An electrical panel distributes electricity from the main grid to the individual outlets and appliances. However, the bigger loads may not be enough for the traditional panel to regulate the flow of electricity. A new alternative comes in the form of smart electrical panels – which are developed to have better safety features.
An estimated 46,700 home fires happen due to electrical failure or malfunction. One of the common culprits: the overloading of electrical circuits. While common electrical panels are sturdy enough, they won’t necessarily last for a lifetime. After a few decades, you will still need to replace your electrical panel. If it’s due for a replacement, the next better alternative would be getting a smart panel. But what makes smart electrical panels a much better replacement for the outdated, traditional panel? Let’s find out more.
What Makes Smart Panels Different?
Smart electrical panels have a more efficient way of distributing electricity. You can even monitor the current load. This is not possible via a common panel. What happens in a panel is that it has a main circuit breaker with smaller breakers. When a device consumes too much electricity, it overloads the circuits, which will then cut off power entirely.
This can be avoided when you have smart panels. A smart electrical panel can choose which circuit to energize. If any outlet or appliance in your house has more power demand, you can then choose to relay the bulk of the electricity there. It prevents the circuit from overloading and thereby preventing the loss of power.
Common panels are also very restrictive. When it detects a high electricity consumption, it will overload the circuit. A smart panel, on the other hand, has an interesting and useful feature. With a smart panel, it can select which circuits to energize. And, if there’s a surge in demand, the smart panel can easily switch to any renewable or alternative energy sources. The smart panel complements well with renewable power sources like solar panels if you have them installed.
Most electrical panels are due for a replacement after about 25-40 years of use. After which, you will need to replace them to avoid any issues with your electrical fixtures. It’s better to have a smart panel if you’re considering replacing them. By upgrading to a smart electrical panel, you have a better way of managing the power distribution.
How Does a Smart Electrical Panel Work?
A smart electrical panel is a more intelligent device when it comes to managing the electricity going to each appliance. This energy management system is more efficient as you can determine which appliances or fixtures have high demand and which ones can be turned off in the meantime.
The smart panel can also be connected via Ethernet or wirelessly – this feature allows you to have real-time data on the power consumption of your devices. How is this important? You will have crucial information regarding electric consumption, which allows you to decide which outlet or appliance will be prioritized.
Gaining real-time data is important for the circuit to avoid overloading. You can even make the smart panel intelligently control the power load – giving priority to those with higher demand. If any devices or appliances do not consume that much electricity, you can opt to reduce the power to them or turn off any flow of electricity.
Despite being a new technology in its infancy, more homes and buildings are now considering the use of smart electrical panels. You don’t need to upgrade your entire electrical system in place. Especially if the electrical fixtures are outdated, it can be tough to manage overloading. What you will only need is to replace the old panel with a smart panel for easy energy management.
Benefits of Getting a Smart Panel
1. Manage Electricity Load
You will have better control of the load in your circuit breaker when you use a smart panel. This means the flexibility to divert power loads and avoid frequent overloading. Most houses nowadays have various appliances. You have refrigerators, HVAC units, and other power-intensive devices.
It will be harder to upgrade your entire electrical system just to accommodate the varying demands of each appliance or device. A smart panel actively manages and balances the load – even without active intervention from your end.
2. Real-Time Energy Consumption Data
Monitoring energy consumption is crucial as you will now have up-to-date information regarding the current load and power status of your devices. You can then make decisions on how to optimize your electric consumption.
Smart panels can be connected via Ethernet or a wireless connection. This means you can even monitor the power consumption via a mobile app. It’s a convenient way to ensure that your electric consumption won’t overload.
3. Control Which Circuits Energize
Another outstanding benefit of smart panels is the ability to control which circuits you want to energize. It’s one way to ensure that your circuit breakers won’t easily get overloaded due to a surge in power consumption.
This circuit-level monitoring and control is an efficient way to prevent overloading of your circuit. The constant monitoring of which devices have higher demand keeps the circuits at a safe power level, even switching to other alternative power sources if you have one.
4. For Energy Storage Purposes
If you have a solar panel, you can use the smart panel to make energy storage more efficient. You can easily switch from the main grid to your alternative power source in times of overloading.
What this means is if the smart panel detects a high power consumption, it can automatically revert the power supply to renewables or alternative power sources. It will be easier to use your solar panel as an additional source of electricity when you use a smart electrical panel.
5. Save on Electric Bills
The ability to monitor energy consumption and adjust which circuits to power up enables you to have a more efficient electricity consumption. Depending on which appliances you have, you can decide which devices need to have enough power at any given time.
Also, the smart panel can divert the power demand to your renewable energy sources. If there’s an appliance that consumes more electricity, it will get its supply from a renewable power source. Thus, reducing the total amount of electricity that you consume from the main grid.
How To Install Smart Panels
Smart panel installation will require a knowledgeable contractor who is already familiar with the technology. This way, they can guide you on how to properly use the smart panel and optimize its use.
Choose an electrician or a contractor with the complete equipment and, ideally, already exposed to the technology of smart panels. While it’s a relatively new technology, more homes and buildings are now slowly adapting to the use of smart panels.
Alternatively, you can have an assessment first regarding the energy demands of your property. This way, the electrician will know how to modify the smart panel depending on the electricity your fixtures and appliances will consume.
Power Partner MN has capable electricians and contractors who are updated when it comes to the latest in their craft. Finding ways to improve the current electrical fixtures of the customers is one of the priorities of Power Partner MN contractors. We always seek new technologies and look for ways customers can have efficient and safe electrical installations.