New South Wales-based energy technology company Solar Analytics is set to roll out a new and improved suite of smart home software and hardware that will help consumers use of their solar, battery storage and hot water systems to maxmise efficiency and slash bills.
The company said on Thursday that it was in the final stages of pilot trials for new software services and is establishing key strategic partnerships with other Australian innovators that should see it launch the new Smart Home Energy offering within the quarter.
The changes will allow customers using Solar Analytics monitoring to plug in a variety of third party components – including battery control and hot water diversion – to create what the company describes as “a smart home energy ecosystem,” delivering more bill savings, including as much as $150 a year on hot water alone.
On the water heating side of the equation, Solar Analytics CEO Stefan Jarnason said the company had consolidated a key partnerships with local company Apricus Hot Water.
The deal with Apricus, he said, was set to yield a new range of smart hot water products designed to reduce energy demand, increase hot water supply and store excess PV energy in a smarter, connected platform.
Another partnership is with solar diverter start-up Catch Power, on a collaborative product that intelligently soaks up excess PV energy as hot water. The companies are finalising testing on the offering that combines the analytics and monitoring power of Solar Analytics with a simpler, even more cost-effective diverter.
“These partnerships are the next step in creating a much bigger and more valuable ecosystem of intelligent energy and cost-saving products that deliver smarter energy solutions,” said Solar Analytics’ business development director Nigel Morris.
“To say I’m excited is a massive understatement – this is truly game-changing innovation, right here in Redfern.”
The new offering from Solar Analytics comes at a time of considerable activity in the home energy management market. Other home-grown outfits like Melbourne-based GreenSync and SunVerge, Canberra-based Reposit Power and Brisbane-based Redback Technologies are all competing in a space that is widely regarded as the final piece of the renewable energy puzzle, getting the best out of technologies like solar and battery storage.
The value of the companies’ smart platforms is being reflected in the amount of investor interest, with big energy industry players like AGL snapping up shares in both Solar Analytics and Sunverge – Sunverge has provided the platform for AGL’s huge solar and storage virtual power plant trial in South Australia; and GreenSync’s monitoring system was selected by AusNet for a first-of-its-kind Melbourne trial that aims to take an entire suburb completely off grid.
ARENA has also recognised the value of the sector, and last week extended its funding support to Solar Analytics with a $2.1 million grant.
Solar Analytics, which is best known for its sophisticated solar monitoring and battery calculation tools, is currently monitoring almost 100 batteries across Australia, with this number growing rapidly alongside consumer demand for battery storage.
The company’s solar battery calculator – developed in Australia by a team of eight energy data scientists – helps customers determine the right time to invest in a battery, and the best battery sizing for their needs, based on their solar production and household energy consumption patterns.
They have also won praise for their combination of sophisticated analytics with an easy to use and engaging dashboard, making potentially complex energy management tasks – like solar self-consumption optimisation and peak demand minimisation – easy.
“Most home energy products are complicated and hard to understand. We have selected the best third party energy products to integrate into our Smart Home Energy offering,” said Jarnason.
“We are currently working with three hardware partners (including WattWatchers and SwitchDin) to provide comprehensive battery control,that is far and above anything offered in the market today. We expect to have our first batteries under control in the next month, and to launch more broadly across the market within the quarter.
“A home using all of these energy saving technologies, coupled with the usable data and valuable insights from Solar Analytics monitoring, will see significant energy reductions and cost savings,” he said.
The company said there are also several other energy-saving product features that are currently in development – being built directly into Solar Analytics monitoring – that will be announced in the next few months.
“Increasing our customers solar savings are at our core, and our incredible data insights will unlock savings potential across the Smart Home Energy spectrum for Solar Analytics customers – simply and regularly,” Jarnason said