Home energy management systems
Home energy management systems (HEMS) are becoming popular; one of the reasons for this development is the improvement of technology as well as small scale energy sources such as solar PV systems and smart home systems are becoming more viable. But what exactly are home energy management systems? Just like many terms there are conflicting descriptions of this concept, however all are in agreement that the system is necessary to ensure efficient consumption of energy.
One definition that is widely used describes home energy management systems as a technological platform which is comprised of two components, the hardware and software, each allowing the user to monitor energy production and consumption. This also involves manual control or automation of the energy consumption at the household level.
Hardware and software
Hardware components of the system consist of devices which relay communications between the user and the local utility. The hub is normally installed in an electrical board but at times it may be a virtual installation where HEMS operates on a wireless network. Other hardware components of the system includes smart plugs, sensors and smart devices at home.
The software which is used in the system monitors the data and communication. It acts as the interface which allows access to data monitoring as well as function control.
The interface is either an application or a web portal. In some systems, the software helps in increasing the effectiveness of energy or the efficiency of the appliances that are used at the household level; others focus on controlling the devices either for security or convenience purposes.
When it comes to monitoring, there are variations in the way data is displayed, this will depend on following: the devices which are on and the energy consumption of each, the smallest time increment to keep the system on track as well as the insights which are delivered by the system.
The control function of the system allows the user to perform a number of things which include: remotely turning the devices on and off, setting the devices in such a manner that they operate on schedules, setting up conditional rules for the operation of the devices and electric vehicle, managing the flow of energy, and allowing machine learning in order to take over and run the system.
HEMS can help manage three aspects of home energy namely electricity, solar PV, battery storage.
A home energy management system is an important component of home energy management for anyone who is looking for efficient and smart consumption of energy. Having it in place is not only a cost effective strategy but also ensures sustainable production and consumption of energy.
Electric Vehicles (EVs) in Australia
Going electric is a big step for a car buyer. We’ve been dependent on petrol-powered vehicles for far too long. But the cost of fuel and the ill effects on the environment such as climate change and diminishing air quality in our cities are bear too much weight on our want for convenience. In fact, Electric vehicles are the answer to our dilemma in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, reducing the cost of upkeep of a car and helping to clean up our environment.
Electric Vehicles Available in Australian market
Here is a list of EVs available now on the market in Australia.
Advantages of Owning an EV
The advantages of owning an Electric Vehicle (EV) include no more stops to petrol stations to fuel up, no need for maintenance such as an oil change, or spark plugs and fuel filters, and easy to drive. No EV’s have gears to shift. In particular, the motor is connected to the wheels, just press on the pedal and off the car goes. To top up the benefits of driving an electric car is the contribution in saving the environment by reducing CO2 emissions.
Additionally, information about how EV’s work and available brands and models in Australia is available at Electric Highway and My Electric Car. These websites provide information on everything about EV’s including second-hand cars available in Australia.
Incentives of Owning an EV
Globally, the desire to change and be proactive in dealing with sustainable growth, including the preservation of the environment, as well as lessening the dependence on fossil fuels have pushed governments to take a stand. Governments are providing incentives to individuals who actively participate in the drive for sustainable growth. EV owners enjoy these incentives via the reduced cost of the vehicle through the Luxury Car Tax Break and Stamp Duty Exempt in ACT (Australian Capital Territory). Sadly, this is not enough to entice people to switch to EV’s because the Australian government’s incentives for alternative-energy run vehicles are far from other developed countries. However, it is still up to car manufacturers and importers to sweeten the deal.
EV Support Communities
Environmental and sustainable development advocates and car enthusiasts come together to create awareness of the advantages of EVs and their technology. Australian Electric Vehicle Association Inc. (AEVA) is a non-profit organization and creates more awareness and encourages interest in EVs and their technology. It provides a social and technical forum for the Electrical Vehicle market, tech and use of these cars. By doing this, R and D for the technology will flourish for the benefit of end users in terms of usability as well as the cost.
