PVOutput is a free website for sharing and comparing photo voltaic (PV) solar panel output data. It was launched in August 2010 and is operated and maintained by person with the pseudonym of Bankstownbloke or BB for short. PVOutput has approximately 2300 systems registered in total. The majority of these are in Australia. There are currently about 5000 active users, who contribute daily or "live" outputs from their domestic PV installations to the website.
The site records that as of August 2011, all the contributors have generated over 2.7 GWh of electricity from over 10.6 MW of panels and prevented the emission of 2900 tonnes of CO2.
The site is AJAX based, running on a Jetty web server, it is entirely free and supported by a single individual.
The site has two main distinguishing features compared with other similar sites:
- Users can upload data every 5 minutes so providing a near instantaneous view of a users system online in a graph and table form.
- Users can compare output either of their own data with previous days data or with other systems. A maximum of six other systems can be compared simultaneously, the results being "normalised" to take account of the differing power outputs of each system.
Graphing capabilities are fairly sophisticated with a variety of customisable options depending on the type of graph being viewed, these include changing the graph size to fit different screen sizes, different views of energy and power and a time shift facility to help comparisons across time zones or for before and after DST changes.
Much effort has been put into making the system as open and accessible as possible. Although the site uses a proprietary data structure for uploading, many different types of inverter are supported as are energy monitors such as the CurrentCost CC128 using software written by BB. An ever-expanding range of third party software is also available.
The site can also be queried in a number of ways allowing for automated systems to access posted data.
In recent months the site has grown in popularity expanding its user base in Europe and the USA. Performance issues have necessitated a recent upgrade to run on two servers and an upgrade to the latest version of jetty.