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With the help of smart third-party controllers, your air conditioner can help balance supply and demand with a solar-filled grid.
While regulators are concerned about the impact of solar energy on low-voltage distribution networks, developers are looking for ways to use household load to reduce stress.
Last week, I chatted with a company called Paladin in New Zealand. For the past four or five years, the company’s focus has been on the controller, which transfers excess electrical energy from the PV to the customer’s electric heating. Water service. This is a win-win situation: the customer gets cheap hot water, and the shunt provides the load to absorb the electricity, otherwise it will put pressure on the grid.
When AEMO decided that SA Power Networks needed power to shut down “customer demand” events to avoid “negative demand” events, innovations such as solar shunts were very important (it said this power supply would only be used rarely).
As the Paladin’s boss Mark Robinson pointed out, the power company does not want an exit to occur between 10 am and 2 pm because that is when overvoltage occurs-when the local voltage reaches 257V, the reverse The converter starts to close.
With the advent of the COVID crisis, when Paladin’s lead developer Ken Smith was committed to providing a controller with a wireless interface with the water heater temperature sensor, he also pursued an idea that the air conditioner can complete the service with hot water – acting as on-site consumption Excessive solar load.
For wireless, Smith said he wanted to avoid WiFi because it requires too many owners. Instead, he turned to a radio standard called LoRa, which is a low-power long-range wireless standard (this is a Wikipedia entry).
â€œIt fits roughly in the same frequency band as the old pager-wide range, but low data rate. Once the limitations of LORA are bypassed, without sacrificing performance, I can send a short data stream that tells me everything the Paladin can see.
This satisfied Smith’s idea of considering the use of air conditioners. He said that for some time, modern air-conditioning equipment has included “demand response enabling equipment” or DRED.
DRED is implemented in accordance with the requirements of the power company, so if there is a power shortage (for example, during a heat wave or when the power supply is interrupted), the network can turn off or turn off the air conditioning.
Smith told us that his idea is the opposite of how the Internet works-turn on or turn on the air conditioner to absorb the excess solar energy in the home photovoltaic system.
He said that at first glance, this seems to be a very difficult problem, because there are many possible settings for air-conditioning compressors with different powers.
“It takes a few sleeps and a few pots of coffee to realize-complexity is not important. We have developed a box that can receive broadcasts from [the existing Paladin controller-SolarQuotes]. Just open it and you can Control the air conditioner.”
The Paladin controller “regulates the compressor power to match the sun, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money on peak speed.” For the end user, most air conditioners can use 12 cents (per kilowatt hour) of electricity instead of 30 Cents of electricity.
And, just like transferring excess solar energy to hot water services, it also helps the grid because it reduces exports during peak hours.
“And you can run multiple units-when one of the compressors is off, the second unit can be started, and so on.”
He said that there is another benefit: by matching the power of the air conditioner with the excess solar energy, the process of bringing the house to the required temperature may be much slower than without a controller, but a large unit equipped with a 4kW compressor will not Try so hard to crack down on customer bills.
Paladin’s boss, Mark Robinson, added that the Paladin controller responds quickly enough to the load of the entire family-“it will react as the clouds move”-or if someone puts the kettle on, the controller will reduce the inflow Electricity air conditioning.
The Paladin said the development was going well, and Smith said that the first batch of troops are now in the Paladin workshop.
Robinson commented: “After final testing, we hope to put it on the market before Christmas.”
He said that timing is important because a few years ago, feed-in tariffs were high and reduction measures were unheard of, so there was really no need to transfer power to local loads. But now that there are so many home photovoltaics available (and there will be more), the situation has changed.
He said: “If you want to export, then you are wrong.” “Now the conversation should be how much I can consume my strength, because I can manage better.”
Richard Chirgwin (Richard Chirgwin) is a journalist with more than 30 years of experience covering a wide range of technical topics including electronics, telecommunications, computers, and science.
The strange thing is that they are about to launch a new product called “solar relay” within 60 days, which can power any electrical load
Variable power shunts are used for resistive loads. Like a large heating element. Depending on the amount of excess solar energy available, the power varies from 0 to 2.8 kW. For example, if 1.45 kW of solar energy will be output in other ways, the shunt will only send 1.45 kW to that element. It is done every second.
