Incentives to install solar are all well and good, but how do you participate in the green energy revolution when you live in an apartment building and not a standalone home?
Apartment residents often have lower average household income than their counterparts in houses, and yet they lack access to the kinds of technologies that could reduce their energy bills at a time of skyrocketing prices.
Enter: SolShare. The technology, from Aussie company Allume Energy, calls itself the world’s only hardware for sharing rooftop solar between apartments.
SolShare distributes power from a solar array to participating units in the building behind the meter, so apartment-dwellers don’t have to sign up for additional billing services or solar trading platforms.
So, how does it work? In a new video Smart Energy Lab’s Glen Morris sat down with Allume Energy’s Senior Applications Engineer Seun Omolewa to dig into the details. Let’s break it down.
Each 35 AMP SolShare unit weighs about 40kgs, and can be newly installed into a building or retrofitted into existing solar hardware, according to Omolewa.
The technology’s innovative behind-the-meter smart sharing requires just one AC output from an inverter, which can be split between up to fifteen apartments. Any more than that, and you’d need a second box.
Even better, SolShare is inverter agnostic – its only requirement is that it’s receiving a maximum of 22 KW of AC power.
To the software. SolShare’s sharing technology offers thee different algorithms for managing supply. The first allows for each apartment to receive equal amounts of solar power across the month.
The second can optimise the solar depending on each person’s use at a given time: the solar destined for an empty compartment can be diverted to another apartment with greater need, but the quantities received average out over the calendar month, so each tenant ends up paying the same.
The third algorithm allows for certain tenants to pay more and receive a higher share of the solar than others – if they have more bedrooms, let’s say. That higher percentage can be programmed into the SolShare during commissioning.
The Aussie-headquartered company’s technology is in high demand, with installations in five countries, more than 1500 apartments connected to solar and $16 million raised in seed-series fundraising in 2022.