Are Smart Breaker Panels the Future?
Circuit breaker panels were a big jump from fuse boxes, but now the technology could be replaced by something even more advanced—smart breaker panels. Chances are, you have no idea where you’re getting power from, how much is available, or what appliances are consuming the most electricity. And, most issues will remain hidden until you’re aware of them, an electrician spots one during an inspection, or says it’s time to replace your electrical panel.
This could be about to change. A company called Span has developed a breaker panel that provides a greater degree of control. It’s also incorporating the panel as a key part of solar and whole home battery systems. This is important as going off-grid requires a great deal of hardware, including a separate electrical panel. A standard circuit breaker consists of analog components that don’t have the capability to prevent power from feeding back into the grid or switch to battery power when there’s an outage.
What Are Smart Breaker Panels?
Your electrical system may have a lot to tell you. That is what the Span smart electrical panel is for. It collects data and relays information to you in a smartphone app. You can also use it to schedule when to turn off power to certain parts of your home. For example, you can cut power to bedrooms when you’re away or darken the patio at night. All this can be done without manually turning off breakers, and you can even cut a grid connection during a power outage so stored electricity isn’t lost.
Conserving Battery Power
Having a battery backup gives you extra electric time if the power goes out. You can extend this convenience even further with Span by assigning circuits to specific designations. A “must-have” circuit will always be powered, but you can extend battery life by moving items to categories such as “nice to have” or “not essential”. Perhaps you could reduce priority to power the AC to make sure food stays fresh in the fridge.
Running multiple batteries can get quite expensive. By prioritizing circuits, you can reduce the need for so many of them. Most homes need just enough power when there’s an outage. You don’t always need the pool pump or to have every bathroom powered.
Another perk of Span is it can show you how much power is left in your solar system. The app can estimate your power supply using specialized algorithms. It can even compare what you’re actually getting to the amount of energy that you would expect to have.
Leveling Up the Smart Home
Nearly every aspect of the modern home has been touched by smart trends. Despite the cost, Span affords the advantages of knowing whether an AC or other appliance has used more energy that it should have over a given amount of time. You can then determine whether to call for repairs that might avoid a complete system failure, which might require spending thousands of dollars to replace it.
A smart breaker panel has the intelligence to track usage history and manage load. You therefore don’t have to worry about inadvertently adding a device that uses too much power for the system. It even lets you manage EV charger use. Whether you want to track how much electricity a family member is using or how your home ranks in energy consumption in the neighborhood, the technology lets you do that.
According to Arch Rao, CEO of Span, this system is similar to having a thermostat for your electrical system.
How Can I Invest in a Smart Breaker Panel?
A second generation electrical panel has been developed by Span. Using the same types of breakers homeowners already have, it is smaller and can be used outdoors and indoors. Its smart features can be updated remotely by the company, so this technology promises to quickly evolve.
Contact Express Electrical Services
Our electrical technicians in Los Angeles are equipped and trained to installing circuit breaker panels in area homes. Whether you have an old fuse panel or are looking for a more modern, functional panel, our team can install one that improves function, versatility, and safety. We perform panel repairs, installation, and relocations and can provide a sub-panel or replacement for your main unit to increase electrical capacity. Call 323-727-7799 today to learn more.
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