(Last modified on January 26th, 2022.)
The future is here, smart homes have arrived and now these systems can help customize your renewable energy experience.
While most of us are likely familiar with the capabilities of managing your smart home’s AC, blinds, lights, alarm, etc. from afar, new technology now lets you manage your solar similarly. The possibilities become especially exciting for solar plus storage homes.
Previously, solar storage solutions were rigid in their home backup options– you either backed up your whole house or only certain circuits/loads. As smart home technology has developed, other players have entered the field with smart electric panels, completing the home automation loop and providing home owners with customizable smart solar storage.
These smart panels, or energy management systems, allow you to control what loads your solar storage energizes in real time. This gives homeowners extreme flexibility during emergencies or inclement weather.
Energy management systems we’re excited about
The Lumin Smart Panel, developed in Charlottesville, Virginia, is installed next to the existing service panel and is wired to circuits that are backed up by the solar storage device of your choosing. The in-house Lumin Smart app facilitates the interface with the energy management system. The Lumin Smart Panel currently needs an internet connection to manually control circuits, however the Lumin team is developing a portal access, directly from the panel, that will be accessible without internet through your LAN (Local Area Network).
The Lumin Smart Panel is capable of sensing and responding to gird outages. In the event of a utility grid outage, your solar storage will automatically begin powering your home and the smart panel will tell it to prioritize predetermined loads that are deemed essential. The remaining circuits on the smart panel can then be manually controlled to either turn off to extend the battery life even further, or turn on if you know it’s only a short planned utility outage.
Lumin can measure and control up to 12 single pole circuits or 6 dual pole circuits, or a combination of the two, and has a 10 year limited warranty.
Developed by sonnen, a German Lithium Iron Phosphate battery manufacturer, the ecoLinx is both a storage and smart panel solution, integrated into one sleek product.
The sonnen ecoLinx is able to monitor the weather for heightened solar storage energy management and can alert you to potential power outages. If a storm is approaching, priority will be given to predetermined loads that are deemed essential. This gives the ecoLinx time to throttle down power to non-essential loads so as to conserve and extend the energy of your solar storage. If an outage does occur, your battery storage will kick in automatically and you can manually turn off loads if you wish to extend the duration of your solar storage even more. Alternatively, if you know it’s a planned power outage that will only last a few hours, you can tell your energy management system to turn a few loads back on.
The ecoLinx can integrate with a variety of smart home features, like Nest, and sonnen has partnered with home automation platforms like Adapt Energy, Control4 and Savant to provide the interface to their energy management and battery system. This makes the ecoLinx a great solution for homeowners with an existing smart home system.
The ecoLinx smart panel and storage solution is available from 12 kWh to 20 kWh of solar storage (in 2 kWh increments) and is warrantied for 15 years (about 15,000 cycles, whichever comes first).
Both of these dynamic, configureable, and load trading energy management systems are excellent products that provide solutions to home owners in different stages of smart home automation. Their integration with solar storage solutions not only allow unprecedented control over these systems and enhance our lifestyle, but also increase our energy efficiency and lessen our carbon footprint on a daily basis. Win win win!
For more information on solar storage or smart panels, give us a call at (805) 965-9292.