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You can Charge your EV during a Power Outage!



I wanted to talk about the monitoring system that's available with the Canadian Solar EP Cube that we offer. Now, their platform is a little different than what you would typically see from other providers like Tesla, Enphase, SolarEdge, because their gateway allows for some unique connections for individual monitoring of some of these particular devices. And at first I was a little hesitant at wanting to talk about it, but as I've looked at some of my customer's usage and received feedback from them on their experiences. I think EP Cube is onto something with this particular monitoring platform that they've integrated into their gateway.


Now, if you're not familiar with the EP Cube from Canadian Solar, I strongly recommend you checking out one of our videos that talks about it. We've done some installations, it's an awesome product that's AC and DC coupled. You can learn more on our website and of course you can request a quote from us too. It's a phenomenal product with a great warranty.


So right when you open up the app, you load into the home screen.

It gives you a great overview of what's going on within the household. You have your backup loads, your non-backup loads, and this is what's different than the other manufacturers. The EP Cube app divides up this information, if you don't do whole home backup which the other manufactures don't separate this information. Of course, you get your grid consumption, your solar production but you also have EV Charging monitoring and you have Generator monitoring.


For those of you in Texas or Florida, this is really cool because you can actually see how much power and energy the generator provides to the battery and your home during that prolonged power outage.


If you tap on any of the icons like the grid, solar, or backup loads, you get live power readings in kilowatts. This is a really cool feature as you don't always get live data from some of the battery products on the market. Enphase for example gives you a 15 minute interval, that's ok, you know, but ultimately it is a 15 minute delay.


Live data is really valuable during a power outage so that way you know what is going on with your home. Waiting 15 minutes could be the matter of the system shutting off because you're used too much power or you overloaded it. So being able to see how much power you have available to you, and how much you're consuming at any given moment is pretty handy.


My one gripe would be able to remove icons if you didn't have those capabilities integrated, like the Generator or EV Charger. Of course if you do add these later, then that icon would appear.


The lower section of this Home Screen is where you can modify your battery profile

settings. From here you can turn ON Weather Watch. This is great if you live in an area with multiple PSPS (Public Safety Power Shutoff) events, because it'll be toned into weather alerts, like high winds, or tornadoes and make sure the battery is fully charged during the weather alert period just in case a power outage occurs.


This isn't exclusive to the EP Cube, Tesla and Enphase offers this, to be honest, I feel most high-end batteries offer this feature.


Moving on you'll find your self-consumption mode where you can adjust your state of charge reserve. What this means is if you're using your battery for self use every day, you keep a certain reserve of that battery always available during a power outage, you can move this reserve up or down, it's really up to you. We recommend setting the reserve to a point where the battery discharges to midnight, leaving the reset of the storage capacity available for a power outage in the early mornings. It shouldn't matter if you're using grid power in these early mornings because this is typical super off-peak rates. Also, if you own an electric vehicle you really don't want to charge your car from the battery unless you just have a massive amount of storage, but really, you should be keeping the battery for your home and for emergency power outages.


You have full backup mode which should be self explanatory, it sets the battery to backup mode so it'll only discharge during a grid outage. And then time of use mode, which is ideal if you want to just program the battery to discharge during specific times for self-use or arbitrage, both of which are great for the California Solar Billing Program. This is really important under the new program because the utilities will credit you very generously to discharge the battery to the grid during specific times and seasons.


The last setting is probably the best and it's the EV Charging profile during a grid outage, no one currently offers this integration. What this feature does is that if you have an EV and you want to charge it during a grid outage assuming you had enough solar production you can send the excess power to your EV. Additionally you could use the battery to also charge your EV, and set a point of battery discharge to stop charging your EV so you retain a certain amount of energy for your home. This I think is really awesome for those of you that live in areas with ongoing power outages that might last several days or weeks at a time and you have an electric vehicle.


Going back to the Home Screen you can see the communication status of the EP Cube as well as the operational status. The system has built in wifi, ethernet, and 4G LTE cellular, you can also directly connect to the EP Cube via bluetooth if all of those services are down.


Moving onto the data monitoring, where you can get a good idea of what's going on with your home, the battery, and the solar. Now most major manufacturers of batteries tend give you a 24 hour usage chart data.

You can modify your view of the data by clicking on the icons to enable and disable them in the graph chart. When you rotate your device you can see from 12:00am to 11:59pm. You can jump around from different days to compare historical data from previous days, months, or years.


You can see your battery discharging from midnight and what the state of charge is throughout the day. As solar production ramps up, your home uses the energy and the excess recharges the battery before the process repeats itself and the battery discharges again to power your home in the evening.


Those sharp lines in the afternoons that the battery had no problem providing energy to is likely the air conditioning system, obviously you would know as you would be more conscious of the energy that you're consuming. The EP Cube can really give some granular data to help you get a better understanding of your energy usage and if you can do anything to improve on it by becoming more energy efficient.


So of course if you need to service the system you can make that request right within the app. Which your request goes to the EP Cube support staff and it goes to your certified installer that installed the system. This is great because you get the manufacturer and you get the installer contacted in one try all within the app. Really, really nice.


That's really it for the EP Cube app, the home and data page are going to be your go-to sections for monitoring the EP cube system. There's not a bunch of hidden pages that you need to worry about. The EP cube doesn't have module level monitoring unless it's AC coupled with micro inverter system, but you'd need to use a third party app for the module level monitoring.


If you're opting for a DC coupled system, all you're really focused on is your power production, because you wanna make sure you're generating what you should be. And you can see that in live time to ensure that everything's working as it should be. This is no different than the Tesla Powerwall+, which you don't get module level monitoring with Tesla.


Well that's it for the EP Cube monitoring app, please request a quote today we would love to have you as a customer.


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