Tennessee Patent of the Month – April 2021

When setting up a solar panel field, the location of each panel relative to each other must be known. This helps to track which panels share a circuit, are in series, in parallel and so on. This can be labor intensive as solar fields can be massive. Shoals Technologies Group, LLC has designed a system which can automatically commission a solar panel array, reducing the manual effort involved in setting up a solar field.

Their method for automatically mapping this array uses monitoring devices on each panel.. The monitoring device is connected between a positive and negative terminal of a solar panel. This device monitors the position based on certain selected “master panels” which serve as anchor points. Each master panel broadcasts a unique identifier. Each other panel listens to this broadcast and stores the information in memory as their location. They also store data on the voltage of the broadcast, helping to map the solar panels in strings and arrays. This system helps to simplify solar panel installation and monitoring, making solar fields more achievable.

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