Innovation: Itron ready to launch IoT solar monitor

Solar Gate is Itron’s first offering launched out of its newly created innovation business unit established 18 months ago

US energy services company Itron is reportedly preparing to launch the first product from its newly formed innovation unit, ‘Solar Gate’, which enables homeowners to monitor their rooftop solar performance in real-time.

The IoT solar monitor “gathers information from a variety of sensors and wirelessly transmits it to the cloud where Itron’s software enables it to access and [analyse] it,” according to renewable energy news source Energybiz.

Roberto Aiello, head of new business innovation at Itron, said: “We read something like 10 or 20 different type of sensors in the home related to the production of energy, and we take all this data to the cloud and we analyse that data to provide business value to our customers.

“In a way, this is very much the business value of the Internet of Things, where the network makes sense of data to provide business value.”

Innovation accelerating IoT

The Solar Gate device communicates with in-home electric meter and with the solar-generation system located upon the roof.

The new Itron innovation makes it possible to gather information from the various parts of a solar generation system.

The company’s software then takes the data and allows users to monitor the performance of the whole system and individual components.

Commenting on the development of the product, Mr Aiello said Itron sought consultation from its customers and worked with them to develop Solar Gate and the software that allows the customers to view the information it produces.

Aiello added: “In less than a year we went from idea to product.”

He continued onto say that the company’s innovation unit is envisioned to “create an ecosystem of developers … [and] crowd-source our product ideas from our customers.”