Parker Hannifin has launched its new SCOUT Cloud Software and SensoNODE Gold Sensors, which provide a wireless, remote monitoring solution. By monitoring the pressure levels of the solar panel tracking system’s hydraulic loads, end users can calculate how much extra pressure is being put on the panels. That information helps them identify individual panels that may need inspection.
“Each tracker has an expected load that should be supported at all times,” said Tad Orstad, applications engineer with Parker. “A change in this supported load can sometimes indicate structural damage that needs to be addressed before the scheduled visit from field technicians. SCOUT Cloud Software and SensoNODE Gold Sensors monitor and transmit each tracker’s pressure levels, letting asset managers identify individual panels that may need service.”
Typically, workers would have to go out to each field to inspect the solar arrays for damage. With SCOUT Cloud Software and SensoNODE Gold Sensors, they can quickly and easily monitor several fields of arrays with a desktop computer. The cloud-based solution allows them to access asset conditions from anywhere with an internet browser.
The solution also allows them to receive alert notifications via email, text, or in-messaging system, record readings and observe trend changes. So, even if a current weight is what it’s supposed to be, a sudden spike from the past is recorded, and the end-user will know to check the panel for structural damage that may have otherwise gone unnoticed, or perform regular maintenance on the solar tracker, Orstad said.
“Consistent increases in hydraulic load readings can also indicate motor wear for the tracker,” he said. “Wear can be a sign of a failing pump, motor, or other system issue. SCOUT Cloud Software and SensoNODE Gold Sensors send alert notices via email, text, or in-messaging system to let maintenance technicians know about condition issues.”