How Solshare Technology by Allume Energy Works

Solshare technology enables multi-tenant buildings to share solar power efficiently, reducing costs and enhancing sustainability.

Introduction

Allume Energy’s SolShare is designed to enable the sharing of solar power within multi-tenanted properties. It works by connecting to a single solar panel system and then distributing the generated solar energy to multiple units within the property.

The SolShare system allocates solar power to individual units based on their energy usage and demand patterns, optimising efficiency and maximising the benefits of solar energy for each resident.

Allume Energy - Solshare

Overview of Solshare System

Introduction to Solshare

Solshare is a new solar sharing platform. Allume Energy developed it to maximise solar use in multi-occupancy buildings. Traditional solar systems serve one household or building. In contrast, Solshare allows multiple units in a building to share a single solar PV system. It optimises energy distribution and benefits tenants.

Key Features and Components

Solshare technology boasts several key features and components:

  • Dynamic Energy Allocation: Solshare distributes solar energy to connected units based on their consumption patterns.
  • Scalability: The system can be scaled to accommodate different building sizes and it’s energy needs.
  • Real-Time Monitoring: Users can track their solar energy usage and savings in real-time.
  • Easy Integration: Solshare integrates seamlessly with new or existing solar PV systems.

How Solshare Works

Allume how SolShare works

Step-by-Step Explanation

  1. Solar Energy Generation: PV Plus install solar panels on the building’s roof to capture sunlight. The solar panels then converts the sunlight into electrical energy.
  2. Energy Allocation: The generated solar power is fed into the Solshare system. This allocates the energy to different units based on real-time demand.
  3. Consumption: Residents consume the allocated solar energy. This reduces their reliance on grid electricity and lowers their utility bills.
  4. Monitoring: The system continuously monitors energy production and consumption. It provides insights and optimises its performance.

Real-World Examples

In a typical apartment building with Solshare, residents can enjoy solar energy. They don’t need individual solar installations. PV Plus recently installed a SolShare on a residential complex in Eastbourne. Each apartment has a 1kw share of the single solar pv installation on the roof. The residents will benefit from a reduction in overall energy costs. Promoting sustainable living among tenants.

Technical Specifications

Solshare Technical Overview

The Solshare system comprises several technical components:

  • Solar Panels: Photovoltaic (PV) panels that generate DC electricity from sunlight.
  • Inverter: Converts DC electricity from the solar panels into AC electricity suitable for household use.
  • Solshare Unit: The core of the system, which allocates solar energy to different units based on consumption data.
  • Monitoring System: A digital interface that provides real-time data on energy generation and usage.

SolShare is engineered to provide a robust and reliable solution for solar energy sharing. Here are some of its key technical specifications:

  • Compatibility: It works with both new and existing rooftop solar systems, making it versatile and easy to integrate.
  • Capacity: Supports up to 15 units per SolShare device. SolShare has the ability to link multiple devices for larger buildings. 15 single-phase or 5 three-phase units per device.
  • Dynamic Allocation: uses advanced algorithms. It distributes solar energy based on real-time usage patterns.
  • Monitoring: It includes an online portal. Residents use it to track energy use, solar generation, and savings.
  • Efficiency: High-efficiency power electronics ensure minimal energy loss during distribution.
  • Safety and Compliance: SolShare is fully compliant for installation across the UK and holds the UKCA mark. By holding the UKCA mark, SolShare adheres to all relevant electrical regulations and British Standards.
  • Scalability: Easily scalable to accommodate future expansions in solar capacity or additional units.

SolShare Compliance and Accreditations

MCS acceptance for certification

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) confirms that solar PV systems using SolShare can be installed according to relevant MCS standards.

Each flat receives an individual MCS certificate based on its associated kWp following commissioning.

Note: As the SolShare is not a power generating module (PV panel) the MCS have confirmed that it cannot and does not need to be MCS product certified.

DNO SolShare Acceptance

All UK Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) and the Energy Networks Association (ENA) have reviewed and accepted SolShare for installation across all UK networks.

Note: As SolShare is not a power generating device (PV inverter) it cannot and does not need to be ‘type test’ certified. As such, SolShare is not required to be a type test certified product.

