German energy technology start-up Solytic is using Microsoft Azure to help make solar energy more efficient. Its solution manages and derives insights from data collected from its customers’ photovoltaic installations to improve decision-making.
Solytic’s software helps customers understand why an installation might not be working as efficiently as it could. “Modules don’t have to be visibly damaged to underperform,” said Konrad Perényi, managing director of Solytic. “We identify the reason behind drops in performance.”
Founded in 2018, Solytic now monitors over 130,000 photovoltaic plants across 60 countries and receives roughly 3,000 readings from its customers each second. With such a vast amount of data, the firm needed a cloud-hosted solution.
“Managing all of this on-premises would have become impossible by now,” said Steffen Mangold, chief technology officer at Solytic. “Technologies that require manual maintenance and monitoring reached their limits a long time ago.
“The Azure cloud platform provides us with the fastest way to create scalability while letting the developers focus on development. Thanks to the integrated functionalities, we can ensure the provision, maintenance, and availability of the platform as well as data security – all with a minimum of personnel.”
As a participant in the Microsoft for Startups programme, Solytic receives support from Microsoft for fixing problems, exploring scalability and building a technological infrastructure. This has helped the firm develop a three-stage process model for its customers. The photovoltaic installation first sends data to the cloud, where it is visualized by Solytic. Then, analysis pinpoints the installation’s problems and potential. Finally, the marketplace offers concrete solution proposals to combat the customer’s issues or help them grow.
“This means our customers can get the most out of their systems while keeping costs down,” said Perényi. “Their installations will deliver maximum performance throughout their entire operational life, which typically lasts 25 years.”
Solytic plans to integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver automated monitoring, analysis and marketplace services.
“We want to recognise causes and prevent deviations from the optimum with even greater accuracy,” said Mangold. “Our goal is to proactively warn users before any faults become critical and returns are lost.”
The founders have also set a goal to equip one million installations with Solytic software over the next three years, which Microsoft says “will increase the efficiency and profitability of photovoltaic systems, while helping to generate more green energy and thus accelerate the energy transition”.