Home Automation – Smart Home 360
What is home automation, and how does solar power fit into the concept of a smart home?
Most Australians are already familiar with solar energy and its two main benefits: reducing electricity costs and a household’s carbon footprint. But here’s one more reason to get excited about solar power – with battery storage, solar technology could play an essential role in home automation!
What is a Smart Home?
Smart homes feature internal systems that can control appliances remotely over the Internet from a device such as a smartphone. These include your lights, televisions, pool, and garage doors that are all connected to a central home management hub. The most popular smart home hubs on the market today are Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.
Smart home hubs are designed to improve convenience and our overall quality of life. They allow us to set the air conditioner to automatically turn on when we’re 10 minutes away from home, so that the house is already cool when we arrive. They can also alert us when we’ve left an appliance on and turn it off without going back to the house.
For a home to be truly “smart”, it should not only be able to connect but also think on its own. The system makes intelligent decisions with a high degree of accuracy. As multiple sources of information are fed into the central system, it is able to anticipate the most effective way of functioning without requiring human intervention.
In the area of energy efficiency, the smart home has staggering potential in truly enhancing our lives.
What makes a Smart Home smart?
Home automation, when done right, can help boost energy efficiency and therefore reduce utility costs even further.
Let’s say you have a garden irrigation system. You can set this up to automatically respond to current weather conditions, so you do not waste water or electricity. You can also have your lights turn on when there is motion detected. Controlling the thermostat could also ensure that your house is always comfortable when the family is at home. Turn appliances on and off at varying sequences – all while maintaining control from a remote location.
What devices can you control remotely?
There are many applications in your home that can run silently in the background. These include:
- Air conditioners, fans and heaters
- Televisions and other home entertainment equipment
- Refrigerators, washing machines, and other white goods
- Pool pumps
- Door locks
- Security cameras
- Home irrigation systems
- Solar PV systems
Solar power makes Smart Homes even smarter
From an energy perspective, smart homes could also allow us to control the amount of solar power that is fed back to the grid, or switch appliances on and off to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates.
With the advent of smart inverters, intelligent real-time monitors, and new-generation battery storage, rooftop solar systems have become a crucial part of a smart home.
Let’s say you want to minimise electricity consumption of your washing machine. You can teach your washing machine to only turn on if the weather is favourable for solar electricity generation, and turn off when electricity is most expensive. If you have a battery storage system, you could instruct your washing machine to run a cycle when power is optimal – without having to draw electricity from the grid.
Introducing SolarEdge Smart Solar Energy
Do you plan to integrate solar power into your smart home? SolarEdge can make it happen.
SolarEdge smart energy solutions help you:
- Cut your water heating costs, power your lights, and more.
- Run your car on sunshine with the world’s first EV charging inverter.
- Store excess energy directly on high-efficiency batteries as a backup during a power outage or when solar power generation is low.
The mySolarEdge app not only enables you to monitor the performance of your SolarEdge inverters but also controls some of your home appliances.
SolarEdge for Smart Homes
Each panel in your SolarEdge optimised PV system generates the maximum amount of solar energy for your home when the sun is shining. Combined with SolarEdge’s smart home solution, solar energy can also power the things you need most whenever you need them. This includes lighting, electronics, and home appliances.
A smart home powered by SolarEdge allows you to use solar energy to cool your home in the summer or heat it in the winter. You can also power your pool, spa pump, or pool cleaner when you need to. With SolarEdge’s smart energy hot water, you can cost effectively store your solar energy for a relaxing shower at the end of the day.
With SolarEdge, your smart home is powered by a single solar inverter and managed by an easy-to-use app – giving you solar power in the palm of your hand.
The future of Smart Homes and Solar Energy
We see home automation becoming a standard for newly built homes, with smart technology integrating functions seamlessly without the need for human assistance. For example, your control hub would be able to sense which member of the household is in a room and automatically adjust the temperature to their preference. It could also turn your coffee machine on five minutes after your alarm goes off, so it automatically brews a cup for you. From your smartphone, your control hub tells you which items you are running low on so you could easily place an order with your local supermarket.
Smart homes make for highly energy-efficient homes too. Install motion detectors so that lights turn off when someone walks out of a room. Teach your SolarEdge hub to communicate with the weather app to determine optimal solar production for the day. Battery storage could also play a crucial role in the energy efficiency of future homes, with smart battery technology being able to load energy at the most feasible time.
Effective home automation is all about making all the pieces of the puzzle work together. With intuitive technologies such as SolarEdge, we can help create smarter homes for Australian households.