Daniel P. Leary, Partner, Denowatts SolarDaniel P. Leary, Partner
What was once termed ‘just another alternative energy source,’ is now mankind’s most powerful ally against climate change. The US’ solar energy industry today sees a growth of at least 30 percent every year. And at that level of growth, there are a lot of challenges faced by solar energy assets connecting into the power grid, in terms of interoperability and management. While the technology for solar power generation has made great advancements, the technology for managing the performance of solar assets still relies on a dated hodgepodge of modeling methods, data collection, and analytics. This disjointed approach results in unnecessary signal noise, wasted time, revenue loss, and staff frustration. Over the last 15 years of his career in the solar energy industry, Dan Leary, Partner at Denowatts Solar has witnessed this stagnation and in light of his experience, he saw a pressing need for a comprehensive solution for solar asset performance management. “I founded this company to answer questions that the industry was not adequately addressing through data, and we set off and built a solution. The service we offer is very different from anything else in the market,” mentions Leary.

To make the jump into the coming era of clean power dominating the power grid, Denowatts has totally reimagined how performance management of solar assets is done. To support the next generation of solar power, the company has developed a new, integrated model for data collection and analysis based on advanced benchmarking technology using digital twin processing, AI, and IoT interoperability. The solution delivers ISO 17025 accredited testing and calibration for realtime performance assessment. Denowatts’ goal is to give clients faster access to more accurate data and analyses than is available from traditional performance assessment models.

The service we offer is very different than anything else in the market

This new standard in solar performance management helps clients identify and address problems and opportunities with a new level of efficiency and confidence. For instance, independent engineers can conduct an ISO accredited capacity test literally with the click of a button. Banks and independent power producers can more accurately assess asset values. EPCs can more quickly turn over completed projects and operators can optimize energy output and maintenance activities and better utilize performance engineers.

The core technology behind Denowatts’ service is Digital Twin Benchmarking. The solution entails a patented piece of hardware and software which allows IoT sensors to conduct a real time simulation, or a digital twin, of a solar array and project the results on to a business intelligence platform, thereby answering—in near real time—the most pressing asset management and performance enquiries that stakeholders may have. Denowatts’ real-time Digital Twin Benchmarking provides highly accurate and continuous dynamic performance assessments for assets of all sizes. Remotely managed hardware provides continuous data quality control while wireless, self-powered IoT sensors can be installed and validated in minutes versus hours or days. Automated analytics and reporting simplify decision making and r educe s taffing n eeds. B y o ffering a ll t his a s a s ervice costing a fraction of what traditional performance management arrangements cost, Denowatts is hoping to disrupt an inefficient marketplace by redefining how performance management is done.

As the company grows, Denowatts plans to expand its community of solar owners and operators while continuously leveraging the efficiencies of AI and interoperability with other supporting industry services. While the past decade has brought great improvements to solar reliability and affordability, the challenges of the coming decade will demand asset management solutions that will enable a new generation of clean powerplant operators to scale and become dominant energy suppliers to the power grid.

“The industry would soon seek the interoperability of services like energy modeling, and predictive analytics behind solar products, alongside other digital services and boots-on-theground services, including drone and ground-based inspection service. All those things need to talk to each other, and that is where a lot of our focus is in right now,” concludes Leary.