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Cloud software brings out the sun for NSW solar startup

Monday, 15 December 2014 | By Broede Carmody

A NSW startup is leveraging cloud-based software in order to shake up the local solar energy market.


Solar Monitoring Australia – based in Koolewong, NSW – aims to help solar companies optimise their energy output of solar installations and, in turn, give owners the maximum return on investment.


The startup does this by using a cloud-based platform that enables both installers and customers to monitor their solar panels and ensure they are always feeding the grid.


Chief executive Mark Elliott told StartupSmart Solar Monitoring Australia solves the “install and forget” problem associated with investing in solar panels.


“Solar monitoring in Australia to date hasn’t taken off because the devices have been very expensive – between $500 and $1000 – in a lot of cases,” he says.


“And they’ve been very complicated to set up. The third issue is that most monitoring solutions use the customer’s internet to connect the data back to the cloud.”


Elliott says most solar monitoring solutions are manufacturer aligned, however, his startup’s product will allow installers to connect multiple inverters to the one platform to create a single view of their customer base. Customers will also be able to log in to a web portal to see how their system is performing.


“Customers want monitoring so the installer will know when the system fails or underperforms and can take corrective action so they don’t lose the savings,” he says.


“Ultimately customers are buying a solar system to reduce their energy costs.”


Solar Monitoring recently raised $1.5 million in private equity financing and employs 11 people. Elliott says the plan now is to scale the business and look for potential opportunities overseas.


“Next year it’s really about ramping up market penetration and ramping up the partner base so that we can scale the business,” he says.


“The opportunity in front of us is global in nature and there is a significant amount of interest overseas in what we’re doing here.”


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