Solar panels, otherwise known as photovoltaic panels (PV), harness daylight from the sun and convert it into electrical energy for a home. The amount of energy available to the home depends on:
- Amount of direct sunlight exposed to the solar panels
- Dirt, precipitation, and shade on solar panels prevent sunlight from being harnessed
- Less sunlight available during winter months
- Efficiency and size of the solar installed (total DC watts)
- Composition (mono or polycrystalline) and layout (tilt angle + facing direction) of solar panels may cap maximum energy production
- Solar efficiency decreases with age
- Solar equipment decreases efficiency on extremely hot days
- Efficiency of solar inverters
- Varies between different manufacturers
DC Vs. AC-Coupled
Solar Panels convert sunlight into electrical energy in the form of DC (Direct Current) power. Electrical utility and power going to home loads is distributed with AC (Alternating Current) power. Power from solar must be converted from DC to AC to be useable by a homeowner. This is done through the use of DC-AC inverters, which are either solar or hybrid inverters.
Each inverter manufacturer has their own coupling method of linking solar power and battery storage systems. When solar (and battery storage) power is combined and distributed in DC before being converted to AC to the home, this is a DC-coupled system. An AC-coupled system combines solar (and battery storage) power after they are converted to AC power.
Common DC-coupled manufacturers:
Common AC-coupled manufacturers:
Solar with SPAN
SPAN can monitor a home’s solar energy production through:
- Branch breaker measurements
- 3rd party storage system integration
- SPAN Remote Meter Kit solar CTs when SPAN is paired with an Enphase storage system
|NOTE: An authorized SPAN Installer (or SPAN Support) must add the solar hardware to your SPAN Panel via the SPAN Installer App for solar to be displayed in the SPAN Home App.
SPAN Home App
Tap on the “sun” icon in the Flow screen to see solar production statistics over a single:
Tap into the “Solar generation over time” graph to see granular solar production over:
- 10 minutes of each day
- each day of the week
- each day of the month
- each month of the year
If data discrepancy exists between SPAN and what the solar inverter reports, check for the following:
- If solar is landed in SPAN branch breaker:
- Verify the installed breaker location matches the Home App circuits page
- If solar lands upstream of SPAN and is part of a battery storage system:
- Verify communication wiring between SPAN and storage system is intact
- If solar is installed with an Enphase system, verify solar CTs are installed correctly
- Contact SPAN Support for further assistance.
|NOTE: Some storage systems will under-report solar in their Apps (e.g. Tesla) to hide idle battery power consumption. When solar is part of a native integrated battery storage system (i.e. integration without Remote Meter), SPAN reads the raw solar production value from the storage system.