Smart energy specialist Evergen has been tapped to provide the software platform for a two-year home energy management system (HEMS) pilot at Carseldine Village, a Queensland government-backed residential development to deliver net-zero energy emission homes.
Carseldine Village is one of two ultra energy efficient solar and battery backed residential developments announced at the start of the year by the Labor Palaszczuk government, to be funded through Economic Development Queensland (EDQ).
Situated in Brisbane’s north, the Carseldine project will feature 194 freehold terrace homes, each fitted with rooftop solar and AlphaESS battery storage systems.
The HEMS pilot will take in 25 of the Village’s households, where Evergen’s smart controls will be used to coordinate the home’s rooftop solar, battery and air conditioning units based on homeowner preferences and the needs of the network.
The objective is to learn how rooftop solar generation and home energy use can be modified throughout the day to provide the best value to the homeowner and to avoid congestion on the grid.
Evergen’s system – which was originally developed by the CSIRO and backed by AMP Capital – will learn the homeowner’s usage patterns and make decisions based on this data, such as when the owner usually returns home or runs peak load at their property.
The system will also make decisions to ensure solar power stored in the battery is used to help meet peak demands on the grid, such as switching between air conditioning units within a property or enabling the system to switch off an air conditioning unit for five minutes each hour.
“The aim is to evolve the home energy system to make smarter use of the energy, which is the next step in the long-term development of a domestic solar and storage capability that complements the grid,” said Evergen CEO Ben Hutt said.
“This will become more and more important as homeowners are compensated in ever-smaller amounts (or even penalised) for putting their excess energy into the grid.”
Hutt said EDQ’s selection of Evergen to partner on the trial was a logical choice, with its product requiring no physical install and compatible with “almost any” solar battery system.
“If a consumer has excess solar being generated and it goes back into the grid, we’re going to get to the point where they will no longer be compensated for that,” he said.
“If they can use that power somewhere in their home – by charging their electric vehicle as an example – then it’s beneficial for them and beneficial for the community.”
Evergen said its participation in the Carseldine Village trial followed on from its work on Mirvac’s “House with No Bills” study in 2018, that aimed to reduce a household’s reliance on grid electricity via solar, battery and intelligent energy management.
Across 12 months, the House with No Bills used only 8 per cent more electricity than it generated and operated as ‘energy positive’ for five months, offering the real possibility of the home having zero energy bills in the future, Evergen said.
Evergen said it was chosen as the preferred HEMS provider by the Carseldine Village builders, Vantage and Thompson Sustainable Homes, based on ease of install and customer interface. Evergen is also one of Energy Queensland’s panel of HEMS providers.