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Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers en

 

 

 

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1. INNOVATION
 

We are offering a unique technology of individual module monitoring, called SunSniffer, which is integrated in the junction boxes of solar modules, allowing 100% transparency on the performance and functioning of power plants thanks to real-time data collection from individual modules/strings and advanced artificial intelligence. This allows for problem detection and pattern prediction, providing the customer with a totally user-friendly interpretation of the data and with an indication of which O&M actions are to be taken. By precisely indicating which are the modules affected, what the problem may be and what actions are to be taken, the SunSniffer saves plant owners expensive on-site visits to diagnose the issues and enables technicians to easily and effectively repair the affected modules. This helps save up to 50% in O&M costs and improves plant performances by up to 7%. See section below “SunSniffer Technology”.

 
2. SUNSNIFFER TECHNOLOGY
 

We are offering a unique technology of individual module monitoring, called SunSniffer, which is integrated in the junction boxes of solar modules, allowing 100% transparency on the performance and functioning of power plants thanks to real-time data collection from individual modules/strings and advanced artificial intelligence. This allows for problem detection and pattern prediction, providing the customer with a totally user-friendly interpretation of the data and with an indication of which O&M actions are to be taken. By precisely indicating which are the modules affected, what the problem may be and what actions are to be taken, the SunSniffer saves plant owners expensive on-site visits to diagnose the issues and enables technicians to easily and effectively repair the affected modules. This helps save up to 50% in O&M costs and improves plant performances by up to 7%. See section below “SunSniffer Technology”.


SunSniffer has several advantages:

 

PV Plants do not operate as well as they could: each module is subject to natural degradation, plus faults resulting from production and external influences cause reduction in performance - often much greater than assumed.

Conventional technology provides no feedback from where the electricity is produced: namely in the module. Many errors cannot be detected by conventional diagnostic methods in the field. Further, these methods are also complex and expensive.

 

Only through accurate, module-specific data collection and data analysis can data quality and depth of information be obtained that goes beyond mere error detection: where and what the problem is becomes clear. This provides you with 100% transparency on the installation.

This allows precise recommendations for action and provides an easy-to-understand display, also for non-technical personnel. Repair and maintenance costs can be accurately assessed, weighed and calculated

The simple yet ingenious technical system not only uses the existing wiring and thus offers the highest efficiency and safety, but is also extremely robust and low-priced.


With SunSniffer you do not have to drive into the field to check for the problem. 90% of the cases can be analyzed in remote. The repair job is defined without local diagnostics. That saves a lot of time and money.


The SunSniffer system consists of different components, all especially robust and designed for an easy „plug-and-play“ integration: SunSniffer Sensor, SunSniffer String Reader, SunSniffer Gateway, and SunSniffer Webportal.


A small chip directly integrated by SunSniffer GmbH & Co. KG in the junction box of the solar modules. The sensor measures voltage and temperature in relation to the serial number of the solar module and transmits them to the String Reader through the Powerline Technology – the transmission runs over the existing DC, saving the deployment of further communication cabling. The measurements takes place every 30 seconds with a precision of +/- 1 %.


The String Reader collects the data coming from the sensors within a string of modules and measure the current as well as the voltage. The data are then sent to the Gateway via Modbus (RS 485).


Dein Text...


The String Reader collects the data coming from the sensors within a string of modules and measure the current as well as the voltage. The data are then sent to the Gateway via Modbus (RS 485).


The Webportal analyzes and edits the data. The SunSniffer Webportal does not only detect individual performance variations but can also analyse patterns (e.g., shading of a module) by using intelligent data analysis. In case of damage of the module the system informs the plant maintainers via email or SMS. Through a visualization function it is possible to see represented the whole solar installation as it was planned and built. Thanks to the module serial number, which is registered in the sensor chip, it is possible to identify univocally the module.


No extra cabling thanks to Powerline-Technology
Sensor and Reader communicate over the normal solar cabling using a specifically developed transmission technology. An additional installation of communication cables is therefore not necessary.


No extra cabling thanks to Powerline-Technology
Sensor and Reader communicate over the normal solar cabling using a specifically developed transmission technology. An additional installation of communication cables is therefore not necessary.

 
3. TECHNICAL FAQ

The following information can be subsumed on the basis of the data provided by the sensors, elaborated by the system:


From modul, string and inverter. Plus information if there is a difference from simulation. Exact localization of the problem and report whith a suggestion which modules needs to be replaced or serviced. This is communicated to an App for field use.


The simulation software enables the irradiation sensor to calculate a set value, which is then matched with the actual current, indicating the degree of pollution of the solar modules.


Permanent quick check: „PID yes / no“; PID is detected based on the specific PID voltage pattern of the individual solar modules.


The SunSniffer recognizes voltage reduction patterns generated by microcracks.


The SunSniffer recognizes different voltage reduction patterns which are typical of different shading types (systemic and temporary).


The SunSniffer is capable of detecting potentially defective diodes thanks to voltage measurements.


The SunSniffer monitors the strings with a simulation engine and an irradiation sensor, calculating module degradation.


Temperature is an important factor influencing the performance of the whole plant. The SunSniffer measures the temperature of the modules individually, making clear what is the impact of different factors (such as wind) on specific parts of the plant.


The SunSniffer is capable of carrying out a full comparison of different PV systems.





Diode failures can be easily detected by our analysis engine via loss of voltage.


In case of hotspots, we see power losses and that is what we measure, per module with an accuracy of 1%.


Depending on the amount of bird droppings. This can range from lessened current up to voltage loss due to hotspots.


Broken cells can lead to less voltage and less current, depending on the type of defect.


Yes, for PID for example. In a case of PID the modules at the end of the string a losing voltage. It is a slow but ongoing increase of loss. This will harm the modules. At a certain stage those modules cannot be healed anymore.


Retrofits are plugged between the modules and the junction boxes - instead of connecting modules to each other in a row, the retrofit is plugged in between them. You can see this on the pages Retrofit Upgrade Clip / Retrofit Box.


It depends on the plant size. We need for each String-Reader 4 kb per hour and for an inverter 30 kb per hour. For a 2 MW plant this will add up to 4,5 MB per hour. We have an upload bandwith of 1,25kb per second. HSPDA has an upload speed of 8 kb. That means we can handle up to 12 MW plants with a normal HSPDA connection.


Measurements are taken every 30 seconds by SunSniffer sensor. Data is transferred to webportal about every 5-15 min. In scientific version of gateway, data transmission of gateway can be adjusted.


Depending on plant size. With less speed, data sending interval is enlarged. For 1 MW plant, ca. 150 MByte data volume should be enough.


Theoretical maximum is 1.2 km, however, too long distances should not be used with normal cabeling. If there is a need for long distances and interference free transmission you should use fibre optics. You just add fibre optics media converter and have no limits in length and no interference at all.


Sensors are always recognized by their serial number, no matter if the module serial number is known or not. However, for knowing which module is affected as well as setting plant view up, mapping of module and sensor serial number is required. During production of modules with SunSniffer sensor, mapping is automatically generated.

 
Awards

Our technology is awarded and patented

Cooperation

Together with scientific institutions
we are constantly developing our technology
and promote research

 
Contact us

SunSniffer GmbH & Co. KG
Ludwig-Feuerbach-Str. 69
90489 Nürnberg
Germany

Phone: +49 (0)911 993 992 0
Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

© 2017 SunSniffer GmbH & Co. KG