The Scoop on Fat Spaniel

A little Google searching for “Solar Data Monitoring” brings up my post from yesterday, which makes me think that maybe there is a little room for growth in this industry, at least in the search engine optimization realm. However, this post today is going to highlight Fat Spaniel Technologies, a company that maintains that it is the “leading independent provider of critical monitoring and reporting services for the renewable energy industry.” Lets take a look at this “Leading Provider”. Fat Spaniel’s product line is a little ambiguous. The four products mentioned on their website are named “Insight Views”, and “Insight Platform”, as well as “Solar Plant Vision”, and “Solar Operations Services”, which have not been released yet (see below). The only place I could find to buy Fat Spaniel’s system was Real Goods. They were offering a complete package for $899. This product evidently includes a small “Data Acquisition Module” which gathers data from the inverter. The data is then sent to Fat Spaniel’s data monitoring server, where the data is displayed on a web page that is accessible to the owner of the system. Real Goods was offering 5 years of monitoring in the $899 package. More in-depth details about how the system works can be found here. However, I could not tell from Fat Spaniel’s website what product Real Goods was selling. The data monitoring webpage is configurable for commercial systems. The owner of the solar system can create an interactive kiosk that displays the data, as displayed here on the Fat Spaniel showcase page.

According to an article by Earth2Tech, Fat Spaniel is rolling out two new product lines this year:

The San Jose, Calif.-based solar software company [Fat Spaniel Technologies], plans to announce on Tuesday that it has developed a set of software called Lifecycle Management solutions that also interpret data from its customers’ projects, anticipating and solving problems to help make the most of those solar assets. The company says that some of its software can reduce total maintenance costs by up to 30 percent. The first two of these products, Solar Plant Vision and Solar Operations Services, are geared toward operating and maintaining solar projects. Aside from helping keep solar plants at their most productive and cost-effective, maintenance is crucial to make sure that these projects retain their value as assets, said Tom Tansy, vice president of marketing at the company. This is especially important considering that most solar projects change ownership after about 5-7 years because of the way they are financed, and keeping track of those assets, including their service and performance histories, is important. Solar Plant Vision, which is software as a service, is aimed at helping solar-project operators increase the performance of the projects they manage. The technology monitors plant devices, tracks system performance, helps simplify billing and reporting, and provides a portfolio status dashboard that can be used for marketing and energy-consumer education. Meanwhile, Solar Operations Services targets project developers, and Fat Spaniel claims the services deliver increased energy production, system uptime and lower, more predictable costs. The company plans to pass information about the condition of the plants — and recommendations for the most cost-effective steps to keep them running well — to its customers’ maintenance crews or partner with outsourced maintenance companies, Tansy said. Fat Spaniel is selling its new services on an annual subscription basis, with the prices varying depending on the amount of energy-production capacity and the number of plants included in the contract. The company already has upgraded its Insight Manager customers, numbering about 500, to Solar Plant Vision, and the new services will be available to new customers starting in October.

Article Source: Earth2Tech

About Isaac Lewis

Isaac Lewis is a web entrepreneur in the solar and renewable energy industry. He works as a web developer, a 3D draftsman, small farmer and linux and FOSS activist.
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