SmartFlow – Intelligent Energy Management

Smartflow is SkyElectric’s intelligent energy management software that controls every aspect of your Smart Energy System. SmartFlow takes historical, current and predicted values of grid availability and tariff structures, solar irradiance levels, local load and energy storage levels to continuously compute and run a Power Management Plan. SmartFlow has two prime goals, provide the highest availability of energy from the cheapest sources of energy and at the lowest cost to you.
In order to perform this function, SmartFlow extracts multiple economic value streams from the local energy infrastructure to continuously ensure energy availability at lowest costs.
By combining solar, storage, and grid intelligence along with extracting multiple value streams, SkyElectric’s Smart Energy System can provide you with 10-30% more annual savings than a conventional solar energy system that lacks sophisticated energy management intelligence.

Our patented intelligent energy management software, SmartFlow, continuously receives solar, grid and load predictions from the SkyElectric cloud. It therefore has up-to-date knowledge of predicted solar irradiance levels, grid tariffs and outage schedules, and cloud machine learning based prediction of local load levels. Utilizing this cloud delivered knowledge, SmartFlow computes and updates optimal Power Management Plans. SmartFlow is integrated into your system to autonomously control when your battery charges, discharges or remains idle, when your loads are powered by solar or the grid, and when your system net-meters to the grid. SmartFlow always chooses your cheapest energy resource, giving you maximum savings possible from a solar and energy storage system. Moreover, your Smart Energy System provides you visibility into SmartFlow energy intelligence through your Console and SkyElectric mobile app.

power management plan

Power Management Plan

SmartFlow is continuously producing and updating a Power Management Plan (PMP) for your home or business based on historical, current, and predicted information on solar and grid availability, stored energy and home load patterns. This PMP is implemented in the form of intelligent charge and discharge of battery energy, and intelligent use of grid tariff structures, such as available net-metering policies (see Intelligent Net-Metering), time of use tariffs, etc.

This plan gets updated based on SkyElectric Cloud received solar, grid and load predictions and also based on real-time locally measured data inputs of actual power and energy conditions, so even if there is an unpredicted outage or sudden change in solar availability or your home loads, SmartFlow will automatically take this into account.

You can view your SmartFlow PMP on the Smart Energy Console. The SmartFlow console screen tells you how much savings you have achieved in an hour, over a month and since the beginning of installation. It also tells you which source the energy in your battery and loads is coming from. Icons are used to display which value stream SmartFlow is unlocking or planning to unlock at the time

SmartFlow Value Streams

A SmartFlow value stream is an economic advantage or leveraging point that can be extracted when one has full situational awareness of the energy environment. Smartflow unlocks this economic value by computing a chain of actions that are the optimal Power Management Plan (PMP) for those energy related conditions, and then activating the plan autonomously under software control. It serves to reduce your energy bill while still providing the most possible energy at any given time. The figure below shows the main economic value streams that are unlocked by SmartFlow software and increase the overall Return On Investment (ROI) of the SkyElectric Smart Energy System.
While providing reliable backup power during a grid outage may be a primary motivation to install the Smart Energy System, Smartflow works beyond this basic purpose and finds all sorts of ways to lower your overall energy costs. This comes by incorporating the understanding of local grid tariff structures so it can optimize the consumption of low tariff grid energy. Understanding solar and grid patterns helps the software to figure out how and when solar and battery energy is used and sold. By utilizing the battery pack for uses other than simply providing backup power, many additional energy cost savings are delivered to you.

power backup

solar production

Solar Production and Load Consumption

Here is an overlapping solar production and load consumption graph showing the typical household load patterns throughout the day as well as solar energy production in the daytime. There is little overlap between peak load consumption and peak solar energy production, which means the majority of solar energy, shaded yellow, will be wasted if it is not intelligently managed. SmartFlow extracts multiple value streams to more fully utilize all the available solar energy as well as reduce overall grid electricity usage.

basic solar

Basic Solar Exporting

If net-metering is enabled at your home or business, SkyElectric systems have the ability to export excess solar energy back to the main grid. When the solar production peaks during the day, there is typically excess solar energy available which, if not sold back to the grid, will be wasted. In these situations, SmartFlow enables the Smart Energy System to export the excess solar energy back to the main grid. The system keeps tracks of all energy units sold as well as consumed from the main grid so you always have an accurate and up to date account of how your solar energy is being used and your net energy bill.

basic solar

intelligent exporting
exporting during grid outage

Intelligent Exporting During Aggressive
Grid Outages

Even if net-metering is available at your home or business, there is no ability to export energy to the grid when the grid is turned off. Using knowledge of the grid outage schedule, SmartFlow intelligently exports the battery packs to the main grid prior to an outage, in order to ensure there is sufficient energy storage space available for the excess solar energy. SmartFlow then charges the battery pack using excess solar energy during the grid outage period, thereby ensuring all available solar energy is captured. Then after the outage and before the next outage, SmartFlow again exports the battery packs to the main grid to ensure there is sufficient energy storage space before the next outage. This process repeats for each outage period, and this approach ensures that minimal to no solar energy is wasted even though the local loads are low and there is no direct ability to export to the main grid during an outage period.

increase in solar self consumption

Increase In Solar Energy Self-Consumption

Maximum solar energy production occurs during the day when home load requirements are typically low. If there is no battery storage, then a lot of useful solar energy is wasted. In the evenings when load requirements increase, you will have to rely on the high tariff grid for electricity. By intelligently storing the solar energy into your battery during the day, and releasing this solar charged battery energy in the early to late evening time frame, you are able to consume the locally produced solar energy even when the sun is not shining. This translates into a direct economic benefit, even if local utility policies support net metering, as the rate paid by the utility to purchase excess solar energy via net metering is typically lower than the rate to purchase the grid electricity in the evening, due to high peak time-of-use tariff structures.

solar self consumption

energy attribute

Energy Arbitrage

Time of Use (TOU) Energy Arbitrage

In simple terms TOU energy arbitrage means to fill up the battery with cheaper energy from the low tariff grid and use the battery to power home loads when the grid is on and the tariff rate goes up. This ‘energy arbitrage’ helps you to save money by reducing your electricity bill. For example, if the local utility provides TOU pricing models, then it is advantageous to consume power when the rate is low, and lower the power consumption when the rate is high. Since most residential consumption occurs during peak rate periods, over time the savings of such an economic value stream can be substantial. This allows SmartFlow to provide an economic value stream even in completely cloudy days where there is little to no solar irradiance, as grid TOU energy arbitrage can always be performed as long as there is a TOU tariff structure in effect for your premises.