Denver, Colorado August 30, 2017 – Iron Edison Battery Company, a Nickel Iron and Lithium Iron Phosphate battery system supplier for solar energy storage, selected Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, to supply back up power as part of a solar installation in California.

This project utilizes Schneider’s Conext XW+ inverters in a system that will provide a residence with 61.2kW of continuous backup power and 166kW-hours of total energy storage capacity. and is a testament to the versatility and scalability of the Conext XW+ platform. The 61.2kW Conext XW+ Multi-cluster consists of nine Conext XW+6848 inverter/chargers configured to 120/208V 3-phase, which happens to be the same as the utility feeder for this 45,000 square foot residence.

The Iron Edison LiFePO4 batteries are compatible with the custom charging profile provided by the Conext XW+ system.  The batteries are kept full and ready for a power outage in this AC coupled system. The grid-tie micro inverters allow PV to reduce the demand from the utility grid, and can produce power to the critical loads even after the grid goes down.

“We have been working with Schneider Electric for years,” said Brandon Williams, co-founder and CEO of Iron Edison.  “They offer terrific solutions for residential battery-based customers, both large and small. From an installation standpoint, the Conext XW+ inverter and charge controller are great to work with.  Everything is labelled for easy installation and the power distribution panel is the best in the business.  In my opinion, the best part about working with Schneider Electric is the technical support team.  They are always helpful, positive, and willing to help solve the exciting technical questions that arise during an install like this.”

This large residential project was designed by Manfred Thyssen, System Designer from OnTime Energy Solutions, a California based, family-owned and operated business.  OnTime has been providing Southern California residents with reliable HVAC and solar energy services for over 20 years.

“My decision to partner with Schneider Electric on this project was a simple one,” said Thyssen. “I have had a successful relationship with great customer service for over ten years with various divisions of Schneider Electric on several large residential and commercial projects.  Schneider Electric has a great off-the-shelf product that could be expanded to fit the needs and demands of this project.   A project of this scale will have certain challenges, but luckily the support and engineering team at Schneider are always available and ready to provide exceptional service.”

“Schneider Electric is delighted to work with Iron Edison and OnTime Energy on this exciting project,” said Evan Vogel, Director of Marketing, Schneider Electric Solar Business.  “We have seen off-grid solar make a difference in locations such as California, and know it really changes lives for the better in so many locations in developing nations where it replaces costly diesel generated energy.”

About Iron Edison
Based in Denver, Colorado, Iron Edison Battery Company strives to continue Thomas Edison’s mission of bringing efficient, quality energy storage technology to the public. Iron Edison offers Nickel Iron and Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries as well as complete system design services. Their experienced team has designed thousands of off-grid and battery backup systems ranging from large-scale commercial systems in the US to rural solar PV systems for small mountain villages in Nepal. Iron Edison is dedicated to educating people about their batteries and solar PV technology at large.

About OneTime Energy
OnTime Energy Solutions is a family owned Southern California based HVAC, Electric, Solar, and renewable energy contractor.  The company takes pride in providing our customers the best solutions using only cutting edge energy efficient technologies. OnTime serves the commercial, residential, public and private sectors with a veteran team of engineers, designers, and field crews to provide complete turnkey solutions.

About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is the global specialist in energy management and automation. With revenues of ~€25 billion in FY2016, our 144,000 employees serve customers in over 100 countries, helping them to manage their energy and process in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable. From the simplest of switches to complex operational systems, our technology, software and services improve the way our customers manage and automate their operations. Our connected technologies reshape industries, transform cities and enrich lives. At Schneider Electric, we call this Life Is On.

Technology has had a profound impact on the way people work in all kinds of industries.

At auto repair shops, the mechanic can tell you why your car is making that funny chirping noise without getting a drop of grease on her fingers. Using modern marketing software, she can then document repairs and email or text you a report of her work.

Solar installers who haven’t used mobile apps to streamline system configuration, commissioning, and performance monitoring may be surprised by the times savings and workflow improvements that software has brought to the residential solar installation process. The technology that transformed the auto repair business is revolutionizing the day-to-day experience and effectiveness of solar installers.