The solar relay is an on/off switch. You tell it how much power the device consumes, and only turn on the device when there is at least that much spare solar energy. For example, if you have a 1.2 kW swimming pool pump, it will only turn on if there is at least 1.2 kW of available solar energy.
Capturing a power relay can be more complicated-and can measure the actual power usage of the device, and it may have smart logic that can “push” the device from the grid in some cases. I will contact them for details.
Where can I sign up? In winter, due to the use of AC power, my consumption surges, and in summer, we use AC power carefully to maximize cost savings.
However, people are always tired of not always. If there is a way to ensure that AC power is run from solar energy, basically for free, this is the biggest influence of my home, then I will be everywhere
Compared with hot water, alternating current is a different load, which is a form of energy storage. Hardware storage makes a lot of sense. Nothing opened for this purpose.
If I don’t want/need to turn on the AC power supply, for example, during most of the spring, this low load/high solar output problem occurs, then why turn it on on the earth?
Even a house that is naturally at an ideal temperature during the mildest time of the year will not consume too much power to cool/heat the house. This is why people don’t use AC much in that season.
I thought that adding some industrial load and more grid storage would be a better solution.
I agree with Alex, why it is necessary to open things that are not needed. I think it will not help. Perhaps the generator can be scheduled to shut down for maintenance in the spring when demand decreases.
I am afraid that all this technical knowledge is far beyond my little brain. But there are several problems.
I understand the concept of low voltage rise between 10am and 2pm, this is because power is supplied from the rooftop PV to the local grid. Why do they need to turn off rooftop photovoltaic panels? Isn’t it just sending the system back to coal and natural gas generators to generate electricity?
In addition, no matter what the cause of excessive PV is, if most people are not at home, why use it to turn on the air conditioner or lower the temperature of the air conditioner. It seems to be a waste to me. (Yes, I understand the current impact of Covid in relation to many people who are usually not at home but want to be a commonplace).
I suspect that these questions will highlight my ignorance, but it is possible to provide a brief overview when answering the above questions.
I would also like to ask, must we transfer excess power to the battery pack instead of using it to power the air conditioner in the empty house?
Of course, if there is a battery available, it makes more sense to move it there, but people usually don’t have a battery at all, or even if they do have a battery, they will generate more power than the battery can hold.
Using air conditioners when no one is at home will reduce the need for people to use air conditioners when they go home in the future. There is a balance between wasting energy for cooling or heating that only leaks the house, and usage time and power availability. It is definitely worth it, but it is not always the case. It will depend on many factors, such as insulation and when people go home.
By pre-cooling or pre-heating, the air conditioner can also use less power overall, thereby overcoming the heat loss that will occur. This is because the efficiency of the air conditioner depends on the difference between the external temperature and the internal temperature and the hard work of driving the air conditioner. If you can run the air conditioner at 50% load before and after you go home, its energy consumption may be lower than when you go home at 100%. Especially in winter, some heating before outdoor cooling can use less energy, and then use it after returning home after cooling. However, whether it consumes more or less total energy is very complicated and depends largely on individual circumstances.
“…If most people are not at home, why use it to turn on the air conditioner or lower the temperature of the air conditioner.”
I originally thought that it was logical to stop the house from getting hot first by running the air conditioner during the day (using solar energy and assuming that the household battery is fully charged), instead of walking into a warm house and turning the wind to continue. If the room is too cold, it is very It is easy to put on a jumper and socks until the house gets warmer.
I occasionally find that after a hot day (or a series of subsequent days – for example, 4 consecutive days with a maximum temperature of 44 degrees), it is useful to run the air conditioner during off-peak hours at night when the grid price is cheaper. This means that my battery has not discharged too far and can start charging in the morning. By not discharging the battery too deeply, the life of the battery (SLA) is extended by several years, which means that I will no longer have to replace the battery frequently, thus saving a lot of time. My current battery was installed in 2014 and is still able to handle the load originally handled. I should think that a life span of 15 years is not an unreasonable expectation.
