The Solar Load Controller

Automate power management and demand reduction using The Solar Load Controller

Industrial and Business power consumers have increased their use of solar energy to control costs through demand shedding.  This method is useful, but its potential is often not fully realized because demand reduction can be compromised locally (e.g. by transient clouds) when the sun is not shining.

The Solar Load Controller (SLC) reduces load when needed by acting on the end use settings of grid connected photovoltaic energy systems and  appliances through the modification of operating thresholds and operating schedules to maximize the coincidence between localized or regional peak load requirements (demand) and the output of solar (production) or other renewable power plants.  The effective result is that the end user realizes the maximum potential benefit by adapting their power use to the availability of solar power generation while avoiding costly peak demand tariffs on the grid.

Potential Applications

  • Intelligent PV thermostat - receives logic driven signals to adjust user set temperature upward or downward depending on the SLC logics decision.
  • Software for monitoring and control of grid connected advanced rechargeable energy storage systems using solar PV.

Competitive Advantages

  • This cost recovery is continuous for the life of the installed PV system panels (typically 20–30 years).
  • The SLC may add up to $500 of value per installed kW of PV capacity, in effect a 10% reduction in the cost of a commercially sited PV power plant.

Stage of Development

This invention has been extensively developed by Dr. Richard Perez in the  Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the University at Albany, SUNY. The SLC is the subject of three issued US patents:

  • US 6,037,758
  • US 6,542,791
  • US 6,889,122  
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