Automate switching of solar power - using available solar energy efficiently

Hi All,

New to Wind and Sun and asking for help.   We have a 5.3Kw solar array on the roof.  

For two years the wife and I have been manually switching appliances, pool pump, water heater, clothes drier and Jacuzzi on and off manually during the day as solar power was available.  Sometimes we get distracted and discover that we've been sending power into the grid because the water heater got hot and stopped using power.  Also forget to turn something off when it clouds up, etc.   When we're not home then we waste a lot of power.

I'm a retired (sort of) electronic engineer and decided to automate this process with some electronics and software and for want of a better name, call this a Solar Controller.   I've been trying to replicate what we've been doing manually by implementing some simple rules but figure that some of you might have better ideas or ways to improve upon what I've done.

Some of the potential improvements would be that the Solar Controller could change the rules a bit depending on the time of year (sun lower on the horizon in winter), etc.

I've started a simple website with a video to demonstrate the operation of the Solar Controller and welcome suggestions for improvements but not sure if it would be OK to list the website.

Regards,

Bert van den Berg



Comments

  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 833 ✭✭✭✭
    Sounds like you are you looking for product development help? Basic PLC controllers with a simple frontend GUI will do everything you want based on any number of variables. I suspect that you know that already.
    Is there a market for it? Oh, heck yes.
    Marc
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • BertvdBergBertvdBerg Registered Users Posts: 6 ✭✭
    Hi Marc,

    Not heard back if it was OK to list the website for the Intelligent Solar Controller so am taking the chance.  It's www.solar-optimizer,com.   There is a short 3 minute video that shows some of the features.

    We think this controller is a good low cost option to having a battery.

    Would love to hear what you think (good and bad).

    Regards,

    Bert

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,153 admin
    Folks that design/build/support their own products are just fine to list their products and answer questions.

    -Bill 'moderator' B.
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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