Fracsun builds solar soiling loss monitoring equipment and analytics software. Their solutions help solar power plants optimize their energy production by minimizing the impact of soiling losses. The ARES soiling sensor is a PV reference-based device that measures irradiance using shirt circuit current to ensure the effect of soiling is closely matched to how the adjacent array is responding to that loss, opposed to an optical device which can miss a lot in the whole picture. The Fracsun Data Portal provides the software necessary to calculate optimal cleaning schedules and clearly show the income lost due to soiling to plan for economical mitigation.

In addition to providing monitoring equipment and software, Fracsun also offers data packages and consulting services to help solar power plants optimize their cleaning processes and maximize their energy production. The company’s mission is to help solar power plants achieve greater efficiency and profitability, while reducing their environmental impact.

Interview with Catlin MattheisPV Soiling Measurement Solutions at Fracsun.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Catlin Mattheis: At Fracsun, we primarily deploy our hardware and software solution with C&I, Distributed Generation and Utility Scale PV facilities. Depending on site economics, system sizes above 200kW generally will benefit from soiling loss measurement and management. Solar panel cleaning decisions benefit greatly from actionable soiling loss data.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

C.M: The Fracsun team is currently readying Soiling Loss Guarantee product for the market. This exciting new product will venture to guarantee plant owners and operators a not-to-exceed annual soiling loss value and relieve all the headache of leaning on internal teams to make and schedule cleaning events.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

C.M: While primarily focusing on soiling monitoring systems and optimization software, our team is also working on a few other products that will be released over time, one of which will be an automatically cleaned pyranometer. This will ensure that irradiance values that system production are being compared to for performance metrics are accurate and do not unknowingly contain a soiling loss derate. This condition makes plant performance seem better that it really is. 

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

C.M: The solar C&I and Utility markets across the globe are reaching a clip that we have never seen before. Across the globe, the International Energy Agency expects 2,400 GW of renewables to come online through 2027. This is more solar capacity than the world has installed in the previous 20 years.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

C.M:At a more local level here in the US, the IRA is boosting interest in all renewables but especially solar PV. This increased interest is looking like it will result in 39GW installed in 2023 alone. That is approximately the same capacity installed from 2016 to 2020. The ease of deployment and economic attractiveness are creating a very bright future to renewables here in the US and across the globe. 

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

C.M: I think I covered this and the one below but let me know if you would like me to elaborate!