Sun Monitor

An award winning solar panel management system and service

Sun Monitor is a Solar Panel (SP) output monitor, that provides accurate, on-the-go readings to users, and helps collect data on community SP energy production aiding energy companies adequate fossil fuel burning, by correlating potential community SP power with expected national grid consumption, reducing fossil and renewable energy waste.

Concept presentation

Service Design and Raison d'Etre

Sun Monitor is the brainchild of two proactive students (Joel Rodrigues and Poan Shen), that decided to apply for the Ericsson Application Awards 2013.
The 2013's competition theme was about "City Life". We looked and researched about this topic, and found many opportunities to taclke with, but we wanted something that could be impactful for society as a whole. City Life is more than connected people, easy access to mobility, fast paced social media, among others. We found that underlying to City Life, is energy. It has become so ingrained in our lives that we frequently forget to acknowledge it.

What is Sun Monitor?

- Customized Plug&Play device (based on Raspeberry Pi)
Sun Monitor is a small device that can easily be installed at home by any user. We provide both the customized raspebery pi with pre-installed code and the RJ-45 cable to connect to available inverters.

- Cloud service for historical data storage and query
Users no longer need to incur in the risks of having their monitoring system lose their data if any problems occur to the machine (like energy supply faults).

- Mobile application
Users can now have their data acessible on the go.

Sun Monitor benefits:

- Reduced complexity and security risks
- Easy monitoring and device maintenance
- Provide accurate feedback of energy productions to energy companies
- Optimize payment with evidence of energy delivered to National Grids.

Sun Monitor Diagram​​


At this page you can read a more technical perspective about Sun Monitor. The website was part of the submitted prototypes for the Ericsson Application Awards.
This prototype is still is collecting live data. Check it out.

Research Process

Service Design Methodologies

To research energy in the city environment we used some common and highly important methodologies, among these are Stakeholder Maps, Customer Journey Maps, Service Blueprints, Concept Maps, Business Model Canvas. 

Scientific Paper Research

We researched many papers about energy production, energy waste, energy transport and energy costs. This was important for us to understand the status quo of energy production and consumption among citis and suburbia. It also allowed us to glimpse a possible and cost effective energy solutions.

User Interviews

We had talked with our users, through semi-structured interviews about their energy production and consumption, and what chalenges have they encountered and what seems to work just fine.
Most of our research and work was developed in Funchal, a small city, but it provides the same opportunities and struggles that any bigger city would, as we correlated from our research made in Taiwan, a much bigger and cosmopolitan city than Funchal. Ultimately, our product was deployed for testing in Taiwan, as we had access to a modern PV system.



Sun Monitor was deplyed for testing in Taiwan. The project is still running 24/7. From the deplyement we validated some of our assumptions with the family living in that house and that were using Sun Monitor.
Validated assumptions:

- Access on-the-go is seen as valuable for a fast paced society, and provides users with evidence of system's work
- Raspebery Pi's dedicated server and active collection of output data offered peace of mind
- Cloud storage of collected data is crucial to avoid system failures and fulcral to allow community data to be acessible and calculated
- Service if deployed was seen as unexpensive vs user's value and energy awareness.

Sun Monitor overview

Sun Monitor

An award winning solar panel management system and service


Ericsson Application Awards 2013
- First place in Student category​