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Overview

What is HomeGrid™?

The HomeGrid™ system is a full-integrated micro-grid. A micro-grid is a modular power system that is the primary power supply for a home. The typical HomeGrid system comprises a solar array, a battery, and an inverter that forms the grid for the house. However, as a micro-grid, HomeGrid can use and store energy from the grid, a generator, or any other power source. For customers with a utility connection, the grid only contributes energy to the HomeGrid, but it no longer directly connects to the load. Wherever there is no grid, HomeGrid can also operate as an off-grid system. HomeGrid uses a compact, lightweight, and highly efficient power electronics, controls, and energy management system. HomeGrid is fast and easy to install and fully automated.

Who is HomeGrid for?

HomeGrid is perfect for customers who:

  • Are grid-connected but experience frequent or extended power outages
    HomeGrid is a primary power supply that completely insulates the home from any utility outages. HomeGrid high discharge batteries can supply all loads in a house, including air conditioners or well pumps, regardless of whether the grid is up or not. Because HomeGrid’s inverter runs the house at all times, there are no glitches when utility power goes down. HomeGrid’s main energy source is solar. A low-power grid connection adds energy to the system when needed. During extended outages, a generator can add energy. HomeGrid can deliver up to 14.4 kW of continuous and 16.8 kW of peak power per unit, effectively replacing a 200 Amp utility service.
  • Have no utility power or choose to live off the grid
    HomeGrid connects to a high power off-grid inverter. HomeGrid can use solar, small wind, or micro-hydro as renewable energy sources and a generator or fuel cell as conventional power sources.
  • Want to eliminate demand charges and arbitrage time-of-use utility power rates?
    HomeGrid’s high discharge battery is the primary power source for the HomeGrid system. With solar energy as the main source of energy, HomeGrid draws little power from the grid. HomeGrid typically cuts the required power rating of a utility connection by a factor of 30-40 x, eliminating all demand charges. HomeGrid’s battery can also be used for time-of-use price arbitrage.
  • Want solar but cannot or do not wish to net-meter
    HomeGrid does not require grid-tie which allows you to have solar even if your utility does not permit grid-tied solar. HomeGrid also enables you to have solar if you simply do not want to net-meter.
  • Need more power, but utility line upgrades are expensive
    Some customers have an existing utility connection, but experience higher peak loads than the utility connection can deliver. Those customers can use a HomeGrid battery to provide the needed power and avoiding costly utility line upgrades.
  • Experience poor power quality and need to protect sensitive electronic equipment
    Some customers experience unstable grid power with low line voltage or power spikes, which can damage sensitive electronics. The HomeGrid system  delivers high power quality.

How can I control HomeGrid?

A stunning app that comes with the inverter on the HomeGrid system shows the system performance at a glance. The home screen also serves as a clock and weather station.

Can HomeGrid work without the internet?

We offer a 3G connection on all HomeGrid batteries. An Internet connection allows for over-the-air software updates, remote system monitoring on the inverter mobile app.

Solar Integration

Is there a solar package with HomeGrid?

Yes, we frequently install solar with our HomeGrid system, and recommend doing both solar and battery backup at the same time due to increased efficiency. We have distributor access to all panels on the market to find the best product for your home.

Can I add a HomeGrid to my existing solar system?

HomeGrid can be integrated with existing solar arrays with a string inverter, which most legacy systems have. Each solar panel will be retro-fitted with the HomeGrid micro-converter. This retro-fit is plug-and-play and does not involve significant work. The micro-converter increases solar production, provides rapid shut down for firefighter safety, and makes the solar array ready for battery integration. The existing inverter must be set to constant voltage input, which is a feature most inverters have.

Does HomeGrid work with any solar panel?

Yes. HomeGrid can use any solar panel up to 450 W of rated capacity. You can even use different types of panels in the same solar array.

Can I put the solar array anywhere I want?

Yes. As long as the solar array is within 250 meters from the house.

During a power outage, can my solar recharge HomeGrid?

Yes. Solar energy that the home does not consume goes to charge the HomeGrid battery. When more solar energy is available than can be used or stored, HomeGrid throttles back the solar array to exactly match the load.

