SunDown: Model-driven Per-Panel Solar Anomaly Detection for Residential Arrays


Menghong Feng (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Noman Bashir (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Prashant Shenoy (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
David Irwin (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Dragoljub Kosanovic (University of Massachusetts Amherst)


Session: 3.1. Energy and sensing

Abstract: Solar arrays often experience faults that go undetected for long periods of time, resulting in generation and revenue losses. In this paper, we present SunDown, a sensorless approach for detecting per-panel faults in solar arrays. SunDown’s model-driven approach leverages correlations between the power produced by adjacent panels to detect deviations from expected behavior, can handle concurrent faults in multiple panels, and performs anomaly classification to determine probable causes. Using two years of solar data from a real home and a manually generated dataset of solar faults, we show that our approach is able to detect and classify faults, including from snow, leaves and debris, and electrical failures with 99.13\% accuracy, and can detect concurrent faults with 97.2\% accuracy.