Panasonic moves into PV monitoring

Panasonic plans to start offering remote PV panel monitoring services from early next year, as part of a broader suite of energy-monitoring services that it hopes will become a ¥4bn ($40m) annual business by fiscal 2015.

The Japanese electronics group started offering remote energy-management services in May and launched a battery-storage monitoring business in June. It will combine these businesses with the new PV-monitoring services it plans to launch in February. 

The PV-monitoring business, which will be run from its offices in Osaka, will be able to assess electricity generation levels in real time. It will also be able to identify potential problems with PV panel arrays and automatically alert maintenance staff.

A Panasonic spokesperson disputed Japanese-language media reports stating that the company would target utility-scale solar plants with the new service. Rather, it plans to exclusively focus on monitoring rooftop and ground-mount PV systems under 1MW.

In May, Panasonic told Recharge that its solar division is primarily focusing on Japan's residential PV market. The country accounted for 80-90% of sales of its HIT monocrystalline modules in 2012.