakeholders in a solar power project. All solutions provide the robust performance analytics found in source programs for PowerTrack and DECK Monitoring users. But customers may also choose to deploy specialized displays, such as public dashboards for kiosks, investor pages with quick access to financial analytics, and intuitive portfolio overviews for asset owners and managers.

One common application of our specialized displays is to create multiple end user interfaces for PPAs and other situations where multiple parties use energy from a single array. This is a terrific value add opportunity for those AlsoEnergy clients who are selling or distributing power to a large group of customers, such as fleet deployment residential projects. Monitoring displays put a face and a voice on a solar power investment, giving end users a chance to interact with their array on a daily basis.

The latest specialized display from AlsoEnergy is an end user interface template designed for community Solar Garden projects. This unique web interface is the new PowerPortal.
 
If you are developing or managing a Solar Garden, AlsoEnergy monitoring software offers you the ability to create customized PowerPortal displays for all your clients. The full capabilities of PowerTrack analytics stand behind PowerPortal, so your subscribers see accurate current data for generation in their allocation. PowerPortal users get financial data from PowerTrack as well, so even users with rate sheet calculations can see accurate dollar savings.
 
The versatile PowerPortal interface can cover all your customer needs. Subscribers with more than one allocation can see an overview for all allocations (even if they are located in different arrays, or if financial rates are different).
 
PowerPortal also offers your subscribers a direct link into the optional PowerTrack Workflow Suite. This allows for management of systems operations, maintenance, and end user support within one centralized, fully integrated platform. You will get auditing, analysis, and reporting on all production details and costs through a single login. Your subscribers will get a direct link to AlsoEnergy support in case of any interruptions in data reporting (and they won’t have to call you!).
 
Finally, you will be able to put your own branding on customizable PowerPortal displays, creating a true white-labeled product offering for your company.
 
To find out more about PowerPortal for Solar Garden projects, contact an AlsoEnergy Account Executive today.

[nextpage title=”AlsoAdvice: Resources and FAQ for Agency Reporting”]

AlsoAdvice: Resources and FAQ for Agency Reporting

Agency Reporting FAQs

By Yeekeng Vue, Agency Reporting Manager
AlsoEnergy provides agency reporting services for a huge range of incentive programs around the United States. Our experienced team makes sure that your data arrives at the agency when it is due in accordance with all agency guidelines and regulations.
For customers using this service, AlsoEnergy provides resources to help you set up your incentive program and keep tabs on your reporting activities. That includes links to online information from leading agencies, and the ability for users to access historical agency reports. Users with PowerTrack software can access these resources right in your online application interface.
This article answers customer FAQs and outlines various agency reporting resources in the PowerTrack platform.

Q:

Can AlsoEnergy set up my agency reporting program?

A:

The quick answer is no: only you can set up your agency reporting program.
It is true that we offer automated agency reporting; once you have set up an account with your reporting agency, AlsoEnergy will automatically submit reports on your behalf. No action from you will be required.
However, each agency requires that you submit authorization for a third party (like AlsoEnergy) to do your reporting for you. Without your authorization, we cannot access your agency account or report production information to your account. After you specify AlsoEnergy as your reporter and provide us with a confirmation email from the agency (containing the approval date and ID numbers), we can take it from there and coordinate with the agency to automate the process.

Q:

How do I set up my agency reporting program?

A:

Each program has a unique registration process. AlsoEnergy has collected information from leading agencies and compiled that information in the Public Documents folder that appears in every PowerTrack system. These resources include links to agency information online, including:

  • Agency reporting guidelines
  • Agency reporting handbook (if applicable)
  • List of approved devices
  • Contact information at the agency

To access this agency information in PowerTrack, refer to the graphic:
 
Find Help Docs in PowerTrack
 

  • After you have logged in, select your company icon from left column navigation (the company icon is shown here at the bottom of the icon column; image of two people alongside a building).
  • This opens a third column navigation panel to the right of your Quick Links panel… your company name will appear at the top of this panel, along with a group of folders below.
  • Look for the folder titled “Public Documents” and open.
  • Look for the folder “[Your Company] Public Docs” and open.
  • Look for the folder “Help Docs” and open.
  • Look for the folder “Agency Reporting” and open.
  • Look for the folder corresponding to the agency you need.

Q:

Can I set up my agency reporting program before the system is up and running?

A:

Yes… in fact, AlsoEnergy encourages you to address your agency reporting needs early in the system planning process in order to ensure that your hardware and system configuration will meet the agency standards in your area.
While we cannot complete the configuration or provide a signed PDP contract until the system is reliably reporting from agency approved hardware, we are able to preconfigure your report so that it is a simple flip of a switch when your system comes online and the final agency approval comes through.

Q:

Can I issue backdated reports?

A:

In many cases the answer is yes. It often depends on when you applied for the incentive or registered your system. Contact our agency reporting specialists for more information (see contact info at end of this article).

Q:

How can I confirm dates that reports were sent, or view the data that AlsoEnergy is sending to my agency?

A:

Customers with PowerTrack are able to view reports that are being produced and submitted to agencies for your PV systems. For each submitted report you will be able to verify the following information:

  • The value for the reporting period (based on meter readings from beginning and end of period)
  • The meter reading at the end of the period
  • The start date and end date of the report
  • The date that the report was submitted to the agency

 

Here are instructions to access your historical reports in PowerTrack:

  • Start by opening your Quick Links panel (if it is not open, click the icon in the left column showing a blue arrow inside a white box).
  • Click on the “Reporting” option in your Quick Links (under “Data”).
  • Find Reporting in Quick Links
     

  • This opens a 2-panel window; select the reports you want to view using the tabs in the left panel in order to populate report data in the right panel.
  • Two Panel Window
     

  • To find historical reports that have been submitted to your agency, click on the History tab, then click on the Search tab below:
  • Find Report Search Field
     

  • Select the appropriate project from the drop-down menu, then use the timespan controls to set parameters for your search.
  • Find Report Query Tools
     

  • After the search terms have been submitted, a list of reports will populate in the right window.
    List of Reports
     
    The Green Check status icon indicates that the report was issued through the AlsoEnergy automated service. A Manual status icon indicates that the report was submitted manually; this may happen when unusual circumstances or unexpected data ranges prevent the agency’s automated service from accepting the data through the standard interface. Other status conditions, such as Proof, Hold or Retry indicate that the report is still being reviewed or validated by the AlsoEnergy reporting team.
  • Report Status Icons
     

  • If you want to view your agency account details, such as report due dates, first click the “Configuration” tab in the left panel, then click the “Settings” tab below:
  • Find Report Settings
     

  • You may also check the “Notes” tab under “Configuration” to look for explanations when there has been a gap in reported production or other project related issues:
  • Find Report Notes
     

    Contact AlsoEnergy Agency Reporting Team:

    • We prefer that agency reporting issues are attended to via e-mail (email hidden; JavaScript is required). Please include a brief overview of the issue and your contact information in your email.
    • For urgent Agency Reporting matters please call and leave a message on our voicemail system (1.866.303.5668 Option 2, Option 2).