Furthermore, Electric Vehicle Council represents the electric vehicle industry such as companies involved in providing, powering and supporting electric vehicles in Australia.
In conclusion, Electric Vehicles and hybrids such as Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle or PHEV are promising alternatives to petrol fueled cars that cost relatively more in terms of maintenance and their effects on the environment have become a global dilemma.
Finally, Enerklean offers renewable energy solutions including solar power and battery storage systems to homes and businesses. If you’re planning to buy an Electric Vehicle, our renewable energy experts will guide you how to power it with renewables.
Contact Enerklean for more information.
Solar battery storage
Solar energy has become one of the fastest growing energy sources in Australia and, indeed, the world. Experts say that the solar systems market has soared, doubling in size in less than a decade. The popularity of solar power has led to rise of battery storage systems, a technological device that has the capacity to store solar power for use at a later time. There are a number of manufacturers that are developing solar power storage devices. Battery systems can be installed along with solar systems to help light our premises.
How does it work?
To appreciate this source of power, understanding how the system works is a good starting point. A typical system will have a number of components, there are solar PV panels, inverters, solar batteries and a real-time energy monitoring system which keeps tracks of the energy produced among other statistics. The solar panel is the component that collects energy from the sun; here it is also converted into electricity. It is then passed to the inverter, a component that converts the sun energy into a form that can be used to light the house.
Benefits of energy storage systems
Sometimes you won’t need to use the energy right away; that’s when a solar battery comes in handy. The component converts the energy which is produced by the panels and stores it. The size of the battery will determine the amount of the energy stored, the higher the capacity, the larger the storage.
Instead of sending the excess into the grid, the solar battery will store the power and you can use it later. When the solar panels are not producing electricity you will be able to draw on the stored power. Only when the solar battery is fully charged will you send electricity back into the grid.
In a nutshell, the solar battery storage devices help in storing excess power from the solar panels. With these, you can use it during the night. Also the battery storage protects your home from power outages as well as reducing your reliance on the grid supply. With a good battery, you won’t only save on electricity bills but will also be contributing to a cleaner environment.
Renewable energy Professionals
Enerklean provides renewable energy solutions including solar power and energy storage systems to homes and businesses. If you’re planning to take your home or business solar, our renewable energy experts will provide you with the service and advice you need.
Contact Enerklean or visit our website today.
Although solar power has been praised in recent years for the benefits it can have on Australian homes and businesses, there are still many solar energy myths that surround the renewable energy solution. Do solar systems work when it’s cloudy? Do solar panels work in all climates? Will a solar power system break my bank balance – or even worse, my roof? Enerklean’s solar power experts are at hand to bust some of Australia’s most common solar energy myths and unveil the true potential of solar power for Australian homes and businesses.
Due to an increased awareness of the negative impact fossil fuels are having on the environment around us, the Australian government are looking more and more towards renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power to fuel our future. Since the rate of climate change and global warming have hit a high in recent years, it looks like the need to go green is more urgent than ever before. With these latest statistics in mind, the experienced team of renewable energy engineers at Enerklean are here to help you take the right steps towards a greener future with renewable energy.
Solar monitoring system
Our online solar monitoring system is a wireless web-based tool that provides the following information regarding your Australian solar power system on smart devices such as smartphones, iPads, tablets and computers:
- Number of kilowatts the solar panels are generating at the time you run a check
- How much energy has been generated in total since the day your solar power system was installed
- How many tonnes of CO2 your solar panels have saved from release into the air
- Amount of money you have saved on your power bill
- Interactive charts
Choosing the Correct Solar System
This important choice is highly dependent on:
- Your energy consumption
- The roof space available for solar panels
While there are still massive incentives available for homeowners and businesses planning on going solar under the Federal Government’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme, you can actually receive a larger rebate by purchasing a bigger system.
5kW Solar Systems for Households
The largest suitable size for households is a 5kW solar system. The reason being, anything above 5kW will not be eligible for the feed-in tariff (FIT), which is approximately 7 cents per unit in WA at the time of writing this post. The size of the panels can exceed 5kW to up to 6.5kW; however, the inverter’s capacity should stay at 5kW in order to get credited for any extra units that your solar system feeds back onto the grid.
