4 MIN. READ
Many homeowners are investing in electrification or switching to driving an electric vehicle (EV) to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint. But many homeowners miss the opportunity to get the benefits of upgrading their home’s power system with an electrical panel that has smart features.
This article will explain smart electrical panels and their benefits over traditional electrical panels.
Traditional electrical panels
The design of traditional electrical panels has not changed since around the early 1960s. They connect to the utility power source and distribute power to outlets in your home via branch circuits inside the panel. The number of branch circuits varies depending on the capacity of the panel.
In turn, the capacity of main panels varies, with common sizes of 100 and 200 amps. Newer homes with a large number of appliances may have larger panels.
For safety, each branch circuit connects to a breaker. That device disconnects the circuit in the event of an overload. In some cases, it does so in the event of a ground fault in the circuit. The panel is connected to the utility meter that measures the total flow of power through the panel over time (kilowatt-hours).
Importantly, traditional panels themselves have no usage measurement capability, nor do they have the ability to turn on and off the load on circuits, except for the circuit breakers in an overload. They are passive or “dumb.”
Unlike a traditional panel, a smart panel is intelligent and active. It performs all the functions of traditional panels, but it also uses sensors to measure and record the electrical loads on each circuit. In addition, it can turn on and off those loads. It also offers connectivity with other devices, including:
What’s more, it can provide access and control through smartphone apps, creating a seamless network of devices.
The more advanced and complex your home is in electrification, the more essential smart panels are:
For example, if your utility rates are higher in the day, you can program the panel to run a specific part of your load off the battery storage during the day. This panel will constantly monitor and adjust the loads to match your battery capacity.
So, if you are planning on taking significant electrification steps, be sure to include a smart electrical panel to get the maximum return from your substantial investment.
Benefits to upgrading your home
First of all, upgrading is relatively easy to do. Instead of installing an expanded traditional panel, replace it with a smart one to be positioned for the future.
A word of advice: unless you are experienced in high-voltage electrical work and smart panel, hire an experienced, licensed electrical contractor. Working with high-voltage systems can be hazardous, and shoddy workmanship can be expensive and dangerous.
Other benefits of upgrading include:
For homeowners, smart electrical panels are an electrification solution that can help you get more out of investments like a solar array, a battery backup or an EV.
How Qmerit can help
Qmerit is a leader in electrification across North America. We focus on making it easy for homeowners to switch from fossil fuels to more sustainable, electricity-powered technologies.
Explore all the ways Qmerit is simplifying home electrification with the highest quality and safest installation services at competitive prices. Contact us today for more information.