5 Common SMA Inverter Monitoring Concerns

Inverters & Monitoring
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Monitoring your solar array creates greater energy consumption awareness. As with all technology, however, sometimes issues arise. With this guide, you can avoid unnecessary frustration.

1. Why You Need an Internet Connection

Although you don’t need the internet for your solar array to produce an electric current, you do need the internet if you want to monitor your panels. This means you will need a Wi-Fi connection with a password already set up.

First, you need to find an internet provider and subscribe to broadband internet. Typically, a modem comes with your internet subscription, but you will also want a wireless router.

The router is what turns your home into a hot spot. It allows any device with the correct password to connect to your internet service.  

2. Setting Up Your Sunny Portal

The initial Sunny Portal setup is part of Go Solar Group’s installation process. If, however, you would like to set it up yourself, you can. We have an SMA monitoring system setup guide for tech-savvy individuals.

Special Case Scenario

Most don’t have issues connecting the monitoring system, but there are exceptions. Often the reason why the Sunny Portal doesn’t connect is that the array’s inverter is too far away from the router. If this is the case, you can resolve this with the installation of a Wi-Fi extender.

3. Common Reasons Behind Sunny Portal Failure

Technology doesn’t always work, but often there is a logical reason behind the failure. The most common reason why the Sunny Portal stops working is internet or Wi-Fi changes.

Internet Changes Effect on the Sunny Portal

Because the Sunny Portal allows you to see data via the internet, changes to your connection have a direct impact. There are two common scenarios that cause most malfunctions. These include a plethora of devices connected to your Wi-Fi and changes to your internet.   

Too Many Users Connected to your Wi-Fi

Because of the digital age that we live in, it is normal for guests to ask for the Wi-Fi password. This isn’t a bad thing, but it can bog down your Wi-Fi speed. Because Sunny Portal is the last priority, it receives the boot so other connected devices can use your bandwidth.

Changing Your Wi-Fi Password or Internet Service

Any change to your internet connection will impact your Sunny Portal. If you change your password or get a new service provider, you will have to reconnect the Sunny Portal to your Wi-Fi.

If you get disconnected, we can help. You can either follow our guide for connecting your inverter to the internet or, for a fee, we will come out and reconnect the inverter for you. Either way, questions are welcome; we are happy to help in any way we can.

What Happens to Data When the Sunny Portal Goes Down

If the Sunny Portal goes down, that doesn’t mean your photovoltaic system isn’t working. To make sure your array is working, check your inverter.

If the first light on the left is pulsing green, then it is still producing power (this light will never be on at night). The second light is an event light — it will turn on when the power is out or an issue has arisen. The third light will produce a solid green light to indicate that the inverter is connected to the Wi-Fi. If this light is flashing, it means it is updating.

Losing connection to your monitoring app can be frustrating, but the inverter will backlog up to two weeks of data. If you become disconnected, this information will appear after the Sunny Portal is back online. It may, however, take a couple of days for it to process and load these measurements.

4. A Guide to Address Common Password Issues

Forgetting your password can be a bit frustrating, but it happens to the best of us. There are two important passwords in connection with the Sunny Portal. These include the password to your Wi-Fi and the password for your Sunny Portal account.

Forgot Your Sunny Portal Password

One of the most commonly forgotten passwords is for the Sunny Portal. The problem that many run into, however, is that the app doesn’t have a password retrieval function. You have to go to the website to reset your Sunny Portal password.

Changed Your Wi-Fi Password

As stated earlier, if you have to change your Wi-Fi password Sunny Portal will disconnect. In fact, all of your devices will disconnect until you enter the new Wi-Fi password for each device. Connecting back to the Sunny Portal, however, takes a little more effort.

To avoid the possible frustration of having to change your Wi-Fi password make sure and record it. Then keep it in a safe spot you will remember later. It is helpful to keep all of your passwords in the same labeled spot.

5. Sunny Portal Production Clarification

Being able to monitor your production is a wonderful tool. One of the best uses of this app is to determine the prime time of day for high energy consumption activities. Most, however, use it as a way to make sure their array is producing what the solar company said it would.

Daily Versus Monthly Monitoring

There are two different functions that most people use — daily and monthly monitoring. Daily monitoring allows people to see how impactful the weather can be to your production. If you look at your daily production and find that it is off, don’t panic.

Your system has been configured to offset your yearly production. This may mean you will have some days that produce more than others, but at the end of the month or year, it will balance out.

Monthly monitoring gives a better picture of how well your panels are producing. These numbers allow you to see how well your array has done at offsetting your electric bill.

Take into account the time of year and energy offset you have opted for before getting worried. Spring and fall are the best months for solar production. These months should produce more than you need in order to offset the rest of the year.

The Difference Between Sunny Portal and Utility Readings

Often people become concerned when their utility says their solar production is different than the Sunny Portal app. These readings, however, should be different.

The Sunny Portal monitors the entire production of your solar array. The utility, however, only measures your unused solar energy put on and power drawn from the grid. This means that your Sunny Portal readings will always be higher than the utility.

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