SolarWorld is a manufacturer of solar power equipments. The company's business is spread across four continents including North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Headquartered in Bonn, Germany, SolarWorld has manufacturing facilities in Germany, USA and Korea.

SolarWorld is a manufacturer of solar energy modules and solar technology based power systems for rooftops, carports and open grounds. In July 2010, SolarWorld introduced the Suntrol which is a digital system that automatically logs the performance of its solar modules by means of an on-board firmware. The Suntrol Portal is one of the components of the Suntrol system and it enables owners of SolarWorld systems to analyze the output of their solar modules. The Suntrol Portal can also be accessed through an iTunes app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

The need for charting

SolarWorld's Suntrol Portal allows users to analyze power output over varying time spans – from hours to months and even years. Hence, charting was absolutely necessary for them.

In order to provide a great reporting experience, SolarWorld required a comprehensive and feature-rich charting component with support for drill-down. The company also wished to make the Suntrol Portal accessible on both computers and mobile devices. Hence, they required a rich Flash charting component with an integrated JavaScript charting library. "An alternative JavaScript charting library was a must have criteria as many of our customers use iPads and iPhones," says Carsten Hellweg, Systems Enginner at SolarWorld.

Why FusionCharts?

Before obtaining FusionCharts, SolarWorld had used an open-source charting solution that rendered charts in form of bitmaps. The company soon hit the ceiling with the non-interactive bitmap charts, and they decided to obtain an interactive charting solution which would facilitate drill-down among other things.

"We spent ten man-weeks evaluating various frameworks and FusionCharts particularly caught our eye. Also with FusionCharts, we could get support easily and there would be greater scope for future development of the product unlike other open-source products."

The FusionCharts Experience

FusionCharts greatly enhanced the usability and functionality of Suntrol Portal, which received positive feedback from its users. The company's development team also liked FusionCharts because of its ease of implementation. "FusionCharts was fairly easy to implement and no extra coding was required to implement the JavaScript fallback charting."

Folks at SolarWorld found FusionCharts' help and support options to be very useful. "The documentation is good and easily searchable through Google. It was also easy to find workarounds for solving dicey issues."

Everyone at SolarWorld expressed their satisfaction with FusionCharts, and the company's executives feel that it would be a good idea to use FusionCharts in future projects. "We have been using FusionCharts for 6 months now and it has helped us a lot. We’ve received positive feedback from the day one and I have been recommending it to people as well," concludes Hellweg.

FusionCharts was fairly easy to implement and no extra coding was required to implement the JavaScript fallback charting.

Carsten Hellweg

Systems Engineer