Home orchestration helps smart green homes sing in tune


The case for the electrification of all household devices, including vehicles, is a strong one. Encouragingly, electrification of the home is not based purely on environmental grounds; increasingly it makes financial sense to power a home with PV. And for many, the investment to electrify and power with PV may be made over time – requiring a flexible suite of products to meet changing needs.

Growatt’s GroHome

The key components of the GroHome are the rooftop solar energy storage system,
the THOR EV charger, and the GroBoost space and water heater controller. In one
system, the GroHome addresses essential electrification challenges: energy production
and dispatch, mobility, and hot water, along with heating and cooling.

The GroHome orchestrates power production, via the smart residential solarplus-
storage system, maximizing the use of electrons produced on the roof. The outcome is that homeowners get the most out of their investment and lead a clean, comfortable, cost-effective lifestyle.

When coupled with a 10 kWp rooftop array, Growatt’s MIN-XH hybrid inverter can provide 5 kW to the ARK XH modular battery system, along with an additional 5 kW to the home. The MOD-XH steps this up further, delivering 10 kW to the battery along with 10 kW to the home, when coupled with 20 kWp of rooftop PV.

The use case for such functionality is clear. By allowing for power consumption
from the rooftop PV system and the charging of the battery during the day, the household can utilize their clean electrons, while charging their battery so it
can be tapped in the evening and night.

Self consumption

Feed-in tariffs are in decline around the world, as the number of solar households grows. The result is that it increasingly makes sense to direct these electrons to
be used in the home, rather than fed into the grid. There are also remote export
limitations being put in place in leading markets, such as Australia, meaning solar
power can be wasted rather than used.

Growatt has a long history and strong reputation in the strong Dutch residential
market – which is set to exceed 1 GW of installations in 2022, reports Tim de
Kaper, business development manager with wholesaler 4Blue. He says that all
new Dutch homes are currently being equipped with heat-pumps, and EV chargers
are becoming common.

“We have heat pumps, storage, and EV charging,” says de Kaper, speaking of 4Blue’s range. “It is the solution we see more and more. With the high energy prices we are facing this year, everyone in the residential market is looking to save energy or produce with solar.” He adds that growing solar penetration, more unstable electricity prices, and a scheduled “descaling” of the current net metering system, space in the market for more innovative solutions, such as storage and hybrid inverters, will only grow.

GroHome can make the most of almost every unit of solar power produced via its intelligent management system and smart devices. The EV charger is the THOR and, as the name implies, it’s a powerful unit. The THOR 03/07 AS-S and AS-P allowing
charging at 230 V AC 3/7kW – capable of fully charging a standard EV in between
seven and 15 hours. Stepping things up, the THOR 11/22AS-S and AS-P can handle
400 V AC 11/22kW, and is capable of completing a charge in one to four hours.
Extending the orchestration concept to EV charging, the THOR will charge preferentially from a rooftop array, meaning green miles on the road from self-produced power (see the chart left, bottom).

The GroBoost smart heater controller can direct solar electrons to either an immersion water heater or heat pump – to intelligently produce hot water or heat in up to three-zones within the home, rather than feed into the grid. In Growatt modeling, the GroBoost coupled with the smart modular battery can boost self consumption
from 29% up to 94%.

Smart power electronics

The suite of Growatt residential inverters and BESS comprise the backbone of the Growatt GroHome concept – which was honored by being selected as a finalist
in The smarter E Awards 2020. And for an increasing number of households, getting the most out of rooftop PV is best achieved through the adoption of a BESS.

But here too, flexibility is required – and Growatt has developed a comprehensive
range of modular products ready to meet every need, products that can be tailored
to the needs of individual homes and expanded over time. For many homes, a hybrid inverter is an ideal solution, to both charge and discharge the battery. Growatt’s hybrid
inverter series are “storage ready,” meaning that a BESS can be coupled to the inverter long after initial installation.

Having invested in their own and our planet’s future, the GroHome homeowner will likely want to see how their system is operating. The ShineLink communication portal provides system monitoring and presents real-time and historic data through the slick ShinePhone app. Using the app, the homeowner can optimize its operation and control devices to ensure no green electron is wasted. System errors and failures can also be
picked up and monitored remotely via the Online Service System. By having an integrated, orchestrated smart home solution not only will the individual elements sing in tune, but they are also protected by Growatt’s “whole system warranty.” In the unlikely event of failures, the homeowner is covered. That’s clean, clever, comfortable, and smart.

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: editors@pv-magazine.com.