Knowledge is power

From Fitbits to Apple Watches, data is playing a bigger role than ever and increasingly becoming a part of the day-to-day use and production of energy.

4 min read
“Big Data” has been thrown around boardrooms for years, but it’s increasingly becoming a part of our day-to-day lives. From Fitbits to Apple Watches, data’s playing a bigger role than ever.

On a daily basis, big data is translated and delivered to us in clear, concise and digestible forms. No longer limited to large-scale reports and company analysis, the accumulation and breakdown of large data is now a personal affair.

Thanks to continuous advancements in technology, we are now able to collect data based on our own lifestyle, fitness, water intake, even sleep patterns.

When we use public transport, we’re able to consult travel websites and apps that provide us with comprehensive and real-time routes and results. When we want to track our fitness, we can program our smart watches to do so.

To understand our sleep, receive tailored music recommendations or monitor how much time we spend on websites, technology can grace us with simple answers – all derived from the millions of bits of data that are transmitted from our devices every day.

Data and renewable energy

As reported by the Climate Council, the renewable energy sector is booming globally; it’s no surprise that the trend for turning big data into personalised streams of information has permeated this industry, too.

The means monitoring solar energy production has become a must-have for solar system owners. The average Aussie household with its own solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and solar monitoring can now detect when panels aren’t performing at their optimum so action can be taken.

In other words, solar monitoring helps people act in time to fix any issues and maximise the benefits of solar energy systems in one easy sweep. And, much like public transport apps and journey planners, this kind of monitoring can also be beneficial to our finances.

Data and solar monitoring

Solar monitoring will monitor your solar system’s performance, and help ensure you’re getting maximum output and savings. Accessed using an online dashboard – available on any of your online devices – it provides real-time monitoring of both solar production and household energy consumption.

Crucially, it also provides you with automatic fault and diagnosis alerts if there’s a problem, letting you know via email what is needed to fix it, which could save you hundreds of dollars.

Solar monitoring provides a customised snapshot of how well your solar system is performing every month in addition to your real time access to this data. The “big data” is translated; activity is shown in real time; and you’re able to gain an individual, personalised insight into your household’s solar energy use.

Streamlining your solar system

But why should busy Aussie homeowners bother with this kind of big data?

We know that having potential faults fixed can generate between 15 and 20% more energy over the lifetime of your system.

More than 1.42 million small-scale solar power systems were installed across the country by the end of 2014, and in the same year, small-scale solar was responsible for 15.3% of Australia’s clean energy generation and produced 2.1% of the country’s total electricity.

More than 50% of residential rooftop solar systems don’t provide as much power as they could, and big data translates into small pieces of information that makes solar energy generation more efficient, which means owners can get the best out of their solar investment.