a

Press & Blog

Unlocking Compatibility: Exploring Powervault Solar Batteries and Home Energy Products

In the quest for energy independence and sustainability, homeowners are increasingly turning to solar energy solutions, including solar panels and battery storage systems. As the market continues to evolve, compatibility between different home energy products becomes a crucial consideration. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the compatibility between Powervault solar batteries and other home energy products, exploring how seamless integration can maximise the benefits of renewable energy for consumers.

Understanding Powervault Solar Batteries

Powervault has been a leading provider of smart energy storage solutions since 2014. Our products are designed to complement all forms of renewable energy generation including solar PV, wind turbines and hydro systems. Each Powervault is equipped with advanced features and technologies to maximise the self-consumption of clean energy generated on-site and to optimise energy consumption from the National Grid by storing cheap off peak energy available with Time of Use (ToU) tariffs.

Exploring Compatibility

Renewable energy generation:

Powervault can be installed directly into your electrical systems – inside your consumer unit, or fuse box – much like a cooker or electric shower – and can measure the energy use of your house as well as any energy generated from solar PV arrays, wind turbines or even hydroelectric systems. We call this AC coupling and it provides the greatest flexibility and compatibility in the home.

Solar PV Systems:

Powervault can also be installed with the panels directly connected to the solar battery. In this setup you can only have one solar array (with two “strings”) working with your Powervault but it does offer a marginally more efficient system that is cheaper to install if you are buying the solar panels at the same time as your Powervault. We only recommend this option if you are installing a new solar array and don’t have any other renewable energy generation at home.

Energy Monitoring Systems:

Powervault batteries feature built-in energy monitoring capabilities, allowing homeowners to track energy production, consumption, and storage in real-time. Additionally, for a modest subscription fee you can subscribe to receive access to an “API key” from Powervault that will allow you to integrate with third-party energy monitoring systems and smart home platforms for enhanced visibility and control over energy usage. This is one for the experts. You will need to have some programming knowledge to make use of the API as unfortunately we cannot offer technical support for this.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargers:

Many customers use Powervault alongside EV chargers. Powervault looks at the total energy being imported into the house and seeks to minimise that energy import if set in its default mode. Powervault does not specifically and directly monitor or change the charging cycle of your EV – it just treats it like any other load. Therefore, if you charge your car during the day resulting in an import of energy, and there is energy in the battery, the Powervault will discharge to provide energy to your car.

If you have an EV you will also be able to sign up to so-called “Time of Use tariffs” that can be a valuable source of cheap off peak energy. The Powervault can be programmed to charge up at the lowest price time periods. More than this, our SMARTSTOR system can automatically learn about your energy usage and optimise how much energy is charged at off peak rates (see below). We would always recommend that customers set their car charger to charge their car from the grid on this cheaper power too, leaving the energy in the Powervault to be used to offset any energy needs in the home that would otherwise be charged at the peak rate.

Solar Hot Water Boosters:

Solar hot water boosters will work alongside Powervault battery storage. In order to get the best out of the combination you may need to make some amendments to the factory settings of the hot water booster. We know that Powervault can work with MyEnergy Eddi and iBoost hot water controllers provided that they are configured in a particular way. If you have another solar hot water booster, we may be able to help but you should consult the equipment manufacturer in the first instance if you’re not sure the setup is optimal.

Other Smart Home Devices:

Powervault batteries look at the total energy consumption of the whole house when considering when to charge and discharge. In this way they can simply ensure that you are making the most of your solar energy while simultaneously optimising with your ToU tariff. This simple formula is designed to make the biggest possible saving on your energy bills.

Our battery systems should, therefore, be compatible with the vast majority of home appliances. The only issue that may arise is when another device is attempting to optimise or control energy in the home. If you have such a device, we may be able to help but you should consult the equipment manufacturer in the first instance if you’re not sure the setup will be optimal.

Powervault customers can learn a lot about their energy consumption patterns by getting access to rich data from the Powervault portal. The portal shows the total energy consumed in the house, the energy generated by the solar panels, and the energy charged and discharged from the battery. Being able to see this information in a clear format can help customers to identify unusual energy consumption and reduce their bills.

Maximising The Benefits of Installing a Powervault

Powervault has developed unique software called SMARTSTOR. It automatically manages your solar battery in real time, and is an essential for owners of solar panels who also have time of use tariffs.

SMARTSTOR learns to predict how much energy you’ll need, and when. It understands your individual energy usage patterns and constantly scans the weather forecast, so it knows if sun will be arriving to power your solar panels. It understands when cheap energy from the grid will be available on a wide range of time-of-use tariffs. We are continually adding new tariffs to our system as these appear in the market – so please get in touch with us if you would like to check how SMARTSTOR can work with your tariff.

Using artificial intelligence, SMARTSTOR looks ahead and makes decisions for you, storing and buying energy efficiently. It doesn’t waste the energy you generate from solar and wind, and doesn’t buy expensive energy from the grid that you don’t need. It’s hassle-free, and letting SMARTSTOR optimise your solar battery can save around 40% more money than adjusting your battery settings by hand. And when SMARTSTOR buys cheap electricity from the grid, it’s often at times when the grid is rich in renewably-sourced energy.

SMARTSTOR and our batteries save you money even if you don’t have solar panels or a wind turbine. You simply store cheap electricity from the grid, bought intelligently by SMARTSTOR, which understands your time-of-use tariff.

Climate change is making all our lives more complicated. Green energy technology is part of the solution. But staying on top of smart energy storage and new tariffs can be a challenge. We know that many of our customers have installed Powervault batteries alongside other home energy products to create an energy ecosystem that maximises their overall energy efficiency and sustainability.  If you have any questions at all about your specific set up, please contact us – we’d love to help.

Powervault Celebrates Government Decision to Extend VAT Exemption to Retrofitted Battery Energy Storage Systems

Exploring the Benefits of Solar Batteries