Steven King, SVP of Technology and Operations, Lumio
With rolling blackouts, the outdated grid, and increasing rates, people are left powerless. Solar changes that. It decentralizes power, putting the power back into the hands of the people. It’s less taxing on the grid and paves the way for a more sustainable future.
Despite attempts by power companies around the nation to stop net metering and hinder solar growth, solar is still expanding. The quarterly SEIA/Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables U.S. Solar Market InsightTM showed that in Q3 2021, the U.S. solar market increased by 33 percent (the largest Q3 on record). Solar isn’t going anywhere.
Data Aggregation at Light Speed
The landscape for storing and processing data, especially in the solar power and home device industry, has shifted dramatically in the last couple of decades. With the expansion of internet connectivity and cloud storage, new smart home devices are constantly sharing consumer information to the cloud.
The advent of technology (e.g., Kafka) for handling high-volume data streams—with near real-time latencies—has enabled the rapid aggregation of collected data that can automate business processes and predictions. The potential of rapid data collection and aggregation is accentuated when events happening in the field, from power-generation changes, home-automation device commands, and more, can be responded to within seconds.
Managing Energy In-Home With Technology
Access to constant, reliable solar-generated power helps consumers with smart home devices proactively manage the energy demands in their home. By using the data shared to the cloud by the devices at near real-time, combined with weather forecasts and cyclical demand models, a personalized prediction of the power generation capacity over a specific time period is created.
To accurately predict and manage energy usage, the importance of statistical modeling and inference over ever-larger datasets continues to increase. Leveraging data to drive business strategies becomes more economical as cloud providers improve the abstraction level at which their machine-learning tooling operates. Just five years ago, it would have been nearly impossible to build complex, enhanced forecasts without a large team.
Additionally, the IoT sector has gained a fair amount of domain-specific tooling over the last 10 years. The infrastructure of most of the major cloud providers is now tying high-volume network endpoints to standard stream processing and archival tools. This is making it feasible for businesses to start collecting information from huge numbers of in-the-field devices with relatively meager up-front planning and costs. As a result of these technological advancements, businesses are able to focus on innovation to expand their products with smaller, more nimble teams.
“Access to constant, reliable solar-generated power helps consumers with smart home devices proactively manage the energy demands in their home”
Technology continues to influence how individuals manage all aspects of their homes. The use of open Matter protocols will enable devices from any manufacturer to talk to home automation systems—from multiple vendors without having to write specific integrations for each one—and has features to improve the ease of adopting new devices into your system. Once devices are interconnected, advanced synergies are possible.
The Value of Personal Power
What do data streaming and aggregation technology have to do with solar energy? In a word, everything. When it comes to powering an interconnected home that relies on advanced technologies to function, the reliability, access, and sustainability of the power used become increasingly important. Solar power, smart devices, technology, and data all work together to create personalized, accurate energy predictions and usage reports, which can then be leveraged to maximize savings by using the most cost-effective power source.
Charging electric cars with the most cost-effective power source available is an emerging market trend, where electric vehicle chargers are connected to the inverters and batteries from a solar-powered system. Using technology to determine the most cost-effective way to power other high-draw appliances such as climate systems, water heaters, pools, and hot tubs, will increase the value of solar power systems to support a wide variety of chargers, inverters, and battery combinations.
It’s simple, technology has the power to disrupt nearly every industry, providing more accessibility and affordability with each passing day. When it comes to electricity and the expensive and complex grid system, the newest technologies seem to fall flat, except for when it comes to solar.
Solar power combined with the latest tech (the cloud network, IoT sector, smart homes) has the power to change the electricity industry. Using clean power sources to support the smart technologies in elevating the entire home experience empowers the consumer to generate, store, and manage their own energy in a personalized, sustainable, and affordable way.
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