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Module efficiency
In 2010, solar panels available for consumers can have a yield of up to 19% according to the internets,[13] while commercially available panels can go as far as 27%.[14][dead link] Thus, a photovoltaic installation in the southern latitudes of Europe or the United States may expect to produce 1 kWh/m²/day[dated info]. A typical "150 watt" solar panel is about a square meter in size. Such a panel may be expected to produce 1 kWh every day, on average, after taking into account the weather and the latitude[dated info].

Photovoltaic systems need to be monitored to detect breakdown and optimize their operation. Several photovoltaic monitoring strategies depending on the output of the installation and its nature. Monitoring can be performed on site or remotely. It can measure production only, retrieve all the data from the inverter or retrieve all of the data from the communicating equipment (probes, meters, etc.). Monitoring tools can be dedicated to supervision only or offer additional functions. Individual inverters may include monitoring using manufacturer specific protocols and software. Energy metering of an inverter may be of limited accuracy and not suitable for revenue metering purposes. A third-party data acquisition system can monitor multiple inverters, using the inverter manufacturer's protocols, and also acquire weather-related information. Independent smart meters may measure the total energy production of a PV array system. Separate measures such as satellite image analaysis or a solar radiation meter (a pyranometer) can be used to estimate total insolation.[citation needed]
Data collected from a monitoring system can be displayed remotely over the World Wide Web. For example,The Open Solar Outdoors Test Field (OSOTF)[15] is a grid-connected photovoltaic test system, which continuously monitors the output of a number of photovoltaic modules and correlates their performance to a long list of highly accurate meteorological readings. The OSOTF is organized under open source principles -- All data and analysis is be made freely available to the entire photovoltaic community and the general public.[citation needed] Some companies offer analysis software to analyze system performance. Small residential systems may have minimal data analysis requirements other than perhaps total energy production; larger grid-connected power plants can benefit from more detailed investigations of performance.[citation needed]

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