Many new solar customers need to upgrade their electrical panel, and more and more are exploring Smart Electrical Panels. Traditional electrical panels, critical to a home’s energy usage, leverage antiquated technologies.
Solar panels and battery backup, however, have brought home energy into a modern age. But tying this new technology into an outdated electrical panel is less-than-ideal. These new smart electrical panels allow homeowners better control of their consumption data, flexible load management, and full solar + storage integration.
Electrical Panels Explained
Every building, residential or commercial, has some sort of electrical equipment hidden away somewhere discreet that is capable of protecting our homes in case of a power surge. This electrical panel looks like a standard metal box with a door, usually built into a wall in an out-of-the-way corner of your home. Inside, you’ll find all your home’s breaker switches.
You can toggle breaker switches on and off. They will also shut off automatically in the event of a sharp increase above a certain threshold in electrical current.
While absolutely necessary in safeguarding your home, the technology supporting them has not seen significant updates in decades. The only goal of traditional panels? Safety. While this has proven to be absolutely necessary, some companies have found a way to expand their capabilities.
Benefits of Smart Electrical Panels
Without affecting the efficacy of their safety protocols, major electrical panel manufacturers have created smart electrical panels. Rather than changing too much, they just added smart capabilities to the technology. As a result, homeowners see much more control of their energy usage and consumption monitoring.
While backup battery companies offer monitoring through their own apps, they cannot offer homeowners much control. A smart electrical panel can monitor charging levels while also providing load control to dedicated areas of the home.
By adding a smart electrical panel to an existing home solar array or battery backup, you can gain flexibility on your storage and have the ability to understand each device connected to your home’s solar and battery system. Most smart electrical panels offer:
- A mobile app for real-time monitoring and controls for circuit loads
- Ability to power more-critical loads by switching between room nodes
- Flexibility to use clean-energy assets during power outages by allowing you to dynamically switch current from a non-critical to a critical load.
If you still don’t know whether you should upgrade to a smart electrical panel, be sure to speak with an energy expert, like those at NRG Clean Power, for a home energy evaluation.
Smart electrical panels are the perfect solution for homeowners who want more control of their home energy. All of the brands listed below offer similar functionality; however, SPAN and Lumin boast more-polished aesthetics. Span is a smart choice for homeowners who are already due for an electrical panel upgrade, while Lumin can easily be integrated into an existing solar + storage system. For a more in depth review of the SPAN smart panel click here.