How large a solar array can I connect with HomeGrid?

HomeGrid can handle 50 kW of power from an array. If the array power exceeds 50 kW, HomeGrid will throttle back the array power.

Do I have a rapid shutdown of the solar array for firefighter safety?

Yes. If you press the “Solar On/Off” switch on the HomeGrid controller or send a command from the tablet or mobile app, HomeGrid will rapidly shut down the solar array.

Generator Integration

Can I use a backup generator with HomeGrid?

Yes. The generator connects to the optional generator module. Generator power is seamlessly blended with other power in the system. Generators with remote start be can be automatically turned on and off by HomeGrid.

Does HomeGrid work with any existing backup generator?

Yes. HomeGrid works with any generator. Generators with remote start can be automatically turned on and off by HomeGrid.

Can my generator charge the HomeGrid battery?

Yes. All energy sources, solar or grid, seamlessly blend on the system. The energy management system decides how much power should go into the battery.

Do you have a generator ready for integration?

Yes. We can include a super-silent Yamaha generator with a remote start inside of a weather- and sound-proof housing to a HomeGrid installation.

Wind, Hydro or Fuel Cell Integration

I have a wind turbine/hydro turbine/fuel cell. Can I integrate it into HomeGrid?

Yes. You can integrate small wind, micro-hydro, or a fuel cell into HomeGrid. Power from these sources blends seamlessly in the system. The inverter will provide the right integration module depending on the power of the energy source and whether it delivers alternating or direct current. Some wind turbine/hydro turbine/fuel cell may have controllers that make integration difficult or impossible.

EV Charging

Can I charge my electric vehicle (EV) with HomeGrid?

Yes. All you need to do is configure HomeGrid to have enough power to support your electric vehicle charger. HomeGrid may also require a larger battery if you want to charge at night. We recommend that you provide your typical EV charging schedule to the HomeGrid team so that we can upload it to the energy management system. Over time HomeGrid will learn your actual charging habits.

Can I charge my EV at night from solar stored in the batteries?

Yes. You just have to match the right amount of battery storage with your charging requirements. With the HomeGrid, a large amount of energy storage (at the same power level) is surprisingly inexpensive.

Can I charge my EV on HomeGrid during a power outage?

Yes. The HomeGrid is a high-power nano-grid that can charge your EV at any time. However, during a power outage the amount of energy of the HomeGrid is limited to solar production and what you have in the battery. If your HomeGrid includes a generator, then it can add energy to the HomeGrid for EV charging.

Can I add a fast/super-charger to a HomeGrid?

No. Unfortunately, even a 200 Amp utility service is not enough power for fast/super-charging. HomeGrid supports Level 1 and Level 2 EV charging.

Off-grid Use

Can I use the HomeGrid off the grid?

Yes. HomeGrid’s grid-forming inverter is a high-power off-grid inverter with 2 x surge power, HomeGrid can use solar, small wind, or micro-hydro as renewable energy sources and a generator or even a fuel cell for conventional power. In off-grid applications, HomeGrid effectively eliminates what would be a 200 Amp utility service. HomeGrid receives hourly solar production forecasts, which are especially useful for energy management in off-grid situations.

Can the HomeGrid start without any external power?

Yes. The HomeGrid battery holds charge for a very long time. We ship the battery with a state of charge of around 50%. The moment a battery module is connected and turned on, the controller has power, and the system begins to operate.

Existing Battery Systems

Does HomeGrid work with existing battery systems?

HomeGrid can work with nearly any battery technology. However, the integration of existing battery systems is typically only economical for large battery systems with considerable battery life left.

Functionality

What is Solar Self-Use?

Solar Self-use describes how much of the solar energy is used directly or via the battery. In a typically HomeGrid installation, self-use is 85% to 100%. Excess energy can be net-metered if desired, but often it is more cost-effective to curtail excess solar.

How does the HomeGrid system work when the grid does down?

HomeGrid is a grid-forming high-power system that is your primary power supply. On a typical day, HomeGrid does not draw any power from the utility for 90+% of the time. Therefore, a grid outage is nothing special and has no impact on the system when it occurs. There are zero glitches when the grid goes down.

Does HomeGrid net-meter?

