2019's Top Solar Monitoring Systems | Solar.com

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2019’s Top Solar Monitoring Systems

 

Household solar monitoring systems change the abstracts of power generation and consumption into graphics and numbers you can scroll through on an app. Hardware connected to your meter gathers and sends data to a software program. The program translates the information into how much power your solar panels are generating and where it’s going.

Tracking energy consumption with specificity can help you to determine which appliances might need updating or other adjustments you can make to reduce your monthly bill, right down to whether you left the curling iron on this morning.

Here are some of the top solar monitoring systems available.

Home Energy by Sense

  • Price: $299
  • Apps: Android, iOS, and web app
  • Average Customer Ratings: 4 out of 5 Stars on Amazon
  • 4.5 out of 5 on iOS
  • 4.3 out of 5 on Android

Sense offers one of the most popular solar monitoring systems. It’s connected to your power panel by a certified electrician. The installation process should only take about 30 minutes.

Once your monitor is connected and on WiFi, Sense collects data on your home’s solar production and compares it to your energy usage. It learns and identifies various appliances and even tabulates patterns and trends in your energy consumption.

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A welcome new addition is the ability to set your electricity costs in the app. This helps you understand the real-time application of your energy use in dollar amounts, rather than just in energy consumed.

Home Energy Monitoring System by CURB

  • Price: $399
  • Average Customer Ratings: 3.5 out of 5 Stars on Amazon
  • Apps: Android, iOS, and web app
  • 4.5 out of 5 on iOS
  • 4.3 out of 5 on Android

Like Sense, Curb requires a professional installation. Breaker panels can pack up to 200 amps of power, so it’s a good idea to have an electrician who knows their way around them safely do the work. This system also reports the cost of the electricity you’re consuming and can even show the real-time results of changing your habits.

The Curb mobile apps allow you to set notifications about how your appliances are functioning and alerts you to any abnormalities or possible problems. It also sends tips on how to save more electricity (and money) and alerts you if you’re going over budget or if you accidentally leave something on.

Smappee Solar

  • Price: $349
  • Apps: Android, iOS, and web app
  • Average Customer Ratings: 3.5 out of 5 Stars on Amazon
  • 2.5 out of 5 on iOS
  • 3.2 out of 5 on Android

Smappee prides itself on a differentiator in functionality which allows you to redirect energy from one appliance to another in the order of your choosing. This gives you the control to set energy priorities and increase efficiency proactively, rather than monitoring and reactively turning off certain electronics.

Another interesting Smappee feature is its ability to function as an “energy traffic controller.” This ensures that you don’t overload your electrical panel and trip a circuit breaker every time you use the blow dryer and the run the dishwasher at the same time. Plus, Smappee is integrated with SolarCoin, giving you the option of earning “air-miles for solar electricity generation.”

Enphase Enlighten

  • Price: Comes with the Enphase system, which varies per project
  • Apps: Android, iOS, and web app
  • Average Customer Ratings: 2.6 out of 5 Stars on Amazon (Envoy, the hardware component)
  • 1.7 out of 5 on iOS
  • 2.9 out of 5 on Android

Enphase offers a complete package, from the solar panels and micro-inverters tucked beneath them to the smart electricity monitoring system. Customers gain total access to information on their investment, including zeroing in on how individual inverters are functioning.

The package-deal nature of Envoy’s system does make it initially more complex. Customers need to know what to ask for before installation, such as the individual micro-inverter monitoring feature. But if a complete Enphase system is what you want, and you and your installer are clear about what you’ll be getting, it’s a highly effective monitoring system.

More solar monitoring systems to look into are W1 by Neurio, Eyedro, Frontius Solar Web, SMA Solar Portal, and Solar Edge. Need help sifting through solar monitoring system options? Talk with a Solar.com energy expert today.

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