We are working through many methods of collecting PV Panel data from buildings to include in the Utilities Manager software package.
The Feed-in-tariff (FIT) meter counts how many kWh are generated by the photovoltaic panels. Most FIT meters have a pulse output option for attaching any AMR hardware. Many models have a communication modem option that can be retro-fitted.
Typically, the comms modem sends the data though the cellphone network and is supplied with a roaming b2b SIM card, with a data allowance for the year that will report the daily meter reads and half hour production figures.
Utilities Manager collects this data for display in our on-line Energy Monitoring portal. For renewables data Utilities manager offers a tariff engine, benchmarking against other PV systems and for owners/managers of multiple installations combined portfolio reports.
As Technology and data costs change, new options become available. Recently, LoRaWAN technology has been added to Utilities Manager.
Alternatively, For PV panels the data can be collected directly from the inverter.
In our demo account the inverter is an Eltek Theia HE-t. Like most inverters this model includes a computer that connects then communicates with the internet, through an Ethernet cable (so you'll need the LAN to reach the inverter). Every hour the inverter sends an email to our dedicated IMAP mail box with generation information for the previous hour. A server side script written by us, collects this data and automatically updates the graphing and reporting package.
If you have a suggestion which hardware you'd like us to collect data from please let us know.