Yes, but when adequately designed, 85-100% of solar energy is self-used, and there is no strong case for net-metering. If there is high seasonal excess solar or if the house stands empty from time to time, your system will net-meter

Can the HomeGrid battery charge from the grid?

Yes the HomeGrid battery can charge from the grid, 

How does time-of-use price arbitrage work?

If you are on a time-of-use plan, then the utility pricing tiers and schedule can be uploaded into the HomeGrid over-the-air. The energy management system then times utility power draw for minimum utility cost. Because the connection to the utility is low power, demand charges are unlikely to be relevant. The feature is available soon and may be available at the time of your installation.

How can I monitor HomeGrid operation?

You can monitor the HomeGrid operation with the user interface tablet, which connects directly to the HomeGrid controller. You can also track your home energy system over the internet using HomeGrid’s mobile app. If the internet is lost, you still have full view and control of the HomeGrid with the tablet.

Backup Power

During a power outage, how long will the HomeGrid batteries last?

A typical small single-family home uses 35 kWh, a mid-size home 50 kWh, and a large home 70 kWh or more per day. These consumption estimates exclude EV charging. A HomeGrid can have 5 kWh to 100+kWh of storage. We recommend having about 18-24 hours of battery storage. You can use the user interface tablet of HomeGrid mobile app to monitor your usage and conserve power. However, with a large enough solar array and especially with an additional generator, your home can run without utility power indefinitely.

During a power outage, how quickly does HomeGrid restore power to my home?

HomeGrid is your primary power and supplies power to your home at all times. Grid-outages are unnoticeable even to highly sensitive electronic equipment. Unlike backup generators and most home battery systems, with HomeGrid, there is no switch-over time, glitches, or even uncertainty that the system will work during an outage.

How many appliances can I back up with HomeGrid?

A HomeGrid with that much power effectively replaces a 200 Ampere (50 kW) utility service. However, to run the entire house during an outage, you need enough battery power to cover peak power in your home. Our high-discharge battery modules can deliver high power. If solar power or generator power is available, those power sources are additive to the battery power.

During a utility power outage, how do I extend the amount of time my home can run on HomeGrid?

The best way to extend your usage of HomeGrid during an outage is to limit the energy consumption of your home. You can do this by turning off high-power appliances like air conditioners, large TV, hairdryers, or electric stoves. The HomeGrid receives hourly real-time solar production forecasts, and the energy management system will project if you have to reduce consumption. If you have a generator that feeds into the HomeGrid, you may not have to reduce consumption at all.

What happens if I overload the HomeGrid?

You may overload the combined power of the grid connection, battery, and solar that feeds the inverter. To avoid this, we recommend that you size the battery power to cover the peak power in the house comfortably. (We will help you figure out your estimated peak power.) However, if you ever were to overload the system, the inverter would gently turn off. It will try to restart a few times but will then wait for user input. To restart the inverter, turn off large appliances in your home, then use the tablet user interface or mobile app to turn on the inverter. You can also press the “Inverter On/Off” button on the control module to turn on the inverter.

Installations

What are the different components that make up a HomeGrid system?

Typically a HomeGrid comprises multiple solar panels, a few battery modules, a grid connection module, an inverter, and a controller.

What does a HomeGrid system look like with all the additional equipment installed?

HomeGrid comes in a sleek free-standing case the size of a locker room cabinet that houses all battery modules, generator connection, inverter, etc. (Future HomeGrids will come as a stackable system.) HomeGrid sits between the utility and your home’s breaker panel. Your utility service connects to the grid connection module. The output of the inverter connects to your breaker panel replacing the original utility connection. Your local electrical code may require additional breakers and disconnect switches.

Can I later add more solar, battery storage, or a generator to HomeGrid?

Yes. The HomeGrid is a micro-grid and therefore allows you to add additional components at any time.

Does the HomeGrid require a permit from the utility?

No. The HomeGrid is designed to work without net metering and requires no permit from the utility. If it makes sense to send excess solar energy to the grid, a small grid-tied inverter can be added to HomeGrid, but this requires utility approval. In all cases, your local jurisdiction will typically require a permit for installing a solar array and any power equipment.