Q3 2017 PV Newsletter


Q3 2017 PV Newsletter

AlsoEnergy Retains Ranking as #1 Independent Software Vendor for Monitoring in US C&I Market Segments


In this newsletter:

  • AlsoEnergy Ranked #1 Solar Monitoring ISV in US Commercial Market for 4th Straight Year
  • New: Seven Day Support from AlsoEnergy with Weekend Hours
  • Announcing PowerTrack Support for Huawei Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis and Remote Firmware Updates
  • Tune Up Your System with Advanced Software Configuration Services
  • New PowerTrack Training Videos
  • AlsoEnergy Fall Trade Show Schedule


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AlsoEnergy Retains Ranking as #1 Independent Software Vendor for Monitoring in US C&I Market Segments


GTM Research is preparing to release the Global PV Monitoring report for years 2017-2022. With over 6GW of monitored PV production at more than 20,000 sites worldwide, AlsoEnergy has retained its ranking as the number one Independent Software Vendor (ISV) for solar monitoring in the U.S. C&I markets. This is the fourth straight year that AlsoEnergy has led the US commercial market segment in the annual GreenTech Media report.

The Global PV Monitoring 2017-2021 report is authored by Cedric Brehaut, Executive Consultant and founder of SoliChamba Consulting. “AlsoEnergy continues to demonstrate leadership in the U.S. C&I market for PV monitoring software, earning the number one ranking among independent software vendors for the fourth year running in the commercial segment and for the third year running in the industrial segment. This is a considerable achievement in a competitive market.”

AlsoEnergy CEO Robert Schaefer attributes the company’s market performance to continued investment in product development, service, and support. “AlsoEnergy is committed to staying on the cutting edge of the rapidly growing solar industry. We are investing in technology and customer service to widen the gap between us and our competitors. These investments are at work every day, helping our customers achieve greater up time with lower O&M costs.”

Recent examples of these investments include expanded weekend support services, as AlsoEnergy now offers Seven Day Support.  Investments in new products and services include PowerTrack Web, an HTML-based browser interface; PowerTrack Mobile applications for iOS and Android platforms; the Rule Tool feature for automated system validation testing; and Advanced Site Configuration services for the most thorough site testing and validation processes. The company also continued to invest in new solutions for the utility-scale market, including power plant control solutions and SCADA server systems that are optimized for solar assets.

AlsoEnergy customers, such as CalCom Solar, have achieved winning results using AlsoEnergy’s industry leading solutions.  CalCom Solar is ranked by Solar Power World in the overall top 25 contractors for the commercial solar marketplace, and was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 25 fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S. for the last two years.

“By leveraging AlsoEnergy’s PowerTrack solution, CalCom has been able to remotely operate systems in order to provide greater reliability; consequently we get higher uptime and production and lower O&M costs by avoiding truck rolls,” said Jason Smith, President and COO of CalCom Solar. “This customizable platform has provided CalCom the ability to provide a higher standard and quality of services to our customers at a competitive price point.”


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Announcing Expanded Weekend Availability for AlsoEnergy Support


AlsoEnergy announces our Seven Day Support policy, expanding weekend support hours to provide full time availability. AlsoEnergy clients will now have access to phone and web support every Saturday and Sunday from 11AM – 7PM Eastern; or 8AM – 4PM Pacific (excluding standard US holidays).

The new weekend hours augment the standing AlsoEnergy support schedule Mondays through Fridays: 8:00AM to 9:00PM Eastern; or 5:00AM to 6:00PM Pacific (excluding standard US holidays).

Seven Day Support is available to all AlsoEnergy clients. Anyone needing to have an issue resolved on a weekend will now be able to give us a call.

This will be a great help for clients who are working on installations or system commissioning on weekend days. Appointment-based support will be available for workers on location on Saturdays and Sundays as well; if you may need support while on site on a weekend, we encourage you to make a weekend support appointment.

Seven Day Support is part of the AlsoEnergy commitment to help our clients meet their business objectives. We are here to help you succeed!


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Huawei Cooperating with AlsoEnergy to Enable Huawei Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis and Remote Firmware Updates


Huawei and AlsoEnergy are working together to reduce O&M costs for string inverter systems.

For PV power plants, locating module faults accurately and promptly is a critical issue to maintain profitable operation. Performance benchmarking during commissioning is important to identify and address infant mortality issues and maximize yield. After commissioning, many sites’ O&M contracts require periodic I-V string traces be performed on a sample or 100% coverage basis.  However, standard onsite inspection methods at the string level are both time and labor intensive, driving up costs.

Huawei has developed an accurate and cost-effective method for remote, unmanned testing of string inverter systems with the Huawei Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis™ feature. This technology enables each inverter to execute an I-V curve scan which is exported to a sophisticated analytics engine that pinpoints string level problems.

This technology allows users to finish a complete system scan covering a utility-scale site and generate a professional report in a few hours or less, with no staff onsite. This greatly reduces the labor and cost associated with both commissioning and ongoing performance management.  Plus, site safety is improved as on site personnel are not exposed to high voltages during testing.

Huawei and AlsoEnergy are cooperating to make Huawei Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis available in the PowerTrack software platform. This provides the convenience of running I-V curve diagnostic reports directly from the PowerTrack interface. Results from I-V curve testing can be included in online displays, real-time alerts and stakeholder reports without the need to move large data sets between platforms.


