RainWise’s ‘PVmet 500’ climate station is designed for value efficient PV plant effectivity monitoring


Compatible with most PV inverter company technologies and third party monitoring solutions worldwide. Image: RainWise

RainWise has introduced the “PVmet 500” series of weather stations for commercial and utility-scale PV power plants, which is the world’s first compact and customizable professional multi-function weather station designed specifically for monitoring PV efficiency. The PVmet 500 offers a cost-effective solution, measurement accuracy and IEC-61724-1 conformity and processes several communication protocols for quick field acceptance.


With the increasing use of high-efficiency PV modules and bifacial modules for commercial and utility projects, greater emphasis is placed on real-time measurement of key performance indicators such as solar radiation, temperature on the back of the module and ambient air temperatures as well as wind and rain to optimize power generation in the calculation the power ratio (PR) of a solar power plant. This is to ensure that the operation and maintenance activities in operating facilities are met with regard to the performance and efficiency requirements for fault detection, as the facility performance is not optimal outside of the real-time weather conditions. Due to the frequent occurrence of microclimates, the sole use of satellite data and inverter data for the analysis of the plant performance can lead to a mismatch between the actual plant performance and the actual weather conditions of the plant. A higher than expected irradiance can result in an underestimated crop yield, creating a missed opportunity to provide higher performance and higher yields to the grid. With the increasing use of uniaxial trackers for both large-scale monofacial and bifacial modules, wind load factors are becoming increasingly important as a potential catastrophic failure due to high and specific wind conditions that can lead to instability phenomena such as torsional gallop and torsion, fluttering at relatively low wind speeds. However, project developers, EPC and asset owners are faced with the challenge of minimizing the up-front costs of the weather station, long-term reliability and the selection of components that cost-effectively meet the requirements of the individual PV power plants and the maximum ROI (return on investment) of the PV project allow minimization of the non-optimal system performance during the expected system life. This becomes increasingly important when PV power plants use high quality bill of materials with lower typical performance penalties that could allow an extension of the service life of more than 10 years.


Based on the experience of more than 8,000 PV systems worldwide since 2010, the PVMet 500 series supports the monitoring of global albedo (bifacial PV) and diffuse parameters that meet the new requirements of owners and operators of PV power plants, including cost efficiency , satisfy . The RainWise Pvmet 500 supports up to three thermopile sensors and is therefore suitable for bifacial PV module technology. An example configuration could be a global (horizontal) irradiance sensor and two POA irradiance sensors (plane of array) mounted at the same angle as the PV modules. Likewise, the back of the array (BOA) would fit 180 degrees from the POA irradiance sensor in line with the solar panel. PVMet 500 is the latest modular technology for solar energy monitoring and can be updated to support all standard data values ​​for weather stations and to be prepared for future communication standards such as Modbus TCP (Ethernet), thereby limiting further costs. The Pvmet500 offers Modbus RTU connectivity via the RS485 interface and soon the Modbus TCP via an Ethernet port. The Pvmet 500 supports the popular SunSpec standard to reduce connection times and error analysis. The series also supports up to three temperature sensors on the back of the panel. The new system offers the option to include all weather station parameters such as an ultrasonic anemometer for wind speed and direction (optional), mini aervane anemometer wind speed and direction (optional), ambient temperature (standard), relative humidity (standard) and air pressure (Standard) & participation in a rain gauge (optional) PVC / plastic & aluminum (RGA) version.


All commercial PV monitoring applications and small utility projects. Compatible with most PV inverter company technologies and third party monitoring solutions worldwide.


This weather station is the 6th member of the RainWise family of dedicated weather stations for the PV market. PVmet 500 is compatible with all leading manufacturers of precision solar sensors for efficient monitoring of thermopiles, including First Class, Second Class and Secondary Standard up to economical silicon diode irradiance sensors. The weather station also meets the IEC-61724-1 standard for PV monitoring systems. The PVMet 500 series is a multi-sensor weather station with an RTU Modbus (slave) communication protocol and an RS485 connection. The product is fully SunSpec certified and compliant. The PVmet 500 is delivered fully installed and only needs to be assembled and configured. No special tools, software, or on-site calibrations are required. RainWise also provides expert guidance on system specifications.


The PVmet500 Modbus RTU (RS485) is available now, and the PVmet 500 Modbus TCP (Ethernet) version will be available in the first quarter of 2021.

PV Tech is hosting a TechTalk Product Series webinar with RainWise to help PV project developers, asset owners and prospects better understand the latest benefits and features of modular weather stations that have a direct positive impact on system ROI can reduce weather-related risks.

Title: Maximizing the ROI of PV Power Plants with Modular Weather Stations for Solar Monitoring

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 – 4:00 p.m. (BST) Approx. 30 minutes.

Further information and a free registration can be found here.

Tags: rain, weather stations for PV systems, bifacial modules, single axis tracker, PV power plants, commercial and industrial solar, solar and PV tech Techtalk product webinars

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