Over the past 5+ years, user feedback has improved the functionality and user experience of the Enphase Installer Toolkit mobile app, adding value for early adopters who have already put the software to work. Additional features will make Installer Toolkit more powerful than ever.

Software may never replace all the traditional gear that you bring to the job site, like the ladder needed to climb onto the roof. But it can dramatically reduce the number of times you’ll need to climb up and down that ladder to complete an installation and monitor performance as the grid gets smarter and customers ask to retrofit systems over time.

Save time, improve quality

One of the principal advantages of the Enphase system is design flexibility. Installers encounter complex roof conditions all the time. Enphase makes it easy to optimize performance using any available roof space. Our software then simplifies the process of configuring arrays so Envoy, the device that monitors and controls Enphase Systems, knows where each Enphase Microinverter is located and what it’s doing.

Complex roofs aren’t the only variables that can slow down an installation crew. Customers have a variety of networking options for reporting performance data, including cellular, ethernet, and Wi-Fi. Many systems require production metering or consumption metering. In Hawaii and other locations where rooftop solar systems must conform to parameters set by the local electric utility, installers also have to set grid profiles. And there’s a good chance they will have to update them over time. All these system commissioning tasks can be completed quickly and easily with Installer Toolkit. Just like auto mechanics, residential installers can also create summary reports once they’ve finished their work, providing evidence that their systems are performing correctly from the start.

You might be wondering if it really makes sense to compare technology’s impact on auto repairs and solar installs. A mechanic who runs into trouble on the shop floor can usually turn to a more experienced mechanic for support. Two- and three-member solar install crews may not have that luxury. That’s why Enphase provides support features within Installer Toolkit. The app gives your crew troubleshooting insights, including help videos, at the push of a button. In this way, technology is providing even more value in rooftop solar than in other industries.

Software also makes it possible to remotely monitor and maintain rooftop solar systems. Solar customers can’t bring underperforming solar arrays to the repair shop the way that car owners can. Installers would have to spend a lot of money visiting their customers any time they need to diagnose performance issues or make minor system modifications. Software eliminates the need to make site visits for many operations and maintenance (O&M) tasks, saving time for the installer and increasing customer satisfaction.

Maximizing value of software

Once you’ve incorporated all the Installer Toolkit features into your installation workflow—including system configuration, commissioning, and O&M—there are several more software benefits to take advantage of, now and in the years to come.

Using Enlighten Manager, an app for solar professionals connected to our Enlighten monitoring system, you can segment your fleet of customer systems by geographic areas. If you’ve got a designated crew for the northwest part of town, set up a dashboard so this crew can monitor its territory. The ability to provide notifications of performance issues is huge from a customer service standpoint. It positions you to win referrals and upsell to energy storage.

In the future, we’ll see further innovation coming from smarter networking via the Internet of Things. Google Home users can already control kitchen appliances and lighting and security systems without needing a technician for device configuration. Comcast has released a new Wi-Fi gateway, called xFi, to also control smart devices in the home. Keep an eye out for Enphase system integration with Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant Alexa, so you can use voice commands to get real-time details about things like energy production, consumption, and battery state of charge.

New standards from outside the energy industry may accelerate automation of solar and energy storage system setup. Enphase software engineers and our technology partners can foresee a time when home energy systems are practically plug and play, with seamless communications to prevent service disruptions and maximize the value of energy. This vision is getting closer to reality faster than many people expect.

Additional resources

To learn more about how to use Installer Toolkit for installation efficiency, watch a recorded webinar produced by the Enphase support team and find additional resources by searching ‘Installer Toolkit’ on the Support page of the Enphase website.

As I have posted in recent weeks, my complete book on climate change is now out, under the title ‘Putting the Genie Back: Solving the Climate and Energy Dilemma‘. The publisher, Emerald Publishing Limited, has just made the first chapter available on-line so that you can try before you buy.

Their advertising for the chapter included a quote from President Barack Obama, which gives a hint as to where the title came from, but isn’t the whole story. In May 2014 the President had invited several meteorologists to the White House for exclusive interviews on the climate change report that the administration released earlier in the week. The president summed up the importance of the situation with one simple phrase: “it’s hard to put a genie back in the bottle.” The quote was part of a longer piece which was referring to the climate itself and the possibility of reaching a tipping point. He had said;

“I want to make sure that my children and my grandchildren are able to enjoy a beautiful day like today; that they’re not living in a more dangerous world. […] This is one of those things that is very difficule to recover from. Once we hit a certain tipping point, we don’t know exactly how certain weather patterns could end up resulting in catastrophe. It’s hard to put a genie back in the bottle.”

