Introducing SPLASH Monitoring (Solar Monitor)
Over the last 3 years we have been developing a web based solar monitor and data logging tool, this has now been released to EcoSolar customers within our new website and has been branded SPLASH Monitoring. Instead of keeping this tool to ourselves we have decided to provide it to all solar suppliers and installers on an independent website, www.splashmonitoring.com, without any preference to our own solar brands.
SPLASH Monitoring will offer the same powerful, informative, and educational monitoring and data logging tool to all solar suppliers and installers without preference.
SPLASH Monitoring is an effective commissioning tool for use by installers as well as allowing customers to monitor their own installations. It allows remote monitoring, logging, diagnostics and support, with automated alerts and web access.
SPALSH Monitoring provides a visual representation of the solar water heating system with realtime information.
The realtime information displayed depends upon the sensors installed and can be customised to suit each installation, requirements and the expected audience. Realtime information can include;
- System temperatures
- Pump operation
- Solar radiation, this also controls the extent of cloud cover displayed, great for children and education
- Instantaneous heat from solar system
- Heat input by backup heating and or electric elements
- System efficiency and an energy balance
- Cumulative heat recovered since zeroed, this is shown as kWhrs as well as cups of tea or slices of toast, again great for children and education
SPLASH Monitoring also provides extensive data logging using graphs and an energy balance. This allows you to ensure correct system operation, determine the system performance and also provides an effective tool for commissioning and monitoring systems.
What equipment is required?
The system requires an EcoSolar Controller and Bootloader to be installed, which are competitively priced. All EcoSolar controllers are able to offer this service, however the number and type of points to be monitored will dictate the controller to be installed. These controllers and bootloaders can be rebranded to suit.Alternatively visit the SPLASH Monitoring website for other brands of controllers supported.
How does the system work?
The solar controller monitors the sensors installed in the solar system, the customer can utilise existing sensors or install new sensors from an extensive range. These include temperature, solar radiation, flow meters and electrical monitors.
The bootloader is essentially a server and is connected to both the solar controller and the customer's router on a fixed IP address. The Solar Monitor polls the customer's bootloader, requesting the data which is automatically uploaded to the customers installation page thereby providing realtime data. The customer provides to SPLASH Monitoring details of the points they wish to monitor.
What information can we obtain from SPLASH Monitoring?
The base level of solar system will normally have the following monitored and data logged;
1.temperature in the top of the cylinder
2.temperature in the bottom of the cylinder
3.solar collector temperature
The above values are shown on the realtime monitor as well as graphically on the data logging graphs
The next level of monitoring will also include;
1.solar water circuit flow rate using a flow meter
2.solar flow and return temperatures
The monitoring of the above points will enable the heat provided by the solar system to be quantified. The monitor will then display an instantaneous kW value and will log how much heat the system has recovered since the counter was reset. The cumulative heat recovered is shown as kWhrs as well as in slices of toast and cups of tea, great as an educational tool for children.
If the solar radiation is also measured and logged, the above instantaneous heat recovered value can be graphed against the solar radiation to provide system efficiency.
The next level of data logging will provide an energy balance of the hot water system.
1.The cold water flow rate in to the cylinder is measured. If the heat provided needs to be accurate, this flow meter needs to be of a type that provides 1 pulse per litre of water or less. The flow meters that provide 1 pulse per 100 litres of water do not allow the amount of water to be referenced against the temperature rise such as required in an energy balance
2.Hot water outlet temperature - normally using the top cylinder temperature
3.Cold water inlet temperature
4.Backup heating energy input - a sensor is wired in to the electricity supply to monitor when the electric element is switched on
Is the system secure?
Completely. By locking down the ports that our devices can communicate with, we ensure that only the Solar Monitor server can poll your data. No one can access anything except for the information held on the bootloader, not even our own employees.
Can I select the people that I want to be able to see the information from my system?
Yes, the customer is able to choose from three levels of security for their installation page, which includes the monitor and data logging, these being;
1.Private Installation - only the customer can see the information.
2.Members Only - the customer allows a select Group of people to access the information.
3.Public - the customer allows free access to the information
Users are provided with a user name and password which they must use to gain access.
Can people change the settings on my system?
No, the monitoring system only allows monitoring, however, the bootloader does allow remote access which if a person is given the correct access codes will allow customers to access their bootloader and change settings remotely.
Again, it is intended that this monitor be offered independently to all solar suppliers and installers, without preference.
Please contact us to discuss your requirements and join us in providing this exciting development to the industry and ensure all of our systems perform as intended.
Also see our guide SPLASH Monitoring