Maximizing Solar Yield: A Deep Dive into the Functionalities of String Monitoring Boxes

In the drive towards sustainable development, India has set a target of 500 GW of energy production through non-fossil fuels by 2030. Solar energy constitutes a significant portion of this capacity.  Solar energy is the most abundant and cleanest source of energy available. Its widespread adoption can easily ensure the targeted growth. With the rapid shift to solar power, maintaining the optimum performance of solar panels is essential to achieve maximum yield. 

String monitoring boxes play an important role in enhancing solar yield with continuous monitoring. This blog delves deep into the functionality of string monitoring boxes and how they can help maximise solar yield. 

What are string monitoring boxes?

String monitoring boxes (SMBs) are electrical devices that combine the input from individual strings. They are used in solar systems with photovoltaic (PV) to monitor the performance of each string connected to the solar panel.

String monitoring boxes are more advanced than string combiner boxes. This is so because multiple strings are combined to transfer a single output to inverters. Also, each string is monitored to maintain high efficiency in solar panels.

Understanding string monitoring boxes

String monitoring boxes used in solar systems with PV cells monitors the performance of strings attached to solar panels. They measure voltage, current, and temperature periodically to monitor any sort of fluctuations that may arise. This data is stored in string monitoring boxes before being communicated to the central system.

Data stored is transferred to the central monitoring system through wired or wireless communication devices. String monitoring boxes also allow offline data analysis in cases where the central monitoring system is inaccessible due to outages. 

Regular monitoring through string monitoring boxes helps in timely fault detection to address any issues in solar panels, ultimately maximizing solar yield.

Benefits of string monitoring boxes

String monitoring boxes have a significant role to play in solar systems. Some of the benefits are listed below:

1. Real-time analysis

String monitoring boxes help in real-time solar data analysis by tracking the correct reason for the underperformance of solar panels. Since each string is examined, the exact cause of deviation in performance can be promptly identified, and necessary action can be taken.

2. Cost reduction

Due to continuous monitoring, any issues are ascertained at the right time. Huge costs for the maintenance of solar panels can be reduced with this.

3. Reduction of downtime 

Downtime can significantly impact productivity. This may be due to shading, wiring defects, etc., but is drastically reduced as monitoring data provides trends and helps anticipate defects. 

4. Reduces interruptions in operations

Defects that are not easily identifiable are tracked down by string monitoring, which helps reduce interruptions in the production process of solar systems.

5. Minimizes potential induced degradation

Any loss due to interference of stray currents is also minimized with the help of string monitoring boxes. Without string monitoring, it takes a long time to detect such losses.

Maximize solar yield with string monitoring boxes

Monitoring each string of the solar panel can help in improving its efficiency. Let us explore how:

1. Instant monitoring

String monitoring boxes allow continuous monitoring of each string to monitor its performance. This brings any issues like shading or other technical issues to notice immediately so that corrective action can be taken without delay. 

2. Fix poorly performing strings

Monitoring data can help identify strings that do not perform well. Each string can be compared with the rest to understand how they perform. This will help to fix the strings instantly, which ultimately adds to the performance of solar panels.

3. Create a schedule

A fixed schedule for monitoring the strings can help early detection of faults. It will be easy to initiate correction mechanisms so that any defective string does not affect the performance of the solar system.

4. Shade mitigation

Shading can impact string performance, affecting solar panels’ performance. So,  shading analysis is essential for the proper positioning of solar panels. This helps them tap maximum heat and energy from the sun, thus optimizing solar panel output. 

5. Fault alerts

String monitoring boxes can send timely fault alerts for problems with wiring, inverters, etc. These alerts ensure that any fault that may affect the performance of the PV panels is addressed.

6. Performance improvements

Continuous performance improvements can be seen in solar systems with regular monitoring of strings. Reports from string monitoring indicate yield maximization strategies to be undertaken. Data analysis makes comparison easier to implement proper corrective steps that may be required.

7. Remote monitoring

String monitoring boxes also allow remote monitoring to analyse performance from anywhere. This helps in restoring the performance of the solar panels without any delay. It eliminates any delay, thereby ensuring business continuity.

VNT- A renowned name in solar solutions

Solar installations promise sustainable development for the country. As a pioneer in the field of energy solutions, VNT offers excellent support to this end through its innovative products.

Our excellence in the solar domain can be understood from our SMBs installed in solar plants nationwide, even in challenging terrains, high altitudes and coastal areas.

Our String monitoring boxes are fully customizable with up to 32 PV string inputs, have the highest measurement accuracy, and are 100% factory-tested in compliance with ISO 9001:2015 and IEC 61439-1&-2 standards.

  • Our SMBs are much more advanced than the combiner boxes.
  • We ensure the highest precision with a measurement accuracy of ±0.5%
  • We have a wide variety ranging from 600 to 1500 VDC.
  • Our SMBs are integrated with surge protection devices and have built-in touch-safe fuse holders, DC isolator, etc.
  • We offer end-to-end solutions with commissioning, maintenance and service support throughout the lifecycle of the solar system.

All our products result from research and development by our experts and adhere to international standards. VNT has a world-class manufacturing facility to produce high-quality products at competitive prices. 

To summarise

String monitoring boxes are crucial to maintaining highly functional solar energy systems. It is the moral obligation for businesses and industries to follow practices. Choosing the right brand of SMBs paves the way for sustainable development, which ultimately benefits the environment and the industries’ productivity.

Contact us to learn how our solutions can help you accelerate your business performance. 

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