Tracking Solar Performance With Measurement And Verification | EnergyLink

Tracking Solar Performance with Measurement and Verification

Measurement and verification (M&V) is a way to track energy systems performance after a project is completed. It is important to utilize an effective M&V process in order to make sure your energy system is performing and generating savings at its greatest potential rate.

What is measurement & verification?

Measurement and verification is a process that involves installing and maintaining energy meters, gathering data and developing methods for computation, and reporting verified results. Tracking performance of an energy project with measurement and verification ensures that the project is producing the power output and savings its expected to. M&V services for renewable energy technologies have the ability to directly measure supplied energy. This is a simpler approach when compared to measuring the system performance of energy efficiency projects. Energy efficiency project performance measurements require the quantification of the energy not used, otherwise known as avoided energy.

How is solar performance tracked with measurement and verification?

M&V can be used to track the performance of various energy systems, including solar ones. The solar monitoring process involves evaluating the ratio of energy harvested to available energy over time. The monitoring system is composed of power meters, string current sensors, data loggers, an inverter interface system and weather stations. Monitoring systems play an important role in device communication, sensor readings and data collection and storage at the plant level. Access to these systems is crucial when in comes to monitoring system performance.

In an ideal situation, hourly production data is collected from monitoring systems at the inverter level. This data is collected in conjunction with solar irradiance for its geographical location, often pulled from a NASA database that contains meteorology and solar related parameters. Using this method, performance is analyzed based on inverter up-time and available renewable energy. if an inverter is down or irradiance is low for a period of time, we can make the necessary adjustments to our expected production values to get a more accurate description of performance.

The International Performance Metering and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) establishes best practice techniques for verifying results of renewable and energy efficient projects and is used to assess facility performance. With these assessments, the customer and facility managers can evaluate the performance level of their energy conservation measures (ECMs) with a standardized process.

Benefits of measurement & verification

The M&V process offers many benefits both to energy system owners and members of the general public who may own energy systems in the future.Their benefits are outlined below.

1. Financial

By providing feedback on daily operations, M&V services can increase energy savings. This feedback allows facility owners to adjust their facility management and deliver higher and more persistent energy savings over time.

M&V can also reduce the cost of financing energy projects. Practicing more generally accepted M&V methods can provide a more credible assessment of savings and performance. This will provide lending institutions more confidence they need to finance.

Additionally, M&V services can enhance the value of emission-reduction credits and therefore the value of your efficiency project. Energy efficiency investments can be recognized as an emission management strategy through documentation of emissions reductions from reduced energy consumption projects.

2. Improved design with less maintenance

M&V can improve engineering design and facility operations and management. With M&V services in place it is easier to discover and reduce operations and management problems, making it easier to run facilities more efficiently.

3. Increase awareness of energy management as a public policy tool

By improving the credibility of energy management projects, M&V will gain public acceptance. Effective M&V practices lead to enhanced savings and will demonstrate the public benefits provided by efficient energy management.

Interested in measurement & verification services?

EnergyLink has a dedicated department to actively monitor all sites and promptly identify issues that need attention. We currently continuously monitor almost 20 sites through a variety of solar monitoring systems and are constantly working to standardize and optimize our process for system performance monitoring as our company grows.

EnergyLink team members are experts in measurement and verification. Add these services to your energy project to better track your building’s energy use and gain valuable insights to improve your facility management. Click the button below to start the process or learn more, or speak to a team member at (866) 218-0830.

Interested in metering & verification services?

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