The last two years have been great for PV solar power, grid-parity has arrived for many Kiwis and the PV solar dream is now an economic reality.
Except for one disappointing thing:
In 2013 Meridian came out with their "Renewable Generation Pricing Plans" and while they were not as bad as we anticipated it's really not that great either and has left a bad taste in the mouths of those wanting to invest in solar Power and especially those who have already invested hoping for a good return. Basically they are offering 25c for the first 5kwh of exported energy each day and then just 10c per kwh thereafter for the rest of the day. Contact Energy are not far behind and may be the preferred choice in some cases but unless you have a proper energy audit done, it's a guessing game when it somes to actual returns.
This is not good for anyone who is out during the day or has a system designed to cover 100% of their power consumption. If you export any resonable amount of electricity back to the grid then your investment is going to suffer accordingly.
So... here is the solution...
We have developed a system that will reduce the amount of energy your system feeds back into the grid each day by automatically managing that energy and diverting it into other parts of your home. We think it's pretty smart and we wanted to get it perfect before it was released. It's called the Power Geniusand no, it's not a bank of batteries (we already have that system perfected - see our Grid Interactive System page).
The Power Genius is a lot cheaper than batteries but it does a very similar thing. It is a home energy management system that uses certain appliances in your home as batteries by controlling when they turn on . . . basically it turns almost any appliance into a Solar-Smart Appliance so it will turn on at the time when your Solar Power System is making the most power. So by using your power at the time of production you are saving yourself from exporting it at as little as 10 cents and then buying it off the grid later when you would have normally used that appliance yourself, so that power's value is much higher and your system operates at it's highest "efficiency" giving you the best return on investment.
Here is an example: A Power Genius installed onto a 3kW Solar Power system that was exporting 83% of it's electricity throughout the year and returning just $542 as a normal grid tied system would: Add the Power Genius and an average of 8.4kWh/day was saved from the grid and brought from 10c/unit to 30.24c/unit value (grid retail purchase rate). This increased the return to $1162.56/year.
The Feed-in Fighter in Action:
Here is a Typical Household Electricity Consumption (Black) and Solar Production (Green) Graph for two days. When the Solar Production is greater than the Household Consumption then the Solar Electricity is EXPORTED to the Grid and is worth much less than if it is used in the home at the same time it is produced.
Here is the Same Graph showing the Effect of the Feed-in Fighter controlling the Hot Water and Deep Freezer. This particular Installation is set for Zero-Export because the Grid is too unstable to accept any Exported Energy.
Almost any Appliance can be controlled by the Power Genius with it's own custom program and MASSIVE results on your power bill!
This Final Graph shows the Temperatures of the Hot Water Cylinder at the Bottom and theTop (Mid-way up).
The Power Genius system should really be offered as an option for all Grid Tied Systems.
We know that the Power Genius is the answer that many Solar users have been looking for and we are so confident in it's performance that we Guarantee that it will increase your financial returns. However, in some cases where self consumption is already high (such as high daytime users with a small solar array) the Power Genius may not make such a huge impact.
"They are calling it the best thing since sliced silicon!"