Solar and storage future proofs a family home in Sydney and gives it greater energy independence
Building a new family home in Sydney gave Rod Houng-Lee the opportunity to create a home that was as sustainable as possible without compromising on their lifestyle or in the beauty of the design of their ideal home.
As a family unit, they were heavily engaged in the process of evaluating sustainable, more efficient or green technologies and products with the aim of finding materials and solutions that would be of the highest quality and delivered long term value.
Over the last few years rising electricity prices made energy independence and solar power one of their key considerations for their new home. In Australia, many homeowners have been caught off guard with rising energy bills, especially when it comes to heating or cooling homes during winter or summer. Homeowners with swimming pools or spas have also felt the impact of ongoing running costs associated with keeping filtration systems running. Over 16 percent of homeowners in Australia have installed rooftop solar to take advantage of Australia’s sunny weather to power their home energy requirements.
With energy prices predicted to increase by an average of 10 percent each year in the next few years, homeowners like Rod have turned to rooftop solar and storage as the way forward. However, simply having solar power was not going to make the cut for Rod. “I didn’t believe in the value proposition of solar until storage was introduced,” said Rod Houng-Lee.
The availability of storage to store unused solar power and smart monitoring solutions was what Rod sought for his home. With a smart solar monitoring system, Rod could monitor how solar power generated in his home was being used and using storage, this would allow him to further optimise his energy use and understand when it would be necessary to expand his storage system if needed.
Working with solar installer, Vincent Moran from PureGen Energy, Vincent examined the pros and cons of different solar and storage solutions together with Rod. Only one solution stood out as providing the maximum present and future value — it was the Enphase Home Energy Solution.
The Enphase Home Energy Solution is fully integrated, combining solar generation, energy control, and energy storage, with a plug-and-play storage device – the Enphase AC Battery – to store energy generated from a rooftop solar system.
Each solar panel is attached to a single Enphase Microinverter which converts solar energy generated directly into AC power, just like the electricity from the grid. The amount of energy generated is intelligently monitored by the Enphase Envoy which measures rooftop solar system production and transmits data to the Enphase Enlighten software system. Using MyEnlighten, homeowners like Rod will be able to view their electricity production and consumption through a mobile app or computer anytime, anywhere.
One of the unique benefits Enphase Energy offers is the safe and modular Enphase AC Battery which can be integrated with the solar system to store any unused solar power generated for use at night. These small battery blocks can be ‘right-sized’ or expanded in the future to grow with a household’s individual energy demands.
With the help of PureGen Energy, a seven kilowatt solar system was installed with seven Enphase AC Batteries and 26 Enphase M250 microinverters. Having seven AC Batteries provided enough storage to fulfill Rod’s current energy needs while leaving the family with option to expand with more batteries in the future.
The flexibility of Enphase microinverters meant each microinverter was individually attached to a solar panel making it visually cleaner and suitable for Rod’s rooftop home installation said Vincent Moran. He said, “There were some arduous restrictions on the rooftop array location, dealing with council, aesthetics, certifiers and some very concerned neighbours, wanting to preserve their harbour views. With Enphase, we were able to overcome all of these concerns”
With the solar panels attached to the rooftop, the Enphase AC Batteries were located in the home’s garage, the Enphase Home Energy Solution was up and running in just two weeks. What really stood out for Rod was the gadget-like capabilities of the whole system which could evolve with every software update to ensure their sustainable home would stay at the cutting edge of sustainability.