Recently one of Solar Analytics’ long time installers called us with an incredible story.
Glenn Beames from Beames Electrical has been installing Solar Analytics for many years. He installs our solar and energy monitoring solution because it gives customers simple visibility of how they are using energy, enabling them to maximise savings.
In January this year, Glenn installed our monitoring system in the home of Ronnie and Rhonda Taylor at Guilford as part of their solar installation. They got solar to reduce their bills, but their inverter provided no information on performance, leaving them with no idea what was consuming most of the energy in their home. That is, until their Solar Analytics device came to life.
The Taylors’ Solar Analytics monitor was set up to monitor the output of their solar inverter, the total consumption of the home and their electric hot water system.
As a new solar owner, Ronnie eagerly checked in on his system from time to time. He found it incredibly helpful to understand his energy bills and has a clear understanding of what’s using most energy and how to maximise his savings with his solar system.
Recently, Ronnie called Glenn and said “Glenn, I’m looking at my energy consumption and my hot water system is doing something different to normal. Can you take a look for me?”
Glenn was able to jump straight onto Ronnie’s dashboard and could quickly see that indeed, the Hot Water system was behaving very strangely. Normally, it comes on when required and uses a pretty constant 3.6kW but Glenn could easily see that it was “jumping all over the place, using less energy at times and was very spikey”. He agreed to visit as he was coming past the site.
Once on site, Glenn used his 50 years of electrical nous and started playing detective. In the laundry, he quickly identified an old isolator switch which was installed many years ago for the hot water system. Glenn determined that the mechanical part of the switch was broken and the power wires were dangerously charred and burned. The switch had begun shorting out and as Glenn put it, “That’s a house fire waiting to happen.”
Within a few minutes, Glenn had replaced the faulty switch, tested the system and, using Solar Analytics, determined that the system was now behaving perfectly normally again.
Ronnie thanked him, breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Honestly mate I just can’t believe what that little device (Solar Analytics) can do,” to which Glenn replied, “Mate I don’t want to be alarmist, but if we hadn’t been monitoring your home it could well have burned to the ground. If ever there was a justification for spending a few hundred dollars on good monitoring, this is it.”
A sobering thought, but one that the team at Solar Analytics is quietly proud of today.
At some point in the future, it makes sense that every home will eventually have energy monitoring installed, and perhaps some of us will look back on previous years and wonder why we didn’t install it sooner.
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend all.