Future of solar in a smart building.

smarthomeBecause of the volatility of global oil prices, the cost of energy will continue to increase proportionately and especially when our energy demand continues to depend on finite fossil fuels. Similarly, the cost of energy for an average building in the USA or globally will continue to increase proportionately when the main source is from fossil fuels because the price for energy continues to increase due to volatility of oil prices. Solar PV and increased connectivity is an option that seems very promising and could help to reduce or mitigate the issue of climate change and increasing energy prices.

The advent of AI in energy management

Artificial intelligence technologyThe advent of new technologies such as big data analytics, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and blockchain allows for smart building energy management systems that can provide monitoring made possible through the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced data analytics and via wireless connections.

Looking in the future, solar is likely to be sold as a core part of the smart building concept that includes a building energy management system, energy storage, Electric Vehicle (EV) charging and smart appliances. This makes more sense because sourcing all the energy from solar will help to save more money and help to achieve sustainability. Also, EV and smart appliances can help to balance the grid for instance, electric vehicles can be used as temporary storage to connected appliances to reduce power usage when needed.

IoTAlso, in the energy management space, lighting and HVAC integration are the two most common systems integrated into the smart building strategy to reduce the energy footprint, but the IoT industry has opened the door to more sensors and hence increased intelligence through data collection. Some of the most common IoT sensors have applications for smart metering, occupancy sensors, water detection, humidity sensors, contact sensors, and carbon monoxide detection among many others.

Internet of Things

The whole idea of making your building smart is to allow you to make more informed decisions about the building based on the data it provides. Data is aggregated via IoT (Internet of Things) controls and sensors in a web-based platform that can be monitored, controlled and acted upon in real-time or perhaps using your cellphone. The main advantage of having a smart building is to help facility and property managers gain insight into the detailed workings of their locations and gather useful data to improve building performance and efficiency.

Advantages of integrating solar in a smart building:

  •  Smart buildings utilize machine learning algorithms and can be able to forecast your energy consumption and through demand response mechanisms solar consumption by the building can be increased in times of high solar generation and vice-versa. Through IoT smart appliances can be remotely controlled digitally to adopt on-site demand. For instance, heat pumps, heat storage batteries and air conditioning units can be optimized with solar generation and be a way of using excess solar electricity as heat.
  • Battery storage and smart electric vehicle charging when integrated with solar PV could significantly increase solar consumption for some households and businesses and especially when solar PV is combined with battery storage.
  • Deep machine learning and artificial intelligence when integrated with your smart appliances and solar can help to forecast and manage generation and consumption as well as voice activation technology to make systems more user-friendly.
  • Generally, smart buildings through optimization increase energy efficiency, comfort and safety and with solar PV, more energy is saved reducing your energy footprint.

This article explained how the smart building concept can help to reduce energy consumption and allow for the integration of solar PV, EV charging and IoT helping you reduce your energy footprint to achieve sustainability. However, a key question is whether these smart building technologies can currently pay for themselves? Do they currently increase or decrease the return on investment on installation when combined with solar?  EnergySage is a great starting point to help you figure out your energy savings when it comes to going solar.

How to select the best solar panels

best solar panelsWhether you are a homeowner or business owner, you want to get value for your money to get the best solar panels that you can be able to afford. However, finding the best solar panels for your solar project can be a daunting challenge, because there are so many solar panels brands available today in the market.

If you are a first-time buyer of solar panels, the process of buying them can be a challenging one because you are perhaps not familiar with the process. You may start researching online or call a solar provider to get a quote and perhaps learn the process as you progress. However, getting familiar with the process from the very start of your project will help you save you time and money, and avoid shoddy deals.

What is the process of selecting the best solar panels?

Firstly, for first-timers, you want to familiarize yourself with the technical jargon used in the solar panels industry to help you understand your equipment very well. Becoming knowledgeable with your solar Photovoltaics (PV) technology is not only useful in the buying process but also helps you plan your project while saving money in the process. We have tackled some of this technical jargon for your review in most of our blogs. You can peruse this particular blog to learn about the different types of solar panels, including but not limited to:

best solar panelsSecondly, it is not easy to visit various websites selling solar panels online and compare them one by one as this will be a very tedious process and you might spend a lot of time trying to compare the various solar PV technology in the market. There are thousands of brands for solar panels and contrasting these solar panels based on pricing, quality, aesthetics, and performance will be time-consuming and tedious.

What we call ” the best solar panels” will vary from person to person based on what one can afford and how the solar panels perform once installed. Affordability is what one can afford to get solar panels that will be able to meet their electricity and heating needs without breaking the bank.

