residential – starting from scratch

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    Greg Smith

    Hi David. I apologize for the tardiness of this reply but a lot of us were attending an annual solar conference last week. First, I want to commend you for the diligence with which you are approaching this small project! I can't get most installers to commit to a load analysis for large off-grid systems much less something of this size.

    Although this type of application is outside of Tigo's offerings, I can give some pointers based on my experience. I will use products available here in the US but I am quite sure you can get the appropriate version for your electrical grid. What you are looking for is a way to measure and record, then later analyze, home loads. There are a few products that can accomplish this task and it depends on how you want to approach it, and how much you are willing to spend.

    For people who follow this exercise, I recommend that you leave the monitoring device in the home for at least 2 weeks. This covers the weekend and can accommodate various activities. The only downside is that summertime usage may be different than wintertime, so you may have to make some assumptions when sizing the system. Either leave the system there for the homeowner as a "gift" or remove it after the analysis is complete. Once you have the entire load profile, it becomes so much easier to recommend an energy storage system to compliment it.

    Most solutions use a single monitoring device and current transformers (CT's) that measure the load profile in the home. The sensor is smart enough to recognize various loads by their electrical signature. A quick internet search for "energy monitors" will reveal hundreds of products all eager to capture your business and your load profile.

    Here is a good list to start with: Best Energy Monitors: Keep Track of Your Energy Consumption and Save on Utility Bills!

    Keep in mind that most of these solutions are great for whole-home applications, but if you want to use an essential loads panel instead of backing up the entire house, then you will want an energy monitoring system with multiple CT's so that you can cherry-pick the circuits you want to back up.

    Good luck!

     

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