SolShare SAP Assessments

SolShare is applicable for SAP 10.2 PV credits.

Under SAP 10.2 it falls under M1.2.a:

If the PV output goes to particular individual dwellings, the electricity generated is credited to the dwellings concerned. This applies to calculation of CO2 emissions, primary energy and fuel costs.

When a SolShare system is installed, the precise kWp associated to each flat is set during the commissioning process. PV Plus will use this value to apply for each flat’s individual MCS Certificate. This individual kWp value is used for the flat’s SAP assessment.

SolShare SHDF Wave 1 & 2 applicable

SolShare has been included in numerous successful SHDF Wave 1 & 2 bids.

Even though SHDF Wave 1 & 2 are a fabric first approach, SolShare solar systems are able to be included in bids as long as it was part of the 50% contributed element of the bid. This has been confirmed following meetings with the SHDF team at BEIS.

Ofgem acceptance for ECO4

SolShare underwent a rigorous review by Ofgem and is classified as an ‘innovation measure of substantial uplift’ for the ECO4 funding initiative. This classification ranks SolShare as a ‘technology that is a significant improvement on the closest alternative’.

This classification unlocks a 45% funding uplift on ECO4 projects.

Benefits of Solshare Technology

Allume Solshare system

Efficiency and Performance Metrics

Solshare technology enhances the efficiency of solar energy utilisation by:

  • Maximizing Solar Usage: Ensuring that generated solar energy is effectively distributed and consumed.
  • Reducing Wastage: Minimizing energy losses by dynamically adjusting energy allocation.SolShare monitors the energy demand of each connected flat and directs the AC generation to flats at times their energy demand will result in more consumption of solar. It can shift the power around at a frequency of 2Hz. Being able to shift the AC generation 2Hz results in peak demands being met and a typical increase in self-consumption of 15-20% compared to if each flat had their own system.

Comparison with Other Systems

Compared to traditional solar systems, Solshare offers:

  • Better Scalability: Ideal for multi-occupancy buildings.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Shared installation and maintenance costs.
  • Enhanced Accessibility: Making solar energy feasible for apartment residents.

Technical Challenges and Solutions

One of the main challenges faced by the Solshare system is ensuring optimal energy distribution in real-time. Allume Energy has addressed this by developing sophisticated algorithms that analyse consumption patterns. It then dynamically adjusts energy allocation, ensuring efficient usage and minimising wastage.

Expert Insights

Allume Energy’s SolShare Wins Prestigious EIC Award

Allume Energy received the ‘Best Innovation – Electricity’ award for its SolShare technology at the 2022 Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) awards. The judges commended SolShare for its significant environmental benefits, enabling apartments to connect to rooftop solar panels, and for its social impact, particularly in providing access to solar energy for residents of social housing.

Allume Energy’s SolShare team being presented the prestigious EIC award

Insights from Allume’s General Manager

Jack Taylor, Allume’s General Manager of Europe, accepted the award in Liverpool. Reflecting on the future, Jack shared:

“Connecting flats to solar is a global problem that Allume has proudly solved. Our plan is to ensure that as many apartment residents as possible can enjoy the benefits of solar energy quickly. We are particularly focused on social housing buildings. Often, social housing residents miss out on new technologies that can save them money. What’s crucial about SolShare is its affordability for housing providers, enabling them to install systems on their buildings, achieve their sustainability goals, and importantly, assist those in society who need it most.”

The Significance of the Award for Allume

The EIC, managed by the UK’s largest electricity distribution network operators (DNOs), considers the ‘Best Innovation – Electricity’ award as one of its most prestigious technical accolades. This recognition further establishes Allume as the leading solution for apartment solar systems in the UK.

The DNOs involved with the EIC include UK Power Networks, SP Energy Networks, Northern Powergrid, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, and National Grid.

Conclusion

In summary, Allume Energy’s Solshare technology is groundbreaking in the solar energy landscape. It offers scalable, efficient, and accessible solar power distribution for multi-occupancy buildings. By understanding its function, specs, and benefits, we can appreciate how Solshare is set to transform green living. We are moving towards a greener future. Technologies like Solshare will play a key role. They will make renewable energy more inclusive and widespread.

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