Operations Manager Nick Thiel shows off the custom PC application for monitoring the performance and safety of the San Luis Solar Ranch. The hardware in the field is equipped with thousands of sensors that report back on performance, which helps him find where potential problems are. For example, if one string of panels isn't producing as much power as the one next to it, that could indicate a problem. The system is designed to send him alerts and let him drill down to locate specific issues. Thiel is originally from Iowa and learned how to maintain wind farms and is now starting in solar with this plant.
November 28, 2011 4:00 AM PST
Photo by: Martin LaMonica/CNET
| Caption by: Martin LaMonica
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