One of the cool plugins recently being tested for SolarNode is called "Modbus Device", it allows admins to add new hardware that supports the Modbus RTU and TCP protocols. Check out this link that describes using the Modbus Device plugin to talk to a thermopile pyranometer. It's a pretty quick and easy process in terms of supporting a new industrial scientific instrument.
Pyranometer - measures irradiance (W/m2)
We see this device as extremely relevant to tracking solar array performance. Knowing quantitatively how a pyranometer is measuring sunlight near a PV array means that you have a metric for what you should expect from the array in terms of kilowatt-hours (kWh) generated. We expect to be able to use these irradiance figures as an input to SolarQuant (our non-linear energy data analysis engine) and then to inform admins as to whether actual performance is stacking up. That means extracting more value from your solar array!
Automating this process is what is going to count - check back here for an update on SolarQuant development, there are more interesting developments coming up soon....