Alternative Energy

Schneider Electric brings green energy directly to homeowners

14th January 2021
Lanna Cooper

Schneider Electric has released the next generation residential electrical panel for the European market, the Wiser Energy Center. The latest innovation at the heart of the Wiser ecosystem, the Energy Center, controls all energy needs of connected devices in one place with the help of AI-enabled algorithms, transforming homes from smart to smart and sustainable. It’s a major step towards enabling net zero, self-sufficient homes, bringing sustainable energy choices directly to consumers.

Combining the power of Energy Center and Wiser software, consumers gain full control of how energy is produced, stored and distributed in the home. This grid-to-plug solution brings together the energy meter, EV charger, back-up generator, energy storage, solar inverter, and energy loads in the home, such as smart thermostats, into an intelligent energy management system that can address key pain points of resilience and efficiency in the home.

Where possible, the system prioritises green energy power, ensuring power-hungry appliances and devices, including Electric Vehicles (EVs), consume most of their energy from the solar or decarbonised energy sources in the home. The system automatically switches from traditional to renewable energy.

Sustainable and safe

The intelligent system achieves this by taking multiple factors into account, including time, the weather, the residents’ energy tariff and consumption patterns, storing large amounts of solar energy for emergency back-up power. This allows homes to maintain critical systems such as safety and connectivity, should traditional energy sources become unavailable.

The greater reliance of heavy loads on green energy solutions doesn’t just reduce carbon footprints, it also improves ROI on solar/PV systems by significantly reducing electricity bills. 

Additional home safety features, such as the system’s ability to proactively notify residents of the risk of electrical faults, from electrical overloads to wiring and overcurrent issues, comes from the Wiser Energy Center’s family of connected safety devices (e.g. Acti9 Active). This means the guesswork is taken out of electrical home safety, shifting the approach from reactive to active.

With all of its features combined, the Energy Center provides homeowners with sustainable energy consumption choices; it measures and reduces their dwellings’ carbon footprint. 

Manish Pant, Executive Vice-President, Home and Distribution Division, Schneider Electric, said: “Our home electricity consumption is set to double by 2050, at the same time we are facing a challenge to reduce CO2 emissions from our homes. This is a dilemma we must solve. As we equip our homes with more IoT connected devices, our ability to control and manage our home’s energy needs is simply non-negotiable. 

"A secure interoperable power management system is key to bringing meaningful benefits to our homes and positively impacting the way we live, whilst keeping our energy costs and CO2 emissions at bay. Today, we empower consumers to make sustainable green energy choices and take active control over their energy needs.”

Take control of your home energy loads from grid to plug 

All electrical energy from the home and grid converges in a single panel where load control is managed directly: from grid to plug. It manages light to heavy loads, from swimming pools to heating to appliances like freezers and washing machines, in two parts: critical and normal loads.

If an outage is caused by adverse weather for example, the panel switches to ‘critical load’ mode. At this point, it decides if appliances like the fridge are ‘essential’, then the energy supply form the battery or back-up generator is switched to these appliances only. 

Charge without being over-charged 

The entry level version of the panel can monitor solar energy usage but can be upgraded with premium features, unlocking advanced capabilities. For example, EVs are high load and expensive to charge if you need to do so at peak time. The Wiser Energy Center panel can help to manage these costs in several ways: 

  1. Ensuring that your EV charging speed never exceeds the limit of your utility contract, calculating the maximum power available for the car based on the needs of other appliances in the home (e.g., fridge, oven, security systems). This protects you from inadvertent penalties while allowing you to charge your vehicle as quickly as possible. 
  1. Allowing you to prioritise your solar energy for car charging. It can even be assigned to charge the car at peak solar power time straight away, allowing you to use energy beyond your limit.  
  1. Calculating the best time and tariff for all energy needs of your home through the power of data, AI and the tariffs offered by your energy provider. The panel can be programmed to speed up EV charging when the tariff is lower through the simple tap of a button via the app.  

Intuitive installation and usage

Schneider’s Wiser Energy Center embeds seamlessly into properties, integrating batteries and energy measurements from both the grid and the home. With Wiser, everything can be seamlessly managed and controlled by the homeowner from a single app. Electricians can save installation time as the pre-wired panel arrives already assembled. Once installed, the open platform keeps evolving through software and product innovation, compatible with a large number of third party solutions.  

Product Availability

The Wiser Energy Center will be available in France and Spain this year. It will be available in additional European countries soon.

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