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Excess Solar Management

Excess Solar Management allows automated control of your smart home appliances with your solar generated power.

Updated over a week ago

Excess Solar Management is a standout feature in our smart home energy management platform. It allows your controllable devices to automatically adjust based on real-time solar production and net metering status. This innovative feature is especially popular among customers who want to optimize their energy usage and charge their electric vehicles using the excess solar power generated from their system.


To utilize Excess Solar Management, you need:

  • An Emporia Energy Monitor: Vue 3, Vue 2, or Vue 1. Note that only the 200A CTs on mains are required; 50A CTs or direct solar monitoring are not necessary.

  • At least one Controllable Device:

Accurate Monitoring

Ensuring accurate measurements from your Vue energy monitor is imperative to ensure this functionality works correctly. Ideally, you should be able to see "green" exported power via your system Main circuit from within the app. Once you're seeing Net Production being displayed, this feature should be capable of working for your controllable devices. If you encounter any issues with your energy monitor installation, accuracy, measurements, or performance of the device, please contact our Customer Support team for personalized assistance.

Accessing Excess Solar Management

  1. Open the Emporia Energy App (web or mobile).

  2. Tap the Management icon located at the bottom of the app.

  3. Select Excess Solar Management, the third option from the top.

Configuring Excess Solar Management

Once you have navigated to the Excess Solar Management settings page, you need to complete the setup by selecting the appropriate energy monitor and configuring your controllable devices.

Choosing the Energy Monitor

The first step is to select the energy monitor that will track your energy usage and detect when sufficient "excess solar" is available. This ensures that the system accurately monitors your net production state and manages your connected devices accordingly.

  1. If you have more than one Vue energy monitor - select which one will be controlling the Excess Solar Management feature. Note, when selected and setup, your monitor should show enabled on the right hand side of this list when visiting the settings.

Configuring Connected Smart Devices

Next, you will configure the controllable devices that you want to manage with this feature:

  1. Generation Monitoring: At the top of the screen, you'll see the daily amount of generation captured by your selected energy monitor.

  2. Enable Automation: Ensure that the toggle next to each device is enabled (showing green) to allow automation.

  3. Adjust Priority Order: Adjust the priority order of these devices by tapping and holding the 4-bars icon to the left of each device name and icon. This determines the sequence in which devices are managed based on excess solar availability.

Connected Device Priority

Ordering your connected devices by priority is crucial to ensure efficient energy management and prevent unwanted behavior. Here are the key rules for how the Excess Solar Management feature considers priority:

  1. Activation Order: Devices higher in the list will be turned on or adjusted higher before devices further down the list. Conversely, they will be turned off or adjusted lower after devices further down the list.

  2. Capacity Matching: If there isn’t enough excess solar capacity to meet the demand of a higher priority device (e.g., producing 1kW of net for a device requiring 2kW), the system will move down to the next device in the priority list to see if it can be turned on or adjusted higher.

Feature Functionality

The energy monitor continuously tracks your real-time power status for the electrical system. Whenever the monitor detects that you are in a net production state—producing more solar energy than you are consuming locally (with the excess typically being fed back to the grid)—the system can start turning on and adjusting the behavior of your connected smart devices. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how this process works:

  1. Real-Time Monitoring: The energy monitor tracks your system's power status continuously.

  2. Detection of Net Production: When the monitor detects net production (more solar energy produced than consumed), the system is ready to manage connected devices.

  3. Device Activation and Adjustment: The amount of excess solar power detected affects which devices are turned on or adjusted. The system will only activate or adjust a device if its usage fits within the available excess power.

  4. Historical Data Usage: To determine if a device's usage fits into the available excess power, the system uses previous historical measurement data to estimate the device's consumption. For devices with adjustable consumption rates, such as EV Chargers, the system starts with the lowest consumption setting and raises it if possible.

  5. Adjustment to Net Usage: If you return to a net usage state (consuming more power than produced) or if there is insufficient excess solar power, the system will turn off or reduce connected devices usage until you are as close to net production as possible.

Additional Functionality Details

  • Minute-by-Minute Adjustments: Every minute, the cloud system checks the average power measured on the monitor’s mains and adjusts the connected devices to match the target consumption. For Excess Solar Management, the target is zero net production, aiming to use all excess solar power without exporting it to the grid.

  • Noise Window: To avoid frequent adjustments, there is a noise window of +/- 100 watts.

  • Load Size Consideration: The system processes loads in the specified priority order but also considers the size of the load. For example, it won’t turn on an EV charger that consumes a minimum of 1,200 watts if only 400 watts of excess generation is available.

  • Load Estimation: The system estimates power loads for connected devices. For EV Chargers, this estimation is accurate since the amount of charging available is dynamically controlled. For devices with variable loads, like a refrigerator, it looks at minute data over the most recent hour or past day, using the highest recorded power to be conservative. If it has to guess the load, it assumes 200 watts.

Example Scenario

Imagine you have configured an EV Charger and a Smart Plug in your Excess Solar Management settings:

  1. Net Production: Your system is producing 3.5 kW of power, while your total electrical consumption is 1.5 kW, resulting in 2 kW of excess production. Your Smart Plug has historical usage of 500W.

  2. Device Activation: The system first checks the highest priority device. If it’s the EV Charger, it will turn it on and set it to consume up to 2 kW (~8A charge rate @ 240V). Since the EV Charger has the ability to consume up to 11.5kW (48A), its possible that this will prevent further controllable devices from turning on unless you begin net producing > 11.5kW.

  3. Dynamic Adjustments: If excess solar production fluctuates, the system will dynamically adjust the power consumption of these devices to optimize usage and maintain net production close to zero. A cloud arrives over your residence and Net Production suddenly drops to 200W rather than the 2kW seen previously. Within a minute or two the EV Charger will be turned off since its load is unable to fit in the available excess production amount. The cloud cover lessens a bit over the next few mins and allows for 800W of Net Production. Since the EV Charger is still unable to charge at this rate (minimum of 6A), Excess Solar Management will move onto the next controllable device being the Smart Plug. This device will be turned on given previous usage of 500W fits within the available excess production amount.

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Troubleshooting and Support

Setting up the Excess Solar Management feature involves several components, including the proper installation and configuration of both your energy monitor and controllable devices (like EV Chargers, Smart Plugs and more), as well as ensuring the correct app settings. While most customers experience smooth and successful setup, we understand that it can require some tinkering to get everything working perfectly.

Rest assured, our support team is here to assist you with any aspect of this process. Whether you have questions about installing the hardware, setting up the app and its settings, or reviewing measurements and device behavior to ensure optimal performance, we are dedicated to providing the help you need.

Our support team is praised for their responsiveness and expertise, making sure you can take full advantage of this unique and powerful feature. If you encounter any issues or have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are committed to ensuring your experience with Excess Solar Management is seamless and beneficial.

Feedback and Suggestions

Our knowledge base is continually evolving to ensure we provide the most accurate and comprehensive information possible. We strive to help you manage your energy efficiently and effectively. If you find this article unhelpful or have suggestions for improvement, please let us know. Our Customer Support team is dedicated to responding promptly and making necessary updates to enhance our guides. Your feedback is invaluable in helping us maintain a high standard of support and information.

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