Whereas, solar PV system performance is the capability of the PV system to last long (durability), to have a great solar panel’s efficiency ( that is, the ability to convert sunlight into electricity) and the ability of a solar panel to have an excellent temperature coefficient. According to EnergySage, a solar panel’s temperature coefficient is a measure of how much or little a panel’s production lowered in hot temperatures.

Another aspect of solar panels for checking, especially the quality of solar panels is whether a particular brand is offering excellent warranties for the solar panels. Solar panels generally come with an output warranty covering the energy production of the PV technology, and a materials warranty protecting you against undue wear and tear on your equipment.

According to EnergySage, a solar panel’s performance warranty will typically guarantee 90% production at ten (10) years and 80% at 25 years. An equipment warranty will usually guarantee 10-12 years without failing. Therefore, if you find a solar brand offering such warranties for their solar panels, it will be one of the aspects of guaranteeing high quality for their product.

Compare solar panels online and save more money.

best solar panelsTo help the online shopper find their best solar panels, the EnergySage has created a new online tool that enables online shoppers to make informed solar decisions efficiently.

The EnergySage makes it easy for online shoppers to make online comparisons of solar equipment based on solar panels’ pricing, PV product performance, warranty specifications, solar panel aesthetics, solar panel type, and physical characteristics and product certifications.

The manufacturer’s data sheet or spec sheet is also included to help you select the best solar panel brand based on your desired specifications. EnergySage Solar Buyer’s guide lets users search, sort, filter, and compare today’s most popular solar panel models in the market. You can get started today to select your best solar panels using this new EnergySage tool.

Why go solar using this platform?

The 2019 Launch of the New EnergySage Solar Buyer’s Guide

The online solar marketplace, EnergySage has launched a new online tool that enables online shoppers to make informed solar decisions efficiently. It now makes it easy for online shoppers to make online comparisons of solar equipment based on quality rating, aesthetics, performance, and pricing for not only solar panels but also for, solar batteries and solar inverters.

With this new launch, the EnergySage will help online users compare solar equipment in a one-stop platform to help online shoppers better understand the solar energy equipment (solar panels, solar batteries, and solar inverters) offered to them by most popular solar brands in the market.

solar panels The EnergySage Platform is particularly handy for the first time solar buyers that have no prior solar buying experience and would like to understand their equipment before buying. In a nutshell, the EnergySage solar Buyer’s guide lets users search, sort, filter, and compare today’s most popular solar panel models in the market.

The new EnergySage Solar Buyer’s guide included over one year’s worth of work, with data and analysis from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and leveraging the industry and technical expertise from NREL to develop all scoring criteria.

The new solar guide is in addition to the Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system developed by the EnergySage in collaboration with the Department of Energy that allows homeowners, businesses, or nonprofit organizations to estimate their energy savings from solar, and connects them with prescreened installers who can provide solar quotes specific to the user’s address.

What should you expect with the new EnergySage buyer’s guide?

solar panels

1. It provides a great rating system that enables online shoppers to browse through thousands of solar panels from popular solar brands in the market while giving a great rating system that captures some of the essential aspects to consider when selecting solar panels such as type, cost, wattage, efficiency and warranty offering necessary in each solar panels’ quality rating.

2. With the LIDAR powered system provided by EnergySage –it is an added advantage for the online shopper as the cost of a solar panel installation varies with location, property type which LIDAR helps to capture to give near accurate information. As a result, with the solar panels information obtained in the EnergySage Solar Buyer’s guide, the LIDAR powered solar panel cost calculator from the EnergySage also takes into account how much sunlight you’ll get, local electricity rates, as well as any state and federal solar incentives like rebates and tax credits helping to save more money in the process.

3. The EnergySage Solar buyer’s guide tool now provides new additions to the solar panels guide, which is a solar battery guide and solar inverters guide, giving you more information needed to make a more informed purchase.

a) The EnergySage solar battery guide: With very many solar batteries available in the market today, it is not easy to make a quick, informed decision. The EnergySage provides a solar battery quality rating system for each solar battery that captures the essential aspects of a solar battery, including but not limited to cost, capacity, power, round-trip efficiency, degradation rate, and warranty.

b) The EnergySage solar inverter guide: Also, with very many solar inverters available in the market today – making it hard to reach a more informed decision. The EnergySage provides a quality rating system capturing the wattage, and warranty of a solar inverter to help you decide which one is great for your solar power system.

This article is just a summary of the new EnergySage that was launched recently, to learn more about this new tool, you can visit the EnergySage Solar buyers and also get solar quotes online from some of the most popular solar brands in the market.