Good control means keeping our head out of the clouds

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Energy Monitoring Features

Published June 19th, 2017 by Kirsty Waterford

Reposit Power controlThis is the second in a series of blog posts about how Reposit does good control. The first in the series can be found here: https://www.repositpower.com/blog/how-reposit-does-control/

As previously mentioned, Reposit achieves good control when the Reposit Box has reliable and fast communications to your battery, inverter and other devices. Good control means your Reposit box can instruct your battery in real-time, when to buy or sell energy, lowering your electricity bill while maintaining your lifestyle and earning you GridCredits™.

To achieve good control, the Reposit Box makes decisions on its own. It doesn’t rely on computers on the Internet for real-time instructions. It has all the intelligence it needs inside the box installed at your home and this means when the Internet drops outs, Reposit is unaffected.

Reposit uses the Internet to periodically gather updated information about the weather and market prices. If there is a dropout in Internet, Reposit will continue to make the correct decisions for your household, record your data, and sell your energy to earn you GridCredits™ based on the information it has already collected.

New batteries have emerged, including the SolarCity/Tesla Powerwall 2, which provide a cloud/Internet-only based communications interface for third-party controllers like Reposit. To work with these systems, the Reposit Box would no longer be on the wall at your house but would control your home via the cloud/Internet.

Reposit has decided to keep its head out of the clouds. We don’t integrate with cloud/ Internet-only based control systems.

With a cloud/Internet-based control system, if the Internet was unavailable, Reposit wouldn’t be able to make the correct decisions to keep your power bill down. These batteries are dependent on the Internet to work effectively and Internet outages are unfortunately far too common in Australia.

Good control is also dependent on information being reliably shared. When more steps are involved, and more servers are needed to process data, there is a higher probability of a processing failure.

The image below shows the communication process for controlling your battery via the cloud/Internet. It is the same for all manufacturers that choose to put their intelligence in the cloud.

Cloud control

As you can see:

  1. Your battery periodically uploads information to the manufacturer’s server, via the Internet. This information includes your house consumption, solar generation, and battery state.
  2. Reposit would ask the manufacturer’s server via the Internet, for your house consumption, solar generation, and battery state.
  3. Using the information provided by the manufactures server via the Internet, Reposit would then work out the best thing to do with your battery for that moment (which in reality was several moments ago).
  4. Reposit would then ask the manufacturer’s server via the Internet, to charge or discharge your battery (as of several more moments ago).
  5. Lastly, the manufacturer’s server relays that instruction to your battery via the Internet and the battery responds (many many moments later).

This contrasts with the Reposit Box’s local control.

Reposit good control

  1. The Reposit Box talks to its meters and your battery via direct cable connections to get information about what your house is doing in real-time. This includes your house consumption, solar generation, and battery state.
  2. Reposit would then work out the best thing to do with your battery for that moment (which was several milliseconds ago).
  3. Lastly, the Reposit Box instructs the battery via a direct cable connection to charge or discharge the battery and your battery responds (which was several milliseconds ago).

Cloud/Internet-based control is not reliable enough for Reposit to deliver the kind of control that our customers expect. This includes you, our end users, as well as our growing number of utility partners who provide GridCredits™ in exchange for the use of your battery.

Without local control, batteries can’t deliver their full value, and you miss out on getting the lowest possible power bill. Because reliable control is so important to delivering a low bill, we strongly advise battery and device manufacturers to provide a local control interface when they are designing their products.

We’ve had global manufacturers listen to our message and decide that cloud/Internet-only control wasn’t for them after all, and we expect more to follow. Together Reposit and these manufacturers are delivering low power bills through good control.

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