Also Energy

AlsoEnergy’s Rule Tool; On-Demand Site Validation and Real Time Diagnostics

The Rule Tool from AlsoEnergy is a standard feature in the PowerTrack Web application, providing automated diagnostic evaluations for the health of your monitoring systems along with array performance analysis. It can be used to run automated remote site validation surveys for single systems, portfolio groupings, or for your entire fleet. It is a powerful tool that can dramatically expedite the system commissioning process, reducing or eliminating the need for site visits. It is equally as powerful for ongoing fleet oversight and for troubleshooting when issues arise.

The Rule Tool’s system validation survey provides a comprehensive and authoritative report card for system health. It allows users to hover over any result for a full explanation of query parameters and processes. You can then drill down to visit the relevant PowerTrack analytics page view to locate and diagnose issues like missing or unexpected data. It can also simplify your alert process by consolidating automated reports that are issued to your specification.

The system performs twenty-four real-time queries for key indicators across four areas of operation: communications, configuration, data quality, and performance. This gives you an immediate report on-demand, providing real time visibility into all devices on the network. The Rule Tool also includes performance analysis from PowerTrack analytics so you can see a complete review of system health in a single report. Because it is configured with the exact information you provide during the site configuration process, your performance benchmarks are optimally defined and your view is tightly tailored to the specifications of each individual system.

The first group of queries in a survey checks the health of system communications, pinging every device to check that all reporting nodes in your system are sending and receiving communications with no unexpected results. These queries cover the health of communications throughout the local area network (LAN) on site and check to see that inverter uptime is consistent with available irradiance. Rule Tool also checks to confirm that your cellular data plan is in line with expected usage rates throughout the billing cycle.

Automated surveys also cover hardware and software configurations. Rule Tool will check to see that every data point is correctly identified, measured, and labeled at the device level, and that performance models are correctly configured. Incoming data is measured against registered values for system size and architecture to ensure that all devices are correctly mapped, including weather station hardware. Rule Tool reviews alert logs to help eliminate invalid alerts and to ensure that every alert is reaching a valid email address. It also checks data quality to confirm that all values are falling within expected ranges. These queries can alert you if there is a discrepancy between energy readings at the inverter and meter levels, and tell you if the correlation between kW and kWh is not correct. Data quality queries cover other devices as well including meter voltages, weather station data and even your tracking system. Rule Tool goes one step further, looking for gaps in data sets and automatically repairing the archive using data stored at the device level.

The final group of queries examine array performance. This is a convenient way to curate various performance indicators from PowerTrack analytics including meter phases, production vs. available irradiance, and expected vs. actual yield. Performance-related queries require Advanced Site Configuration (ASC) services from AlsoEnergy and a source of localized irradiance data.

AlsoEnergy supports thousands of Rule Tool queries every month for our clients’ portfolios, helping to expedite commissioning acceptance processes and ensure optimal plan vs. actual performance. As a tool for periodic checkups and troubleshooting, it helps users identify production losses and minimize downtime. The system gives the AlsoEnergy Support Team a clear, immediate view of your site network, enabling faster and more efficient issue resolution. For EPCs and developers, the end result is improved efficiency and reduced costs related to system commissioning. For operators and asset managers, the Rule Tool enables more effective remote oversight with faster response times, increasing asset availability and maximizing yield.