In a recent blog post, we discussed the exciting Lombardo Welcome Center at Millersville University, which has been named the first building in Pennsylvania to be Zero Energy Certified by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). 

That post detailed the design of the building, its initial goals, and the results so far. Today I’d like to delve a little deeper into one more important aspect of any solar project: performance monitoring.  

Performance monitoring is essential in ensuring a solar system’s most efficient, fault-free operation. Monitoring was also important for this project to make sure the building is staying on track of fulfilling Millersville’s commitment to reaching carbon neutrality by 2040.  

For the Lombardo Welcome Center, TerraSol selected Solar-Log® professional performance monitoring.  There were several key factors in selecting the monitoring platform. 

The installed monitoring system provides a highly detailed, comprehensive overview of the Welcome Center’s power operation and helps maximize performance. It can immediately detect errors and malfunctions, avoiding high yield losses.  

Perhaps most importantly considering the University setting and Millersville’s sustainability goals was that the monitoring system could provide students with a hands-on learning opportunity.  

Students can easily access data on the Solar-Log web-based monitoring platform, and the monitoring views themselves are clear and user-friendly. This made the Solar-log end-user Dashboard a simple, effective, and highly visual way for the University to showcase the solar plant.  

This aligned nicely with the University’s goal of having visible reminders of its commitment to sustainability, such as the Lombardo’s rooftop panels and dual-axis tracker installed on the lawn. It made Solar-Log a fitting choice for Team Lombardo Welcome Center.  

So far, the results have been exceptional. From 2018 to 2019, the Lombardo Welcome Center generated 204,391 kWh of electricity: 75% more energy than it used, and achieved an energy use intensity of 25 kBtu/square foot/year. That’s 70% more efficient than the average university building at 84.3 kBtu/sf/year. As 2018 was one of the wettest years on record, we can expect these results to only improve from here.  

Solar-Log is a product of Solare Datensysteme GmbH (SDS), one of the leading companies for pv monitoring, smart energy and feed-in management. Its hardware and software products are used in 125 countries for monitoring PV plants, optimizing self-consumption and managing energy fed into the power grid.