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4.3: Alarm Types (excluding Relative Performance Alarms)

Device Reporting Alarm

This alarm raises if a device stops reporting to DECK. Specifically, it examines the time of the most recent non-error data point transmission from the targeted device, then raises if the elapsed time since a good transmission is longer than the user-specified time threshold.

To create a Device Reporting alarm, first select the desired device from a drop-down menu, then choose a time threshold for the alarm, along with active between time frame (avoids false alarms at night).

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Custom Alarm

Custom Alarms are the most versatile alarms available. Here you can create an alarm from the ground up, delivering the information you need in the format most useful to you.

The settings here are flexible enough to configure most alarm types that are useful in the daily operation of a site. This alarm triggers when data values fall outside of your user-specified range of acceptable values.

Custom alarms examine a set of your chosen data type, starting with the most recently received point and looking back over a period of time specified by the time threshold. Custom alarms raise if the aggregated value over the examined time window falls outside the user-specified tolerable range.
To create a Custom Alarm complete the following fields:

  • Data type
  • Device
  • Minimum Acceptable Reporting Value
  • Maximum Acceptable Reporting Value
  • Time Threshold
  • “Active Between” Time Frame (avoids false alarms at night)

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Irradiance vs kWh Alarm

This alarm measures your kW producton aganst the sun’s irradiance, as measured by an on-site irradiance sensor. This is a valuable performance indicator for your system because it accounts for varying sunlight conditions. This alarm can help you identify performance issues such as soiling, snow, leaves, shading, poor connections, storm damage, and panel failure.

This alarm uses the previous 10 day’s worth of data to establish a baseline number for the ratio of kW production to irradiance. The alarm sends email notifications if your production slips below the historically-determined performance ratio by a user-defined variance trigger percentage.

The Active Between setting allows you to specify a time when the alarm is active, which helps to avoid false alarms. (In the early morning and late evening, the power and irradiance will be very low—small deviations in the numbers will cause large deviations in their ratio, resulting in false positives.)

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Monthly Performance Alarm

Monthly performance alarms trigger when the monthly production total deviates from a user-defined acceptable value by a user-defined variance percentage. If triggered, notifications for monthly performance alarms are sent by email on the first day of the following month.

Many users rely on historical system data to determine aceptable monthly generation values. This data can be taken directly from your DECK Dashboard or Admin Panel. If your site is less than a year old, you can go to: www.nrel.gov/rredc/pvwatts/grid.html. Use the available calculator here to create expected production values based on past meteorological data for your area.

This alarm can help you identify performance issues such as soiling, shading, poor connections, storm damage, and panel failure. This alarm can also be helpful to identify deteriorating hardware performance over time.

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Inverter Fault Alarm

Inverter Fault Code Alarms are available if you have chosen to purchase inverter direct monitoring through DECK. It automatically emails you the correct inverter fault code and an explanation of the alarm. 

DECK Monitoring can receive fault codes from most major inverter brands and models in the North American market. For specific information about inverter compatibility, consult a DECK Account Executive.

 

Weather Alarm

Weather Alarms allow you to set up acceptable data reporting ranges for any data point available from your on-site weather station.
This alarm can be helpful to alert you to below-average sunlight conditions for remote portfolio properties.

 

String Performance Alarm

String Performance Alarms are available to users who have selected String Level Monitoring as part of their monitoring package.

This alarm raises when any string is producing significantly more or less DC current than the others. Specifically, the alarm is triggered if any string’s current (averaged over the user-specified time range) differs from the average of all strings on the location over the same period by more than the acceptable deviation percentage.

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