Excess Solar Management is a feature provided by the Emporia ecosystem to allow controllable devices to be managed automatically based on the real-time solar production/net metering status for your electrical system. It requires both an energy monitor as well as at least one controllable device.
Thermostats (temperature up/down)
The energy monitor will have to ensure its monitoring your net metering accurately. Almost never an issue with the Utility Connect since its gathering its measurement data directly from the utility provider. If your Gen 2 (or Gen 1) is having issues tracking the mains/net metering, might want to checkout our troubleshooting article located here or can reach out to our Customer Support team for more direct diagnostic help for your situation.
How to get to Excess Solar Management functionality:
1.) Tap the "Management" icon at the bottom of the app then Excess Solar Management as the third option from the top.
Connected Smart Devices:
On the Excess Solar Management settings page will be the list of "Connected Smart Devices" that can have their control functions automated through this feature. You'll want to ensure that any device that needs to be controlled this way has the toggle "enabled" (showing green) on the right hand side of the device name on the settings page. You can also tap/hold and drag on the 4 bars icon to the left of the device name on this screen to adjust the sort order. This sort order of the devices is important as it is the priority of how the devices will be controlled - with the top device having the highest priority of being on/available with the bottom listed device having the lowest priority. That means that the top device will be turned on first when possible and the last to be turned off.
The energy monitor will be continuously tracking your real-time power status for the electrical system. Whenever the monitor detects that you're in a net production state, or rather you're producing more solar than consuming locally in the system (and usually "backfed" back to the grid) - then we can start turning on and adjusting the appliance behavior of any "Connected Smart Devices". The amount of excess solar detected will have an affect on which connected devices are turned/on adjusted. We will only turn on (or adjust behavior) if that usage can "fit" into the available excess power as detected by the energy monitor. To determine whether a devices' usage will "fit" into that available excess, we will use previous historical measurement data to figure out what a good estimate of the usage will be and whether or not there is enough excess available. For devices that have adjustable consumption rates (like an EV Charger where charge rate can be turned up/down) we'll try the lowest consumption setting to see if that will fit into the available excess (and raise if possible). Once you're back to a Net Usage state (where you're consuming more power than is being produced) or if you're not producing enough excess, then devices will be turned off and/or reduced until you're as close to Net Production as possible.
An example might be this:
Imagine our total electrical system consumption is ~1.5kW but we're producing ~3.5kW of power, thus allowing for 2kW of excess production available to control (or 2kW of Net Production as shown in the app, in green). If the first "Connected Smart Device" in the list is an EV Charger - we'll turn the EV Charger on and up to ~2kW of consumption (~8A charge rate). If it was a Smart Plug as the first item in the list, if its historical data is < 2kW, then it'd be turned on. If historical data for a device is not available, we'll assume 400W of usage as a baseline. If the Smart Plug historically consumed more than 2kW of power, then we'll skip that device (so it will be left off) and move onto the second "Connected Smart Device" in the list.
If you're having trouble getting the Excess Solar Management feature to work or have any questions about it at all, feel free to reach out to the Customer Support team for additional help.
Feedback and Suggestions
This knowledge base is pretty new for the Emporia team. Our goal is to provide all of the information we can to help you manage your energy in better ways. If this article wasn't helpful, or we could be more clarifying on any points please reach out to the Customer Support team and we'll certainly work to improve these guides.