The software used to monitor your PowerBanx home battery is known as SolarMAN (where the MAN stands for ‘Monitored, Analyzed, Networked’). However, as well as the battery it will also monitor your solar generation and electricity consumption, and system status, in real-time. It is partly the power of the SolarMAN range of software that makes the PowerBanx system so effective.
SolarMAN is an award-winning product of the Chinese IGEN Tech company. It has been among the top ten residential monitoring providers for some years, with solutions deployed primarily in Europe and China. At one point it was the fastest-growing provider globally in the residential segment and remains a global leading player.
SolarMAN and PowerBanx
Each PowerBanx includes a Sofar Solar inverter (model ME3000SP) and this is Wi-Fi enabled, i.e it can be monitored over the Internet. Specifically, each Sofar inverter includes a dedicated SolarMAN WiFi circuit (technically an ‘embedded data logging module‘) so that it comes with full internet monitoring ‘out of the box’ and at no extra cost.
There are 3 main elements to the SolarMAN software range, each of which can access and monitor your PowerBanx system remotely: SolarMAN Pro, the SolarMAN Portal, and the SolarMAN App.
The SolarMAN Pro website is technically known as the SolarMAN Plant Center – it is a hub where a solution provider such as Fuel Included can access and monitor all the systems (PV and battery) that it has installed. A main dashboard shows the number of plants operating, their total daily, monthly, annual and cumulative energy generation, and any fault alerts.
There is then a map showing each solar ‘plant’ location (though this is currently glitchy and often doesn’t display). Below this there is a list showing each plant – clicking on this allows us to drill down into the current status of each PowerBanx system. A plant-specific dashboard shows current, daily, monthly, annual and total values for power generation, consumption, purchase, battery charge, and much, much more:
To the PowerBanx owner, the bottom line is that we can monitor their PowerBanx status remotely and initially diagnose and troubleshoot issues with their system without needing a site visit. The analysis can be very detailed – for example it was through this interface that Jason was able to analyze the behaviour of one customer’s PowerBanx system to see if it was correctly charging on Eco7 at night and solar during the day:
Each PowerBanx owner has access to a SolarMAN website dedicated to their particular system, via the SolarMAN Portal.
It is described as follows:
SolarMAN Portal is a web-based platform for PV monitoring, enabling analysis and presentation of PV systems. Data collected from PV systems are transmitted to and analyzed by SolarMAN Portal, and then displayed in various formats that are easy to understand. Automatic alarms are available so that any malfunctions or abnormal conditions can be identified and reported immediately. Users can easily access SolarMAN Portal to monitor PV systems at anytime and from anywhere. This easy-to-use platform makes monitoring of PV systems simple and convenient, far reducing time and costs as well.
- User-friendly and multilingual interface
- Web-based remote management
- Powerful Cloud platform enables easy monitoring and management of hundreds of thousands of systems simultaneously
- Visualized real-time data and historical data for analysis and easy understanding
- A variety of formats for better presentation
- Automatic alarms as customized by users
- Analyze the efficiency and performance of PV systems
- Multi-level management for satisfying specific demands of end users, installers/integrators and device manufacturers
- Data and event reports sent via email regularly as specified
- Demonstration power stations for reference, system information available to share through the portal
- Open API enables perfect integration into corporate or personal websites
This is a view of the Portal dashboard for my PowerBanx system:
I will describe the setup and use of the Portal for PowerBanx owners in a future blog post.
Each PowerBanx owner can install a SolarMAN App on their smartphone to allow monitoring of their PowerBanx battery and solar system while on the move.
The app is available for iOS and Android as follows:
- Apple iOS SolarMAN app on iTunes
- Android SolarMAN app on Google Play
The app is described as follows:
SolarMAN App is available on iPhones and smartphones with Android operating system, enabling mobile monitoring of your PV systems easier and quicker. Both real-time and historical data can be displayed with transparent graphs and in daily, monthly, annual and overall format. Besides power and yield, data such as CO2 savings, weather condition, and sensor information can be displayed as well.
SolarMAN App can support both remote and local mode. With remote mode, you can view all data as same as SolarMAN Portal; and with local mode, you can get direct access to the web server of SolarMAN monitoring device via WiFi and check the performance of your PV system.
- Real-time and historical data displayed via internet at any time
- Visualized data with transparent graphs
- Daily/monthly/annual/overall data
- CO2 savings, weather and sensor data displayed
- Local mode enables direct access to system data via WiFi
This is a view of the home screen on the app:
I will describe the setup and use of the App for PowerBanx owners in a future blog post.
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