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SolTrex: Innovative Web-Based Energy Monitoring for Solar Buildings

Client: Conservation Services Group
Services Provided: Site planning, visual design, database-driven application development

Over the years, various hardware/software combinations have been developed to help solar pioneers monitor their systems, but this technology has often been expensive and difficult to install, operate, and maintain. The folks at Conservation Services Group (CSG) envisioned a much simpler, less expensive approach to energy monitoring, capitalizing on the Internet to offer a comprehensive solar energy monitoring package called SolTrex. They wanted to make monitoring the performance of the solar panels on one's home or school as easy as checking email.

SolTrex dynamic graphing
SolTrex dynamic graphing
WaldenStreet was selected to design the web interface and application for SolTrex customers (and interested members of the general public), along with some web-based administrative tools for CSG staff to use in managing the service. (The datalogger hardware and firmware had already been developed.)

Comprehensive graphing features were a priority, both daily snapshots of each building's recent energy production and weather data, and also dynamic graphs that users could create with the help of interactive form controls. The solution for the daily graphing snapshots eliminated a fairly labor-intensive process for one CSG employee. The dynamic graphing interface and underlying scripting was crafted to be lean and efficient, as the data pool in the application's Oracle database stored millions of rows of energy data.

Since SolTrex launched a few years ago, we've transformed the website into a flexible application service that can be deployed for other websites. The first organization to use the SolTrex application service was the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. See it in action at http://soltrex.masstech.org.

Visit the SolTrex site at http://www.soltrex.com.