To make the most effective use of solar, it’s critical to know when and how a customer is using power–and see if there’s a match between load and solar availability.
While this seems like a simple idea, using a load modeling tool can help potential solar customers uncover details about their usage they hadn’t considered before and find ways to cut costs, says Chris Lord, co-instructor, along with Keith Cronin, of HeatSpring’s Solar Executive MBA Training course. The course is newly updated to include a load modeling tool, a more engaging presentation and new content.
“People don’t understand load enough, which makes it challenging to size projects,” Lord says.
For example, one of Lord’s recent clients–a golf course–used the load modeling tool to uncover important information that allowed the golf course to identify and avoid high demand charges.
The golf course attached the load modeling tool, an eGauge, to its meter, and identified power demand in 15 minute intervals.
Tool Quickly Informs About Potential Solar Use
“With the eGauge, you can quickly see how well solar will work,” Lord says.
“In the golf course case, the solar didn’t line up, a lot of the consumption of power occurred at night when there was no sunshine; they were charging golf carts and running irrigation pumps.”
The golf course’s managers were proud of the work they had done to keep costs down, but had not looked at changing when they were charging golf carts and running irrigation pumps.
Shifting Use With a Battery
Lord suggested that the golf course acquire a small solar system along with a battery so the solar could be stored during the day for use at night.
He also recommended that the management consider irrigating and charging golf carts at night when rates are lower, but to avoid turning on these loads all at once.
“They were turning on everything at once, creating a huge demand charge spike that sat on their bill for a year.” That’s because the utility takes the highest 15-minute demand period and charges for that peak in demand every month.
Saving Money By Flattening Demand Spikes
By using the battery and controls to shift demand, the expectation is to flatten the peak.
“We suggested putting in baseload solar, adding a battery and also adding software to manage the load and solar,” he says. Managing the load meant ensuring that the irrigation and cart charging were spread out during the night.
In addition to adding the load modeling tool to the course, Lord and Cronin have updated the course with a new presentation format that’s more engaging.
A Person Behind the Presentation
“I can now record my screen with Powerpoint and also can record with my computer camera while I talk. I can put them together so you can see me now presenting. There’s a person behind the presentation, so it’s more dynamic.”
The new features and content ensure that the Solar Executive MBA Training course is as technical, rigorous and challenging as ever for students. In fact, the new modeling tools and legal documents that the course provides are worth $25,000, says Lord.
“I’m really excited about the updated course,” he says.
Solar Executive MBA Training Updated and Beginning Soon
Come join Chris and Keith in a new and fully updated version of their Solar Executive MBA Training course which begins next week!