Implementing a Comprehensive Solar Monitoring System for a Major Apparel Company in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh


The apparel industry is one of the largest sectors in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, contributing significantly to their economies. As global awareness and demand for sustainable and eco-friendly practices increase, companies in this sector are increasingly focusing on reducing their carbon footprint. Renewable energy sources like solar power offer a viable solution. This case study explores the implementation of a comprehensive solar monitoring system for a major apparel company with 26 plants in Sri Lanka and 2 plants in Bangladesh. The system aims to monitor solar generation, plant consumption, calculate utility provider bills, and solar generation savings, with CO2 reduction metrics.

Project Overview

The apparel company faced the challenge of monitoring energy consumption and solar generation across multiple plants in two countries. The goal was to develop a robust, scalable, and cost-effective solution that could provide real-time data visualization and analytics to optimize energy usage and reduce carbon emissions.

Solution Implementation

Technology Stack

  1. ThingsNode Devices: These devices were selected for their cost-effectiveness and reliability in capturing data from power analyzers using RS485 Modbus protocol.
  2. AWS IoT Core: Used for secure and scalable device communication via MQTTs.
  3. AWS SiteWise: For storing and organizing industrial equipment data.
  4. Grafana: For real-time data visualization and creating customized dashboards.


Data Collection and Transmission


  • ThingsNode Devices: Installed at each plant, these devices collect data from power analyzers, capturing metrics such as solar generation, plant consumption, and utility provider data.
  • RS485 Modbus Protocol:Used for reliable communication between ThingsNode devices and power analyzers.
  • WiFi Connectivity: Ensures data is transmitted securely to the cloud via AWS IoT Core.

Data Storage and Visualization

  • AWS SiteWise: Aggregates and stores data from all plants, ensuring data integrity and availability.
  • Grafana Dashboards: Customizable dashboards provide plant-wise, cluster-wise, and region-wise insights into energy consumption, solar generation, utility bills, and CO2 reduction.

Benefits and Impact

Real-Time Monitoring

  • Plant-Wise Insights: Each plant’s solar generation and consumption data are available in real-time, allowing for immediate corrective actions if necessary.
  • Cluster and Region Analysis: The ability to view data at different levels (plant, cluster, region) enables better decision-making and resource allocation.

Financial Savings and Sustainability

  • Utility Bill Calculation: The system calculates potential savings from solar generation, helping the company understand the financial benefits of their renewable energy investments.
  • CO2 Reduction Metrics: By quantifying the reduction in carbon emissions, the company can showcase its commitment to sustainability.

Enhanced Decision-Making

  • KPI Dashboards: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) related to energy efficiency and sustainability are prominently displayed, facilitating strategic decisions.
  • Anomaly Detection: Future integration with AI for anomaly detection can preemptively identify issues, reducing downtime and maintenance costs.

Customization and Scalability

User-Level Access

  • Multiple User Levels: The system supports different access levels, ensuring that relevant data is accessible to the right stakeholders, from plant managers to corporate executives.
  • Customization: Dashboards can be tailored to meet specific user requirements, enhancing usability and relevance.

Integration with Existing Systems

  • ThingsBoard Platform: The ability to connect multiple vendor devices to a single platform ensures compatibility and flexibility, allowing the company to expand or modify the system as needed.

Future Possibilities

  1. AI-Powered Predictions: Implementing AI algorithms to predict energy consumption and generation patterns can optimize operations further.
  2. Anomaly Detection: Advanced machine learning techniques can detect anomalies in energy usage, preventing potential issues before they escalate.
  3. Scalability: The solution is designed to scale, making it easy to add new plants or upgrade existing infrastructure without significant changes.

Sustainability and Carbon Footprint

The implementation of this monitoring system underscores the apparel company’s commitment to sustainability. By leveraging renewable energy sources and optimizing their usage, the company not only reduces operational costs but also significantly lowers its carbon footprint. The quantifiable CO2 reduction metrics provide tangible evidence of their environmental impact, enhancing their reputation and compliance with global sustainability standards.


The deployment of a comprehensive solar monitoring system for the apparel company has proven to be a strategic move towards sustainable and efficient energy management. The combination of ThingsNode devices, AWS IoT Core, AWS SiteWise, and Grafana has provided a robust solution that meets the company’s needs. The system’s ability to offer real-time insights, financial savings, and sustainability metrics, coupled with its scalability and customization options, ensures that the company is well-equipped to meet future challenges and opportunities in the renewable energy landscape.

This case study highlights the importance of integrating advanced IoT solutions in industrial applications to achieve operational excellence and sustainability. The apparel company’s experience serves as a valuable example for other organizations looking to enhance their energy management practices and reduce their environmental impact.