NatGen Solar is a national solar renewable energy provider based in the United Kingdom. They install and manage solar panel systems, to commercial and domestic customers, selling the energy generated back to the utility companies which provide a return on investment for the initial hardware costs.
At all points in NatGen Solar’s business model they had identified inefficiency and potential risks to their revenue that threatened the viability of their solar panel installations. To mitigate these risks and maximise efficiency, NatGen Solar employed AVC Sustainable Management to provide innovate solutions.
Project Viability Analysis
Each new project opportunity presented to Nat Gen Solar requires detailed analysis to calculate its physical and financial viability. Historically this was completed through time-consuming and expensive site surveys.
By implementing AVC’s Energy Manager System they were able to assess and calculate the size of the roof space, orientation and configuration of the panel arrays and the size of the panels required remotely using our integrated Google Earth tool and sun light hours data.
This data allowed accurate cost analysis and calculation of the return on investment from the feeding tariff so an initial decision the projects’ viability could be made quickly and cheaply. This saved NatGen Solar a considerable amount of time but also allowed them to consider more potential projects than they previously had capacity for by discounting unviable projects quickly. Additionally, it allowed them to provide a better service to their potential customers through a transparent and speedy viability process.
Real Time Monitoring
AVC’s Energy Manager System was also utilised to improve the management of Nat Gen Solar’s existing estate of solar panel installations.
Prior to the installation of Energy Manager the company had zero visibility of energy output and relied on customers submitting meter readings on a quarterly basis, in addition to the considerable cost of sending engineers on a to check these readings.
The company’s management team could only review the performance of each project at quarterly intervals and the potential for incomplete or inaccurate data was high, which manifested itself as a risk of over or under reporting the feeding tariff claims with the energy providers.
The Energy Manager System solved this problem by providing constant and ongoing monitoring of each solar panel array in real time. We achieved this by installing a smart meter at each location which transmits data directly to the Energy Manager software. Armed with this data feed, Energy Manager can provide constant monitoring and reporting across the whole estate, allowing the business to always know how much energy, and revenue, has been generated.
In addition to maximising revenue, implementing the Energy Manager System has also allowed NatGen Solar to reduce the cost of maintaining their estate by limiting the requirement for physical site visits.
NatGen Solar’s business model relies on each solar panel generating the anticipated amount of energy over the life of the contract to ensure sufficient revenue is created to provide a return on the initial investment.
As a result of this, monitoring the physical output of the network is critical to spot malfunctioning or under-performing hardware quickly and return it to maximum efficiency.
Before the Energy Manager System was installed the opportunities to identify physical malfunctions only came when meter readings were taken by the customer or Nat Gen Solar staff and relies on someone identifying that the submitted reading was less than expected. This created a potential 3 month window for malfunctioning hardware to limit energy generation and impact heavily on the company’s revenue.
Energy Manager has solved this problem. As we are constantly monitoring output from each smart meter on the network we can identify an unexpected drop in energy production immediately by comparing current data with historical trends for the time and day. This allows us to flag potential maintenance issues quickly allowing Nat Gen Solar to further investigate and return the hardware to maximum capacity quickly.
The adoption of AVC Sustainable Management’s Energy Manager System has transformed Nat Gen Solar’s management systems from labour-intensive, expensive and error-prone to modern and automated. They now have complete visibility over their installations delivering efficiency, maximising revenue and reducing costs.
If your business could benefit from improved energy management solutions please contact us today on 0333 020 0520 or visit avcsustainable.co.uk.