Green living: one of our customers from Bergamo, Italy, tells us why he introduced a solar PV system for smart self-consumption at his place.

Claudio M., a technology enthusiast very sensitive to ecology and energy saving, owns part of a semi-detached house on three floors in the province of Bergamo.

Wishing to adopt a more eco-sustainable lifestyle using renewable resources, he decided to install a solar PV system (4.0 kW power) in 2014, thus paving the way for an energy-independent house.

4-noks Elios4you Smart

Fully aware that the production of clean energy itself was not enough to reach his goal, he looked for a device capable of providing information on the use (not simply monitoring) of domestic energy.

Finally, he chose 4-noks Elios4you by Astrel Group which, besides displaying data of the solar PV system thanks to the App, also provided a detailed analysis of consumptions. This was essential for him to become more and more aware of his own habits regarding energy.

Thus, Claudio noticed that real domestic consumptions were slightly different from those he expected: at night, his house, apparently wholly turned off, consumed 450 W instead. With a deeper data analysis on the 4-cloud portal (a web service showing detailed info and complete historical data on the PV system), Claudio understood he was not adequately maximising the return on his investment.

Charts clearly showed the majority of the energy produced was released to the grid (see green line), since in central daytime hours such energy was almost never self-consumed. At the same time, switching on household appliances mainly during evening hours needed more energy, which was inevitably purchased from the grid.

Given these information, Claudio decided to widen his monitoring system to maximize the use of homegrown energy. Therefore, he purchased four Smart Plugs RC, smart programmable plugs allowing to activate household appliances (washing machine and dryer, for instance) depending on the energy available from solar PV system, even when he and his wife were not at home. Using one of these, he also programmed the switching on of an air conditioner: this lead to free cooling during hotter hours of the day.

Happy with the result but not completely satisfied, Claudio decided to make another step forward…

“After an initial roll-out period, let’s say, analysing data I read a great unused potential was available, produced by my solar PV panels” states Claudio. “Again, I started my search for other possible uses of solar PV energy. Indeed, I added to the system another device, which is now a great ally for my eco-sustainable house: the Power Reducer.”

The integration of this last device offered new applications for Claudio’s green lifestyle. All summer long he could switch off the water heater completely. A storage tank of 150 lt. with immersion heater connected to Power Reducer was able to provide all the sanitary water needed, heating water constantly (and solely) with solar energy, thus cutting down gas consumption.

Using the the Elios4you Smart onboard relay, Claudio was also able to manage his gas boiler remotely. This function is very useful when he comes back home from his journeys but wishes to find a comfortable temperature at home.

The flexibility offered by 4-noks products and some small changes in the house (such as replcing garden lamps with LED lights) allowed to Claudio’s family to cover up to 60% of yearly energy requirement with solar PV production.

“I’m fully satisfied with the results achieved, because I feel to actively contribute to environmental preservation and to the reduction of gas emissions produced by our house” adds Claudio. “We are currently thinking of widening the system with an energy storage system. In that way, we might use the clean energy which is now fed into the grid (nearly 50% of the total energy produced) even during evening and night hours”.

Claudio’s experience shows there is a growing attention toward the “green dream” aimed at environment preservation and “zero-emissions” lifestyle.

  • Solar PV system: 4.0 kW
  • Inverter: ABB
  • Storage tank: 150 lt (1500 W)
  • Dehumidifier: 170 W
  • 3 electric radiators (1000 W each)