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Eaton piloting smart breakers as part of its Home as a Grid vision

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 16th November

By Chris Crowell November 15, 2021 View Profile

As the energy transition accelerates, the residential sector is investing in smart energy management technology to help homeowners manage their power usage, lower their energy costs and lessen their impact on the environment. Power management company Eaton is exploring how these innovative technologies can benefit homeowners by piloting the installation of smart breakers in the homes of 100 volunteers. The pilot program marks a significant step as Eaton furthers its vision for the Home as a Grid, an approach to energy management that will ultimately enable homeowners to leverage renewables and storage and potentially supply power back to the grid.

“When we gather energy data and find patterns in how homeowners use energy, we can identify opportunities to reduce energy usage, balance EV charging and other loads in the home, and support integration of solar and storage when a homeowner is ready to upgrade,” said Jennifer Ploskina, Eaton connected solutions segment manager for North America. “The data collected from this pilot and others help us to further develop data models and algorithms to incorporate into future solutions. The goal is to work with EV, solar, and storage OEMs, utilities and ecosystem partners to build system solutions that benefit homeowners, support grid stabilization, and lead to further decarbonization in homes and buildings.”

Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader with expertise in power distribution and circuit protection; power quality, backup power and energy storage; control and automation; life safety and security; structural solutions; solutions for harsh and hazardous environments; and engineering services. Eaton is positioned through its global solutions to answer customers’ most critical electrical power management challenges.

Eaton installed smart breakers, part of the company’s smart energy portfolio powered by Brightlayer, in the homes of volunteers to collect power usage data from their electric appliances, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units, refrigerators and home EV chargers. Pilot participants can view a personalized summary of their power usage on a dashboard, gaining insight into which appliances use the most power, times of peak power usage and estimates on the remaining useful life (RUL) of appliances. One homeowner in the pilot discovered that his electric vehicle consumed up to 40% of his total energy usage in a week.

Eaton’s Brightlayer digital platform includes data science and machine learning algorithms that enable Eaton experts to leverage pilot data to improve residential power management models, enhancing predictive diagnostic capabilities for homeowners.

“Data collected from this pilot gives us valuable insights into the evolving energy needs of residential customers, accelerating digital innovation,” said Matt Yanosko, Eaton program manager for Intelligent Power Solutions.

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Tags: Eaton, grid services, load management, smart homes