By that time my first e-book, which the current book also incorporates, was in the late stages of writing and I had already pencilled in the genie metaphor, although with other suggestions coming from friends and family, I wasn’t entirely sure. My use was never in relation to the climate itself, but to the use of fossil fuels. That particular genie has ushered in astounding progress for society, but it is also a genie that is hard to challenge. Nevertheless, we can, with carbon capture and storage representing a method of returning the carbon to the subsurface, effectively putting the genie back.

Even though my intended meaning wasn’t the same as the President, when he also used the phrase in relation to climate change it seemed like the decision was made.

Enjoy the pre-read and I hope you buy the book. My proceeds are going to the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) in Washington D.C.

At present, our atmosphere has 407 parts per million carbon dioxide (CO2). According to NASA, we’d have to go back to 650,000 years to experience CO2 concentrations this high The impacts of the high concentration of this climate-changing greenhouse gas in our atmosphere are being felt globally.

“Rethinking our energy sector is the key to addressing carbon emissions,” says Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA’s Innovation and Technology Centre. “Almost every country in the world has made a commitment to reduce their carbon emissions through the Paris Agreement, but exactly how varies.”

The energy sector makes up a large part of practically every country’s emissions. In all, energy-related emissions account for two-thirds of today’s global greenhouse gas emissions. For the world to avoid catastrophic climate change, countries need to pursue energy decarbonisation.

“We’ve found that renewables and energy efficiency can work together to provide over 90% of the mitigation needed in the energy system by 2050,” Gielen adds. “Energy decarbonisation is vital to put the world on a pathway to fulfilling the Paris Agreement.”

An important synergy

Renewable energy and energy efficiency work in synergy. When pursued together, they can bring faster reduction in energy intensity and lower energy costs, according to a newly released working paper from IRENA. Crucially, improved efficiency reduces total energy demand, allowing the share of renewables in the energy mix to grow faster.

Synergies between renewable energy and energy efficiency, looks at how this synergy affects the energy system and technology cost, and the subsequent effects on air pollution and the avoidance of adverse health effects caused by pollutants.

Real environmental and social benefits can be gained by enhancing the synergy between renewables and energy efficiency. Reduced air pollution — a real killer — is one. Another recent study showed that, for example, almost 13,000 lives in the United States have been saved by the deployment of more solar and wind energy.

“Looking in detail at China, Germany, India, Japan and the United States, we examine what policies they can implement to boost renewable and energy efficient development,” Gielen explains. IRENA’s paper focuses on opportunities for these countries — the world’s five largest energy users — to boost renewables and efficiency.

Benefits for all

Global energy-related CO2 emissions could be reduced 70% by 2050, IRENA finds. Renewables can account for about half of those reductions, with another 45% coming from increased energy efficiency and electrification.

But maximising such synergies requires a greater understanding of the potential that exists at the country, sector and technology levels. IRENA’s study calls for a system-wide perspective that takes into account the inter-linkages between technologies and sectors.

All countries can benefit from the important synergies between renewable energy and energy efficiency. Specific technologies enable energy efficiency and renewable energy in both the power and end-use sectors. On the end-use side, the electrification of services like passenger transport and cooking heat results in higher efficiency, allowing greater use of renewable power. On the supply side, in turn, the switch to renewable power tends to reduce primary energy demand.

Power generation from many types of renewables are 100% efficient in international energy statistics, while fossil power plants achieve only 25–85% efficiency. Though the cost-competitiveness of technologies varies by country, the combined deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies always results in overall savings.

IRENA’s paper builds upon Perspectives for the Energy Transition: Investment Needs for a Low-Carbon Energy System, a joint study by IRENA and the International Energy Agency for the G20.

To learn more on how renewables and energy efficiency can further decarbonisation of the energy sector, see Synergies between renewable energy and energy efficiency.



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