Solar panels on a roof

Sharp Smart Chap The Energy Saving Solution- Case Study

We look at how Smart Chap is helping a homeowner in Germany save more money from their solar energy solution.

With the right infrastructure in place in your home, you can keep using solar power long after the sun has gone down. Sharp’s intelligent home energy management system, Smart Chap, can efficiently power your home, using freely available - yet sometimes unpredictable - sunlight throughout the entire day.

Smart Chap works in homes where photovoltaic panels and a battery solution have been installed. Energy produced during the course of the day is stored and can be used efficiently at any time.

Smart Chap analyses how energy is used in the home and manages the energy going to household appliances, ensuring they consume energy as efficiently as possible. It can receive information from different devices in the home using Smart Grid Ready interfaces, or with the help of wireless plug sockets or relays.

The devices can be turned on or off according to previously-defined conditions, such as at certain times, when there is a surplus of solar power, or in a certain sequence.

When using Smart Chap to manage energy input and output, homes can generate up-to 95 per cent of the electricity they need during summer months, and up-to an average of 80 per cent during other times of the year.

To show what this means for a real homeowner, we take a look at a house in Rendsburg, Germany, where the power usage over a whole year has been tracked and monitored.

Before solar installation

  • Annual electricity consumption: 2,700 kWh power + 1,000 kWh for gas consumption (hot water)
  • No photovoltaic installation and no domestic hot water pump

Hardware installed

To capture the energy from the sun, solar panels were installed on the south and west pitches of the roof. In order for that energy to be made accessible, AC energy needs to be converted to DC power and for this a Victron battery inverter was used. To store power, this was connected to a battery with 5 kWh useable storage capacity.

In this installation, the homeowner also installed a Smart Grid Ready domestic hot water pump. Normally, the production of heat for heating and hot water represents the largest energy consumer in the household. Heat pumps use some heat from the surrounding environment, but also require additional energy sources to cover their requirements. Some of those additional energy requirements can now be supplied in the form of solar power with the help of Smart Chap.

When there is a surplus of photovoltaic energy (energy from the solar panels), the heat pump is activated via Smart Chap. This pays off in several ways: A heat pump uses 1 kWh of electrical solar power to produce 3-4 kWh of heat, while also reducing the consumption of gas and oil.

The Smart Chap energy manager, installed in the junction box, brings all of the benefits of the hardware together and can be monitored from anywhere using the Smart Chap app – available on iOS, Android, and PC.

The results - one year on

The annual electricity consumption was 1,000 kWh, which included electricity for hot water generation. That's 1,700 kWh of electricity saved.

Furthermore, as a hot water pump to heat the water without using gas was installed, the gas savings were 1,000 kWh.

Within that year, the battery performed 200 cycles, which is the process of charging up the battery and discharging it as required. It's worth noting that the battery used is guaranteed for 5,000 cycles, which means that if the usage was the same the battery would last for around 25 years.

During the summer months the system proved its own worth, as the self-sufficiency of the system rose to 97 per cent in May and 96 per cent during July.

 Other takeaway stats:

  • Reduction of electricity costs by 65%.
  • Electricity cost savings in the first year: €500 (increases annually due to rising electricity costs)
  • Self-sufficient from April to September: >90%
  • Consumption of heat pump: 700 kWh (400 kWh by direct solar consumption and 300 kWh from the grid)

Benefits of going solar

Along with the ecological benefits of using renewable energy, it also means you can increase your self-sufficiency and free yourself from the public grid, so avoiding price hikes in energy bills.

There has never been a better, and more important, time to support solar power.

Reap the benefits of Smart Chap today, and head to our energy management page for more details and obtaining a quote.

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