Why an accurate monitoring is becoming more important as the FIT decreases

Rbee Solar PV monitoring

This is no big news, the British government is currently in the process of reducing the Feed-In-Tariff for solar.

After a bit of “quarrel” about dates, the Feed-In-Tariff initially decreased from 43.3p to 21p on the 3rd March 2012. A new change was originally planned for the 1st July, but the DECC is currently considering moving the deadline by up to one month.

However, decrease in the FIT is a reality and grid-parity will at some point becomes one. So, what is the direct impact for producers? Solar photovoltaic will remain a good investment as energy bills tend to be more and more expensive. But reduced subsidies will also mean that monitoring their system, and making sure it is producing as much as it can, is going to become a crucial issue for producers to ensure a reasonable return on investment.

Producers therefore need to access their production data in a timely and convenient manner. A web application, that can be accessed both from a computer and a smartphone remains one of the easiest way to do it.  However, production data are not enough for producers to understand whether their panels are doing good or poorly. An understanding of the potential performance, i.e. of the installation irradiation, is crucial.
However, using physical irradiance sensor is often quite costly for residential producers. A good alternative are radiation data collected through satellite, a cost effective and reliable way to compare potential and actual production.

Rbee Solar can provide residential producers with a trusty solution to follow their actual production, and what they could be expecting. Offering producers to control their installation will for sure be a value added as the FIT is decreasing and return on investment becomes a crucial issue.

Take a tour of our demo website, request your login and password now!


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Greek sun shines through the crisis

Although Greece is going through an important economic and social crisis, due to the importance of becoming self-sufficient in terms of energy production and consumption renewable energies have continued to do well. Rtone believes strongly in the future of the renewables sector in Greece and to service the solar sector’s needs for monitoring opened an office in Athens in April 2012. I work full-time as the office’s permanent representative in Greece.

In particular from an investment perspective the solar sector has become increasingly interesting. Greece is very favorable to this sector due to 1) having the highest number of sunshine hours in Europe and 2) very high government subsidies for solar production.

Since Greece started investing in photovoltaics, the take-up rate has been very fast. According to Bloomberg, the Greek Government approved 393mWp in 2009, which increased to 1793kW by 2010.

The following graph, taken from the Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies (www.helapco.gr), shows strong increases in the number of installations for all sizes of photovolataic installations. It is particularly of note the emergence of the domestic sector as an important production source with the Greek government receiving 30000 applications for small projects totalling 5182mWp in 2011 (Bloomberg).

Small projects have been boosted by simplified procedures such as the elimination of both production licenses for projects of less than 1 megawatt and environmental permits for rooftop plants. Furthermore domestic installations up to 10kWp enjoy the highest subsidies offered by the Greek government for solar production which are currently at €0,525 per KWh.

An installation which produces just under 10kWp costs between €20,000 and €35000 and on average has fallen by €3000 since a year ago due to the fall in panel prices. A smaller installation which would take up 50-70 square metres and would produce between 3,5-5kWp costs around the €12000 mark. The growing number of solar installers is leading companied to having to differentiate themselves from their competitors by by better service. One of the ways which they can do this is through the Rbee Solar monitoring service. Rbee Solar guarantees that any issues that may arise after-sale will be promptly dealt with offering the client peace of mind about the income from his solar installation.

Rtone’s own network and research confirms that the future for the PV sector looks sunny. The only challenge at the moment for domestic installations is concerns about the financial health of the Public Power Corporation (PPC). However these ought not to be too great as the PPC can always increase the price of the electricity it sells to compensate for any cash flow problems.

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From PV monitoring to household electrical analysis

Rbee Solar Smart (Home)

Everybody is aware that more and more households generate green electricity thanks to PV installations. When it comes to producing your own electricity, monitoring is a very important element (we know that for sure!). But producing green energy is only part of the deal if you want to decrease your electricity bills as well as C02 emissions footprint. Honestly, who knows how much electricity they consume?

At Rtone, we wanted help you answer this question and we’re pleased to announce the arrival or our brand new product: Rbee Solar Smart – available now! We want to give to PV installers the opportunity to go further and to help their customers reduce their electricity consumption.

Take a tour here and feel free to call if you need more information…

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Stay tuned with Rbee Solar

Rbee Solar has now a brand new web site! This blog will be used to give you updated information about our products and other PV related information we would like to share with you… It will also include information on renewable energy  as well as news regarding our new and upcoming products.

Thanks for your interest on our PV monitoring solution Rbee Solar and stay tuned!

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