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Solar panel 'gateway' pipes data from rooftop to Web

Xantrex Gateway monitors the amount of electricity solar panels generate and transmits that data to a person's PC through a home Wi-Fi connection.

Inverter maker Xantrex on Thursday introduced a device for gathering performance data on rooftop solar electric panels.

The Xantrex Gateway is designed to monitor the amount of electricity that solar panels generate and transmits that information to a person's PC through a home Wi-Fi connection.

Monitoring equipment is commonly used for large-scale installations at corporations or power plants. This gateway is designed specifically for people's homes or small-scale solar power installations.

Is your solar panel working at full steam? Xantrex Gateway gathers data and sends it to a widget via Wi-Fi. Xantrex

Gathering performance information is very important for solar panel homeowners.

State rebates can be tied to performance, and the payback on solar panels relies on them operating at full capacity.

Xantrex built a Yahoo widget that can log system performance on a PC directly from the Gateway and display information graphically.

The device also can be configured from a Web page to make automated e-mail reports or notify owners of problems.