Talking about pre-cooling or heating and “making the house hot first” is great, but this kind of grid load imbalance mainly occurs in the mild temperature seasons of spring and early autumn, let alone air conditioning. Preheat or cool.
Even if the air conditioner is turned on, it will not consume too much electricity, because most houses at this time of the year are already at a comfortable temperature.
In summer, the problem of load imbalance on the grid is not so serious because of the increasing need for air conditioning.
As for preheating/cooling at high/low temperatures, this is a very bad strategy for most people because it wastes a lot of energy and costs a lot of money.
I just removed the hot water meter during off-peak hours and reconnected the hot water to the main circuit through a circuit breaker and a backup battery timer. I have set the timer between 10 am and 2 pm (when the sun is out). In warmer months, I might adjust it to 9 am to 3 pm, but this is not even necessary. Therefore, unless it’s really cloudy or I don’t have a long hot shower (never), I almost always use solar energy to heat hot water (free!).
If you give up income, it is not “free”. The cost of IOW heating water is the basis for tariffs. Unless for some reason you are prohibited from exporting the energy.
In many parts of New South Wales, feed-in tariffs are subsidized (sometimes lower than hot water off-peak electricity prices), so there is little or no incentive to switch hot water heating to daytime solar energy.
Of course, when electric vehicles start to become loads on the grid, and home charging including V2G(H) has become a reality, all these problems (ie, overvoltage and export restrictions) will simply disappear.
Yes, I came in. Because we already have the ability to transfer hot water to us. good results. can not wait anymore
The easiest way to absorb excess solar energy in summer is to increase the operation of desalination plants that exist in every state, and put them at peak operation in the middle of the day, and rewind it at night. Relax water restrictions and transfer excess water to existing reservoirs.
In 2007, I purchased a “water in the air” condensation and treatment machine, which cools humid air and produces drinking water, and undergoes multi-stage filtration and sterilization, including reverse osmosis (such as desalination plants). I also use this system to treat the water in the rainwater collection tank. Third, during hot periods, I use portable refrigeration air conditioners to cool the house. This also produces water, and I push the water through the condenser. In “sunny days” (ie sunny and humid), I can treat up to 8 liters of water.
I ride a bicycle every day (indoor or outdoor) and in summer I can drink 4-5 liters of water (including coffee/tea).
Therefore, I have introduced saving methods on several levels here. First of all, related to this is that the condenser and air conditioner are driven by solar energy, so I save the cost of not importing from the grid and reducing carbon dioxide. Second, “excess” power will not enter the grid, thereby reducing the “strain” on the grid. The battery will absorb some power, and the water will absorb more power. Third, in some stores, I saw that a 500ml bottle of bottled water sold for $1. If I only drink 4 liters of water a day, I might save as much as $8 per day if I don’t buy it by bottle. Finally, by not buying bottled water, I did not dump these disposable bottles into the landfill, thus saving the environment.
Hi, I have another question. I don’t know if this solution can help me. I live in an RV on the roof. There are 4 x 327W Sunpower panels on the roof. These load batteries. After the battery is fully charged, I want to turn on the AC to stabilize the temperature in the RV, so when we get there later, we don’t need to do everything. Do you think this device will work? Or is there another ready-made solution? Thank you
I will post a blog post about Catch Power Solar Relay soon. This $250 device can serve you. If your inverter uses frequency shifting, the relay can detect when the battery is fully charged and connect the AC power through the contactor.
Leon, your RV situation is not exactly the same, you don’t need this type of controller, which is specific to grid power.
What you need is a simple voltage switch that you can monitor the battery voltage and use it to cycle RV AC.
Turn it on at the maximum voltage, and then turn it off by one volt or less. You will have to use the OFF voltage value because it will drop under AC load-it depends on your battery size/conditions.
Control the battery charger in the “shed”. I tighten the undervoltage value below 14V, and the relay closes anywhere above this value to run the charger. I think that when the battery reaches full voltage (14.4), you can use the same method to power AC.
This actually depends on the voltage drop when the compressor starts. It still only costs you about $5 to discover!
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Post time: Sep-04-2020