The average household in Western Australia with a 5 kW solar system saves approximately $180 per month. As a result, a 5kW solar system could save you around $360 per billing cycle (which is typically delivered by electricity providers every 60 days in most regions) and over $2,000 per year.
Battery Storage for 5 kW Solar System
A 5 kW solar system generally consists of 20 x 250 Watt solar PV panels plus a standard 5 kW inverter. This setup is typically not ready to connect a battery system to it. However, there are a number of options you can take to make it battery-ready:
- Purchasing a Hybrid inverter instead of a standard inverter from the outset
- Replacing the standard inverter with a hybrid inverter in the future when you have elected to go for battery storage
- Adding a Retrofit system which includes a charge controller device and battery
Batteries vs. Feed-In Tariff
Batteries save the additional energy which is generated by the solar system and not used during the day by the householders. Stored energy could be used at night when the sun stops shining, which would prevent you having to buy this energy back from the grid using the feed-in tariff. Furthermore, the batteries can get charged by the grid during the off-peak time when electricity retailers sell energy at the lower rate than the peak time.
Enerklean is an Australia-wide company that supplies a wide range of solar systems and batteries from Tier-1 brands. We know everything about solar as well as battery storage. If you need more information, don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated team of engineers.
The Solar Panel Rebate in Australia
In Australia there are two types of solar panel rebates available for those who elect to go with solar:
- Feed-in tariff
- STC incentives
Feed-in tariff (FIT) is a solar panel rebate relating to the funds you can receive by feeding energy units back to the grid. FITs vary among different states and are currently at approximately 7 cents per kWh (unit) in Western Australia. FITs are currently only available in WA for homeowners, not commercial premises.
STC incentives or Small-Scale Technology Certificates are basically generous incentives available to those who purchase solar systems in Australia. They are government incentives that were developed to help you reduce the upfront cost of the solar system. The value of solar panel incentive that a household receives is generally calculated based on system location or postcode, installation date, and the amount of electricity generated over the course of its lifetime.
Finally, as the Renewable Energy Target tracks to 2030, the deeming period for solar photo-voltaic solar systems under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme will drop, starting from 1 January 2017. Hence, the current 15-year deeming period will reduce to 14 years in 2017, and by one year each year thereafter. This will also reduce the number of small-scale technology certificates systems may be eligible for.
This means the sooner you invest in a solar power system, the more you’ll save on the upfront cost.
To secure the current solar incentives and find out how much a solar power system could save you on your electricity bill, contact us today – we’d be more than happy to assist you.
Perth Announces World-first in Australian Solar Power
Perth has once again proven that it’s ahead of the game on Australian solar power, hosting a world-first trial of new technology that could revolutionise apartment living. Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt announced a $3 million project on April 13 that will see solar panels and batteries installed in four apartment block developments.
It’s no surprise that this ground is being broken in Perth, as the WA state capital gets more hours of sunshine than any other capital city in Australia. The high demand for solar power is a clear indication that Perth residents and business owners see the opportunities opened by solar energy.
More than 170,000 homes have already installed solar panel systems on their roof. With apartments making up a third of the city’s housing, it makes sense to take that technology further, especially with the research currently being undertaken by Curtin University.
The Enerklean Approach
Here at Enerklean we continually embrace new technology to give our clients world-class, certified products and a wide range of renewable energy solutions to suit their needs. Enerklean is a little different to your average solar package provider, as we don’t just stick a few solar panels on the roof and leave you to it!
We are working with Australian owners, architects and builders to develop smart homes that are good for the environment as well as your pocket. We not only design and install your solar system, but we also help with rebate administration, off-grid solutions, Feed-in-Tariffs, repairs, maintenance and after sales service.
If you’re interested in solar power, we can help get you started the smart way. Contact us for more information, or get a free quote today.