Load Controller Quick

Install (mobile friendly)

Customer Portal

Guide

Load Controller

Spec Sheet

Load Controller

Warranty

Load Controller Full

Installation Guide

Installer Training Videos

Click to Access

Load Controller FAQs

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. 

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