Canadian Solar – Global Monitoring Platform for Solar PV Generation Facilities

Canadian Solar

CSEye: A ‘Global Monitoring Platform’ for disparate Utility-Scale Solar PV Generation Facilities

Canadian Solar retained Eramosa Engineering to develop a fully customized, turnkey solution for solar farm monitoring, also known as a “Global Monitoring Platform” (application name: CSEye).  CSEye is an online cloud based system that replaces several disparate applications and provides asset management, maintenance work order issuing and tracking, warranty tracking, data analysis, performance calculations, reporting, and dashboards for consolidated asset performance monitoring for all interfaced solar farms.

30+ spokes deployed

100+ client capacity

15,000 analog tags

30,000 event tags

Solar panels in a field

The solution was architected in Inductive Automation’s Ignition HMI platform and uses core components of a custom software package Eramosa developed called e.RIS. The system pulls historical and real-time data from various architectures including OPC-UA, Modbus, Ethernet IP, Siemens Ethernet, and RESTful web services. The hub and spoke architecture with a cloud hosted central gateway and historian allows server and resource scalability. 

Eramosa developed a custom module in Ignition for map based displays of the asset portfolio as well as predefined data filter selections. CSEye exists and is operated in NERC compliant an Operations Control Centre (OCC).

The initial phase of development includes monitoring approximately 30 utility-scale solar facilities based on Ontario, Canada and California, USA.

A subsequent subphase of development added localization with regional language support to the application. The implementation specifically added Japanese translations for Japan based staff to be able to use the same application as North American staff. Eramosa’s design implantation allows the owner to add future dictionaries to the application for any region and all relevant application components will automatically show the correct vocabulary.

Phase 2 of development consisted of significant enhancements to both optimize the daily use of the application and strengthen its capability. Areas of focus were optimized user interfaces for efficient review of facility performance, notation of performance deviations, an enhanced calculation engine, API and report generator.

Stand alone projects delivered under the CSEye umbrella have seamlessly integrated site(s) from Canadians Solar’s 2GW portfolio into the system due to the applications architecture and scalability.

The project phases were all delivered using an Agile methodology and sprint based planning, and the project was a 2017 Firebrand Gold Award Winner from Inductive Automation.

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Pete Samson