SunPower monitoring system review and comparison

SunPower is one of the most well-known solar brands in America and provides a premium suite of home energy products called the SunPower Equinox system. One aspect of that system is the ability to monitor solar power production and home energy consumption. This monitoring is accomplished through the mySunPower smartphone app.

SunPower’s monitoring solution is a great addition to its hardware offerings and helps keep users up to speed on how their solar system is working. Let’s explore the key features and functionality of the mySunPower monitoring app and compare it to other solutions on the market.

mySunPower app functionality

SunPower has offered monitoring of its solar installations for some time using a special piece of hardware installed alongside its solar panels called the PV Supervisor (PVS). This small box provides monitoring of solar energy production and grid energy usage and communicates with SunPower’s cloud-based servers over Wi-Fi or Ethernet.

Using the mySunPower mobile app, owners of SunPower systems can access their data and see how much power their solar panels are producing in near-real time, and can also see graphs of how much energy their system has made and how much they’ve used per hour, day, month, and year.

The app features up to 5 tabs, depending on the hardware present in a given installation. Every mySunPower user can see the Home, Analyze, and Profile tabs. SunPower customers with a SunVault battery get the SunVault tab, and those with panel-level data get the Panels tab.

Energy production and consumption

In the Home tab, users see their solar system’s production and their usage from the grid. Every SunPower system includes current transformers (CTs) that attach to the home’s main grid connection to monitor home energy use. The PVS accepts the input from these CTs, as well as wiring from the panels, to keep tabs on all solar production and consumption.

SunVault Battery

The SunVault tab shows the current state of the battery and allows users to choose between different operating modes: self-supply (daily charge and discharge), Reserve (keep the battery full in case of a power outage), and Cost Savings (discharge during peak times with a set minimum level reserved for backup).

Energy production analysis

Using the charts on the Analyze tab, users can see data for their home consumption, solar production, discharge to the grid, and battery usage. The chart defaults to the current day’s data, but users can scroll through days using the arrows next to the date or choose monthly, yearly, or lifetime charts.

These charts are also linked to each hour’s sunset, sunrise, and weather conditions. The weather is also shown for each day in the monthly display, and users can swipe a finger along the x-axis to cause production and usage numbers from any day to appear at the top of the screen.

By scrolling down on the Analyze tab, users can access the Energy Mix and Savings sections as seen in the image above. These infographics show how much of the total energy usage in the home came from solar, and also include an energy bill savings estimate and information about the environmental benefits of the system. These sections are available for each of the time periods, so their numbers update based on whether the user is viewing the daily, monthly, yearly, or lifetime chart.

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