Load Controller Quick

Install (mobile friendly)

Load Controller

Spec Sheet

Load Controller

Warranty

Load Controller Full

Installation Guide

Installer Training Videos

Click to Access

Load Controller FAQs

Why does my business need a SolPad Load Control System?

SolPad Load Control Systems improve your bottom line… A large portion of your utility bill isn’t based on how much energy your site uses over the course of the month. The demand portion of your bill is based on how much power you use at one time. This can be controlled with a SolPad load control system.

Have Load Controllers been around for long?

Load Controllers were developed over 40 years ago to address high demand charges for both commercial and residential customers. Currently in the US, practically all commercial customers pay demand charges though very few residential customers do.

Who can benefit from a load controller?

Any commercial site on a demand rate from the utility has the potential to benefit from load control. Restaurants, retail businesses, and convenience stores are all business types that see significant savings. However, gyms, movie theaters, churches and offices can all see savings as well. Benefits of load control depend on usage habits and utility rates for each site.

What is Demand?

Most commercial utility rates include a demand charge as part of their monthly bill. With a demand charge, a customer pays per kW for their highest 15 minutes of demand each month. Here’s an example: Let’s say your site typically draws around 15-20 kW’s of power at any given time throughout the month. However, you also have a single large spike at some point in the month that averages 65 kW’s over a 15-minute period. That single spike in demand would be the basis for your demand charge. If your utility charges $15/kW, you’re facing a demand charge of $975 dollars. That single charge alone will make up a large portion of your monthly bill.

How do utilities charge for demand?

Each utility is different, but demand is usually charged using the highest 15, 30, or 60-minute average in a given month. For commercial customers, SolPad Load Control Systems are proven to reduce the spikes that are the basis for demand charges.

Can you explain On-Peak and Off-Peak?

It costs utilities more to generate and transmit power at different times of the day. For this reason, many utilities charge customers based on when they use electricity rather than an average rate. During On-Peak times the rates charged for each kW of demand and kWh of energy are higher than during Off-Peak times.

What does a SolPad Load Controller do?

The SolPad Load Controller monitors the amount of power you are using and calculates your demand. The system has sophisticated algorithms which control certain major loads at your facility to reduce demand while ensuring a comfortable work environment. The Load Controller acts as an orchestra conductor, making sure the air conditioning, water heaters and other controlled loads run as needed without all running at once. 

What systems and appliances does the Load Controller typically control?

Every system is configured to your needs. Commonly, the load controller manages the air conditioning, water heaters, refrigeration and other large loads, although your system may control other appliances based on your needs. Mission-critical loads are not connected to the Load Controller. There are plenty of savings to be gained without interfering with critical equipment.

Does my facility manager have access to see and change what my Load Controller is doing?

Yes. Our Load Controller is connected to our online application via cellular and/or Wi-Fi to provide you with a view into your system’s status. If you have multiple locations utilizing our system, our Fleet Management Page enables you to manage and monitor all systems from one account. Authorized users can see how the system is operating by accessing the charting page, change or add notifications on the configuration page, or even override loads ON or OFF if necessary.  The system also sends functionality data to SolPad so that we can monitor your system to provide the best service possible.  

Why do I need a Solpad Load Controller?

Solpad Load Controllers are useful in several applications including:

  • Demand Shaving – lower the peak energy used at one time
  • Back-up power management – optimize the use of your batteries
  • Overdraw Management -prevent tripping your main service breaker
Who can benefit from a load controller?

There are three major groups of customers served by the load controller.

  1. Customers with Demand rates (typically commercial) – The LC manages loads so several heavy loads don’t run simultaneously. This reduces the spikes that are the basis for demand charges.
  2. Customers with solar battery systems – The LC prioritized loads so batteries will last through the night until they can be recharged the next day. This feature is called ‘Battery Max’.
  3. Customers who trip their service breaker – The LC can prioritize loads when overall usage is threatening to trip the site’s main breaker.
Have Load Controllers been around for long?

Load Controllers were developed over 40 years ago to address high demand charges for both residential and commercial customers. Currently most residential customers in the US (AZ and KY excluded) do not pay demand charges, though practically all commercial customers do pay demand charges.

What does a Solpad Load Controller do?

The Solpad Load Controller monitors the amount of power you are using and calculates your demand. The system has sophisticated algorithms which control the major appliances and systems in your home to reduce demand while ensuring a comfortable environment and plenty of hot water. The Load Controller acts as an orchestra conductor, making sure the air conditioning, water heater, dryer, dishwasher, pool pump, spa heater, and other loads run as needed but they don’t all run at once.

Do I have access to see and change what my Load Controller is doing?

Yes. Our LC uses smart programming to optimize your energy usage and are connected to our online application via wifi and cellular to provide usage data to the end user and system functionality data to Solpad.

What is Demand?

Most commercial utility rates, and a few residential rates include a demand charge as part of their monthly bill. With a demand charge, a customer pays per kW for their highest 15 minutes of demand each month. Here’s an example: Let’s say your site typically draws around 15-20 kW’s of power at any given time throughout the month. However, you also have a single large spike at some point in the month that averages 65 kW’s over a 15-minute period. That single spike in demand would be the basis for your demand charge. If your utility charges $15/kW, you’re facing a demand charge of $975 dollars. That single charge alone will make up a large portion of your monthly bill.

How do utilities charge for demand?

Each utility is different, but demand is usually charged using the highest 15, 30, or 60 minute average in a given month. Most residential customers in the US are not charge based on demand. For commercial customers, SolPad load controllers are proven to reduce the spikes that are the basis for demand charges.

How does the Battery Max feature work?

For a site with Solar & ESS (energy storage system) the LC can be retrofit or included as part of a new system. When the site is running on battery power as a result of the utility going down, the LC sheds loads as needed to ensure the battery will last until it can recharge the next solar day. The load shedding follows a priority order set by the system owner, with the most important loads being shed last.

How does the Trip Prevention feature work?

For customers living in homes (commonly condominiums) with undersized main service breakers, the LC is wired to control the loads in the main panel. When the overall demand for energy in the home approaches the rating of the main breaker, the LC will shed loads based on a priority set by the homeowner. This way the site only looses power to low priority loads instead of losing power to the entire site.

Can you explain On Peak and Off Peak?

It costs utilities more to generate and transmit power at different times of the day. Some utilities charge customers based on when they use the energy rather than an average rate. Rates that charge different rates per kWh at different parts of the day are commonly called ‘TOU’ or Time-of-Use rates.

What systems and appliances does the Load Controller typically control?

Every system is configured to your needs. Commonly, the load controller manages the air conditioning, clothes dryer, water heater, pool pump, and spa heater although your system may control other appliances and circuits based on your needs.

My clothes dryer turns on and tumbles but does not heat up. Is my dryer broken?

One common load that can be controlled by the LC is your dryer. If the end user set up the dryer heater to be controlled, it may not allow the dryer heater to turn on during peak cost times or when other large loads are running. If the system is programmed this way the dryer will tumble but will not provide heat. This saves the user money.  The system configuration can be modified as needed. 

ABOUT US

SolPad is based in Mountain View, California, and is committed to applying the best possible design to alternative energy generation.

© 2018 SolPad Inc.  |  Terms & Policy  |  Follow SolPad