Evergen's weather monitoring robot house ups your solar to save you dollars

Bright sun shining over large green field with trees
Bright sun shining over large green field with trees

Our bright scientists have helped renewable energy start-up Evergen in creating Australia’s first intelligent home energy management system. Image credit – Micolo J/Flickr

We’re all pretty busy nowadays, whether it be with work, family, friends or binge watching a few series on Netflix. Most of us really don’t have the time to monitor our solar electricity usage (unless it’s the first few days after you get a mammoth bill and you end up pacing around the house turning off all the lights), but without monitoring it can be difficult know when to switch from solar to stored power. We wanted to change all that, not only so you can get back to your shows, but also because saving the environment and your cash is pretty much a win-win.

So our team of tech-savvy scientists got to work on plans for Australia’s first intelligent home solar and battery management system, launched today with renewable energy start-up Evergen.

Evergen's app lets you easily see the money you're saving.

Evergen’s app lets you easily see the money you’re saving. Image credit – Evergen

How does it work?

The system chooses the most efficient source for the household’s electricity supply at any given time, switching from solar to stored power as required.  There’s even an app for it (because what’s new technology these days if it doesn’t have an app?!), where you can see the system going through the motions of performing diagnostics, analysing weather forecasts, charging and discharging the battery, and of course powering the home with solar energy. It also has the added bonus of showing you just how much money you’re saving with the system.

A powerful idea

Our Energy Director Dr Peter Mayfield is excited to see our very own technology available in Australian homes.

“CSIRO has been at the forefront of solar and battery technology research for many years, and we are committed to the development of intelligent systems and tools which change the way we use energy,” Dr Mayfield said.

“We know that consumers are viewing their household electricity differently and taking more control; intelligent systems allow them to do this with ease.”

Evergen is expected to generate an additional 20 per cent savings over existing domestic solar and battery solutions, and will also extend battery life through the use of our smart technology. Aussies can purchase the system in an early release program now, with a second-stage release program due to be rolled out in January 2017.

Want to find about more of our bright ideas? Check out our other energy work here.

8 comments

  1. Loving the of-peak top-up

  2. Although connecting the power supply system in your home to the internet is a rather scary thought … I can see the future of burglary now … done with an exploit app on a mobile phone to switch off the alarm and open the front door (no crow bar required and crimsafe have just been put out of business). Or your bank account being emptied thanks to the malware on your solar panel monitoring system – the built in bluetooth interface is being used to run a key logger that picks up your key strokes on your wireless (unencrypted bluetooth) keyboard on your home computer you use to do your now insecure internet banking with the 12 character secure password you can never remember … Any way back to Netflix and the next episode of Mr Robot.

    1. Hi Leigh,
      We understand that Evergen is taking great care to ensure the stability and security of their system, which doesn’t control things like door locks or security systems in the home. Also, in intelligent systems like these, homes are always connected to the electricity grid – the technology simply chooses the most effective power source to use at any one time, so there would be no impact on their home alarm, or any other load.
      Regards,
      Ellen
      CSIRO Social Media

  3. I have been looking at alternative power generation and storage systems for some time and was doing this with the eventual goal of being power independent. The systems proposed here appear to me to be the similar (if not the same) as any other “alternate” power system provider. The major problem still appears to be the costs! My grid connected power cost is now starting to be overtaken by the connection fees and taxes rather than the power itself. My connection fees and GST was 11% four years ago and is 24.5% on my last bill. To add insult to this uncontrolled fee grab is we no long get paid for our generated inputs to the grid! Any new system can not be viable in the medium to long term if it is not designed to avoid these “infrastructural” taxes and go completely “off grid”. Government owned power generator are going to continue the unabated fee grab because no one is talking about it in the alternate power system market. Grid connected battery systems, smart phone apps and smart houses are not the answer. Cheap, readily available and sustainable batteries connected, “off grid” systems that will pay for themselves in better than the warranted time of the equipment is the answer. I am yet to see that system appear in the market place.

  4. Pingback: CSIRO-developed Tech for Energy Smart Homes – EVERGEN

  5. Great idea, just what I have been looking for to improve my solar system and take the next step to no power bills

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