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In addition to providing the base I-V curve remote capture and analysis functionality, AlsoEnergy will allow users to schedule periodic automated I-V curve scans based on optimum site conditions (a physical weather station or a subscription to a virtual weather station will be required). Captured historic scans and analysis data will be made available for site operators to download via the Powertrack platform. The solution will also generate automated notifications via the standard alerting mechanism built in to Powertrack platform, reducing site performance impact due to string malfunctions.  (Historical data download and automated scan with alerting features targeted to be available Q4 2017.)

Huawei and AlsoEnergy are also working to enable Remote Huawei Firmware Management via PowerTrack, allowing for automated updates to Huawei firmware. This will enable customers to futureproof their assets, eliminating the need for costly site visits and additional hardware requirements.

These AlsoEnergy solutions fully integrate the Huawei SmartLogger2000, enabling Huawei Smart I-V Curve Diagnosis functionality and Remote Firmware Management along with PLC communications, auto-discovery & addressing, and remote configuration.



Find PV Module Faults Inspection and Oversight
Timely processing of faulty PV strings helps improve energy yields and prevents faults from propagating. Perform I-V tests for PV strings with low output power on an irregular basis to detect and prevent faults. Evaluate PV modules after a PV plant is constructed; detect faulty products and reduce acceptance costs. Improve PV plant inspection efficiency and fault detection rate while lowering inspection workload.
Automate Workload Value of Historical Data
Greatly reduce test cost and time. Reduce workload and technical demands for test personnel. Accurate granular data provides direction for the future construction of the PV plant. Detect historical trends to improve O&M efficiency, reduce costs, and increase production.


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Tune Up Your System with Advanced Software Configuration Services for PowerTrack


Site configuration services are a critical element for client success in any monitoring technology system. A properly configured site profile enables accurate performance analytics, and ensures that displays, alerts, stakeholder reports, and other items are optimized for compatibility with each installation and software user.

AlsoEnergy has defined the scope of work available to clients as part of our Standard Site Configuration (SSC) process. The SSC process includes standard site validation services along with user setup and training.

Beyond SSC are Advanced Site Configuration (ASC) services. ASC mobilizes a series of system tests and professional reviews during the commissioning process, providing a greater measure of scrutiny and collaborative system design. ASC services enable more user preference options in features such as charts, graphs, and dashboard displays.

This article spells out the services available as part of the Standard Site Configuration process, and highlights Advanced Site Configuration options.

Standard Site Configurations

SSC services are designed to ensure that every client gets a fully functional, site-specific monitoring solution at the end of the commissioning process. We make sure your system is reporting as expected, and that your data is accurate. Plus we make sure users know how to utilize all enabled features in the user interface.

Services included in SSC:

  • Configure default alerts for all devices
  • Configure and analyze incoming data from inverter, meter, weather station sensors, and zone monitoring hardware
  • Check data accuracy on all devices
  • Check baseline settings for best case operation
  • Validate site

Additional services in standard site configuration may include assistance with setup, basic modeling, and wizard reports (at customer request).

Advanced Site Configurations

ASC services go above and beyond standard site configurations, helping clients do more with PowerTrack software.

ASC services provide more active engagement from our professional team during the setup and commissioning process, so clients get the benefit of a full critical review from our experts. Extra attention to capacity testing and benchmarking allows clients to get finely calibrated performance analytics. Our deployment team will work with clients to implement user preferences in client PowerTrack interfaces.

Services included in ASC:

  • Advanced alert setup
  • Advanced performance modeling
  • Comprehensive site validation using Rule Tool
  • Capacity testing
  • Configure and analyze incoming data from string monitoring hardware
  • Interactive reviews of site setup, data displays, etc.

Added benefits of ASC include priority queue positions and access to advanced training services.

Professional Services

Professional Services are available to all clients at any time over the life of a system. These services cover requests for customizations that are unique or extensive. Professional Services may include client-requested configurations and personalizations to PowerTrack software. We can tailor displays, reports, and other features to achieve optimized compatibility with client processes and business systems.

Options available with Professional Services include:

  • Integration with client business systems/software
  • Custom dashboard displays
  • Custom kiosk displays
  • Invoice template configurations
  • Driver changes and updates for system hardware devices


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Here are our Latest Training Videos for PowerTrack Software Products


AlsoEnergy is constantly adding to our library of Training Videos. These videos are designed to share our software training program in short-form video format, and also to offer education for our product catalog and guidance for sales and support. These videos allow users to engage with AlsoEnergy training any time it may be convenient, and the video format allows users to pause, rewind, and re-watch, so they can digest the content at their own pace. All videos are posted on the AlsoEnergy YouTube Channel to enable convenient access for clients and prospective clients alike.

Our latest batch of videos covers a range of weighty topics, including training videos for the popular new Rule Tool feature in PowerTrack, an overview of the Operations Module, and a guide to PowerTrack features for Huawei string inverter systems. Plus we have a new intuitive design for the AlsoEnergy Channel Home Page.

Click on any of the titles below to access our latest training videos:

Rule Tool

String Analytics

Operations Module


For a full list of PowerTrack Training Videos available to the public, check our website. PowerTrack Training Videos are also available in the Help section of the PowerTrack application.
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See AlsoEnergy at Fall Trade Shows


AlsoEnergy is exhibiting at Solar Power International 2017 (Monday Sept 11 through Wednesday Sept 13, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas). Come visit us at booth 2719, near the front at the center of the exhibit hall, located in the Asset Management & Performance Pavilion.

AlsoEnergy is sponsoring PV O&M USA 2017; November 2-3 in San Jose, California. Our CEO Robert Schaefer will give a presentation on the topic of SCADA, data analysis, and asset management optimized for utility-scale PV.