A truly smart home integrates PV, storage, monitoring and control to maximize energy efficiency throughout all of the home’s operations and ultimately achieve monetary savings for the homeowner. The interoperability of all devices and the ability to control the amount and time of use for each device is critical in achieving:
① Sunny Boy Storage The new Sunny Boy Storage battery inverter acts as the interface between the PV inverter and the high-voltage battery. Its AC coupled design allows it to be installed or expanded in any location, at any time, regardless of whether or not there is already a PV system installed.
②High Voltage Battery The battery is an integral part of the SMA Smart Home. It can be charged during the day by the PV system and discharged in the evening hours when electricity rates are often higher. Self-consumption utilizing the battery power also helps avoid demand charges from the utility by reducing energy imported from the grid.
③Sunny Boy PV Inverter It is important that the PV and battery inverters work in total alignment to ensure effective operation of the intelligent home. The Sunny Boy-US is the ideal partner for the Sunny Boy Storage with its integration into the SMA Smart Home, who together provide unmatched design flexibility, installation simplicity and long-term reliability.
④Sunny Portal This online monitoring, management and display interface is the largest of its kind in the world. With Sunny Portal, access to essential SMA Smart Home information is accessible from anywhere. It offers central management of PV system data and rapid diagnosis of any potential issues, saving the homeowner time and money.
⑤Interconnected Household Appliances The SMA Smart Home can automatically activate major electrical appliances at the most favorable time in order to utilize inexpensive solar power. This also helps to avoid demand charges as the result of major appliance usage in the evening. Items such as hot water heaters, solar thermal pumps, washing machines, dryers and more can be controlled in the SMA Smart Home.
⑥ Electric Vehicle Charging Station Electric vehicles are a natural fit in the SMA Smart Home. They share an infrastructure with many components in the system including the home’s battery, so the opportunity to achieve additional cost savings exists. When combined with the appropriate charging station, it’s possible for a homeowner to use the battery in an electric vehicle as an additional electricity storage system for the SMA Smart Home or for separately compensated grid services.
A renewable energy system that includes a solar PV array, high-voltage battery and inverter technology from SMA America gives The Arc House an advantage over most net-zero energy homes.
One of the biggest arguments for grid-tied rooftop solar is net metering—the ability to sell excess energy generated back to the grid, often at the retail rate. But as more customers install renewable energy systems, utilities in many states are changing their approach to net metering. Some are lowering the rate of compensation below the retail rate and/or adding fixed charges to customers with solar arrays. Others are eliminating net metering altogether.
“A lot of utilities are moving toward time-of-use pricing, demand charges, and implementing zero export policies,” says Tim Stocker, product manager for SMA America. “This is making the case for storage more compelling.”
A renewable energy system that includes storage can store excess energy generated by a solar array and “spend” it during times of higher demand on the electricity grid. This strategy not only provides more stability to the grid (and potentially saves emissions from “peaker plants” used only during times of high demand), it can potentially save money, if the utility utilizes a variable rate structure.
Many states are currently deliberating how best to balance pressure from the utilities with renewable energy goals. Residential solar installations that include storage will be ahead of the curve when the utilities catch up.