GPM SCADA Sets Record: Over One Million Variables managed in Solar

GPM SCADA Sets Record with Over One Million Variables in Solar Asset Management

In keeping with our time-honored tradition of defining next-generation cutting-edge market standards, GreenPowerMonitor is proud to announce the world’s first large-SCADA system, capable of processing more than one million variables in real-time. This represents a more than three-fold increase over the previous record of 300,000 datapoints at the one-second level that existed until 2023.

Background: SCADA systems

As solar PV technology and projects increase in scope and complexity, SCADA systems need to be both robust and adaptable. Additionally, as these systems scale up, they must maintain absolute accuracy and reliability in data capture and processing, as even minor errors can significantly impact production and revenue.

Real-time monitoring requires the system to capture, communicate and process hundreds of thousands of variables from different sources every second, primarily:

  • Meters.
  • Inverters.
  • String-boxes.
  • Photovoltaic panels.
  • Trackers.
  • Weather sensors.
  • Communications devices.

As solar PV projects grow in complexity, SCADA systems must not only handle real-time data processing but also manage data analysis and storage across multiple levels. For instance, each panel or inverter equipped with its own tracker generates several data points related to orientation for optimal performance. This exponentially increases the volume of data, stressing the system’s communication and processing capabilities. Despite this, SCADA systems must ensure high data quality and reliability, swiftly correcting anomalies and resolving ambiguities to help asset managers identify issues and trends impacting production.

GreenPowerMonitor leads the way in renewable asset management innovation. Our GPM SCADA system sets the benchmark for solar plant monitoring and management, outclassing all competitors. Its unmatched power and reliability make it the industry standard, setting a bar that others strive to reach but cannot surpass.

The need for (very) large SCADA systems

The renewable energy market is rapidly expanding and becoming more intricate, driven by advancements in public policy, private initiatives, and technological innovation. What once seemed like science fiction is now reality, spurred by the growing global demand for renewable energy. This surge in demand fuels innovation and productivity, creating a pressing need for more sophisticated and precise monitoring systems. Technological advancements are making hardware more efficient, resilient, durable, and complex, amplifying the need for advanced monitoring.

Take offshore solar power, for example. Building a solar power plant spanning hundreds of square kilometers on the ocean is just the start. Once operational, asset managers must monitor myriad factors affecting production, including fluctuating weather conditions, which introduce countless variables. The system must capture, communicate, and process these variables in real-time, while also enabling complex analyses with detailed data over extended periods. This level of sophistication is essential for maximizing efficiency and productivity in the ever-evolving renewable energy landscape.

The challenge

The size and efficiency of SCADA systems for solar PV projects are limited by numerous technical and technological challenges impacting data processing and storage. Even if a solar plant has the hardware for record-breaking production, its true potential relies on advanced monitoring systems and the ability of asset managers to access and act on crucial information in real-time.

Until late 2023, SCADA systems could reliably process data from a maximum of 300,000 sources, constrained by three main factors: communication networks, data consolidation, and data retention.

  1. Communication Networks: These must handle real-time data from individual panels, inverters, trackers, string-boxes, weather sensors, and more, every second.
  2. Data Consolidation: Real-time data needs to be consolidated into one-minute and five-minute intervals to identify significant events and analyze long-term trends.
  3. Data Retention: SCADA systems must store real-time data for three days and consolidated five-minute data for up to three years, depending on project specifications.

These factors not only limited the scale of projects that SCADA systems could manage but also impacted overall performance and data availability. They posed significant challenges for correct configuration and timely delivery of each project. The complexity of balancing these elements underscores the critical role of advanced SCADA systems in unlocking the full potential of solar PV projects.

Leading the Way to a New Era of Solar PV Project Management

The days of the 300,000-data-source limit are behind us. Thanks to GPM’s expert team and innovative product development, a new milestone is reached: GPM SCADA breaks barriers by monitoring over one million variables in real-time.

This achievement not only revolutionizes solar PV plant monitoring but also enhances the user experience across all GPM SCADA projects:

  • Improved data availability ensures reliability and speed, boosting productivity by minimizing downtime, especially after system restarts.
  • Project configuration and delivery are streamlined, empowering our team to efficiently deliver projects and upgrades while you work without interruptions, maintaining speed and data reliability.
  • Utilizing the OPC-UA communications protocol enhances monitoring efficiency without risking network saturation.
  • The SCADA Layout plugin’s enhanced performance enables monitoring of one-second data for up to 60,000 devices, ensuring critical decision-making is backed by accurate and up-to-date information.

These advancements go beyond mere enhancements; they establish a new standard for accuracy and reliability in planning and decision-making, driving increased production and efficiency.

The future is NOW!

Continuing to drive the energy transition forward, GreenPowerMonitor leads the energy transition with data-driven digital solutions. Amid the pressing challenges of the climate crisis, the ability to plan and execute large-scale renewable energy projects is crucial for reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The significant advancement in GPM SCADA’s capacity to monitor and process one million data sources marks a pivotal moment in the renewable energy revolution. This isn’t just an evolution of a monitoring solution; it’s a milestone.

All current GPM SCADA projects now have the potential for increased productivity and efficiency, while existing clients can plan expansions confidently. Moreover, GPM SCADA sets a new standard, removing previous technical barriers and inspiring bigger, more ambitious solar PV projects. It’s an invitation to dream big and create a greener, better future.

Do you want to meet us and talk to our renewable energy experts?

We look forward to connecting with you and sharing our expertise in monitoring, control of renewable assets for utility-scale plants. Fill in the form to request a meeting with our team who will be available to answer questions, provide demonstrations, and offer insights on best practices.


    Sucharita Banerjee Avatar