Written on behalf by Madeline Acri, National Energy Storage Specialist at Soligent
Batteries and solar panels have been installed together for years. Although batteries have become more energy dense and slightly more sophisticated in other ways, the technology in most ways remains the same. Batteries charge when there is current provided from PV and they discharge to provide current to the inverter and the home. However, there is one frontier of home automation that still remains mostly untapped and that is the frontier of load control.
There are currently a few players in the load control and load management space at the moment and I anticipate more in the near future. Being able to select the loads in your house that run off of battery power in real time enables the homeowner to take more control of their power on a load-by-load basis. This can be done with a few different styles of load control products, ranging from a fully automated smart main service panel down to controlling 1 or 2 smart circuit breakers.
Generac, a brand already dominating the home standby space, launched the PWRmanager app-controlled load-management system to enable whole home backup. This product can control up to twelve 120V circuits or six 20V circuits plus two thermostats. The PWRview app allows the homeowner to control these loads on their smartphone as well as view the solar and battery information for the other associated PWRcell products.
Enphase launched the IQ Load Controller which can control up to two 240V loads or four 120V loads while prioritizing essential appliances to optimize energy consumption and prolong battery life during a grid outage. This product is part of the IQ microinverter and IQ battery product suite.
The Lumin smart panel (LSP) is a retrofit product that can be added as an extension to a home’s existing main service panel. The LSP can manage up to 12 circuits with up to 60A per line.
SPAN is the all-inclusive version of smart home management with the SPAN panel. This product enables complete home automation and flexible load management. The SPAN panel would completely replace a home’s existing main service panel, whereas the previously discussed products are for retrofit purposes.
The addition of a load controller enables whole house backup flexibility without needing a battery bank sized to backup your entire home’s energy needs. Consider the benefits of a load controller when discussing partial home backup for a homeowner’s storage needs.