When the owners of a small family farm in rural Northern California decided that solar power alone was not enough to meet their goals of optimizing energy savings, ensuring relief during power outages, and mitigating the threat of ﬁre devastation during the region’s hot, dry summers, they turned to FranklinWH to augment their existing solar system. They were looking for energy independence, cost savings, and peace of mind.
The family’s ﬁve-acre farm is a lifestyle oasis for the two adults, three young children, the family dog, and a collection of chickens, guinea hens, donkeys, horses, and other animals that occupy the property. Farming is a family affair. While the father works a full-time job in nuclear medicine, the wife teaches horseback riding and the children pitch in to tend to the chores, learning to be responsible and independent by helping to tend to the farm animals.
Typical to the region, the threat of power outages, heat-induced ﬁres, and high winds is increasingly present in the summer. At any given time the family could lose power and, even with a backup generator, quickly be at the mercy of triple-digit summer temperatures. With only a volunteer ﬁre department to rely on, local homeowners must be constantly vigilant and ready to respond to their own needs, a reality that created tremendous anxiety when the father was away at work. Without power, the well water pumps don’t work. Without water, a ﬁre would threaten property and, much worse, lives.
Electricity powers the entire home – air conditioning, a well water pump, kitchen appliances, a hot water heater, a swimming pool pump, and a jacuzzi. It also powers the family’s EV and backup generators. At one time, an electric-powered pump was part of the medical treatment for a daughter who was battling stage 4 cancer and who is now, thankfully, cancer free.
The FranklinWH team designed a solution to integrate with the homeowner’s existing Leviton 10 kWh solar system. Designed to meet the energy management and battery backup needs of the entire home, the Franklin Home Power (FHP) solution is comprised of two core integrated components: the aGate, an industry-leading, intelligent panel that can control energy from the grid, solar, battery or generator, and the aPower, a super-robust, high-capacity AC-coupled battery. To meet the demands of the farm, the team installed two 13.6 kWh aPower batteries totaling 27.2 kWh of storage capacity. When a grid outage occurs, the FHP switches to backup battery power in less than 16ms, protecting electrical devices from damage and providing continuous power to the home.
A unique differentiator of the FHP is its Smart Circuits, allowing homeowners to optimize energy consumption by controlling and monitoring the consumption of three circuits on-demand, based on their priorities and needs – all from the convenience of the FranklinWH app. In this instance, the homeowner selected air conditioning, the well water pump, and the generator. Homeowners can turn on, off, or rebalance load usage in real-time – for example, starting the AC for a while during an outage and then temporarily switching over to the generator to keep it refrigerated. If the battery state of charge drops to a predetermined percentage, the aGate will allocate power only to the dedicated circuits they identiﬁed.
Not only does the homeowner use the FranklinWH system to manage their own energy needs, but they also use it to help their neighbors too by managing their own usage to support the grid during high-demand periods.
It took less than a day for a FranklinWH certiﬁed partner to install and commission the system. The FHP is AC coupled meaning unlike DC coupled batteries, it integrates seamlessly with the homeowner's existing smart panel, solar system, and generator. Customer service has been top-notch during and after the installation.
The homeowner turned to FranklinWH to:
- Gain the visibility and ﬂexibility to optimize whole-home load efficiency
- Augment their existing solar system to maximize energy savings
- Gain peace of mind knowing that the family is not at risk from power outages or ﬁres during triple-digit heat waves
FranklinWH optimizes energy usage for the entire home, managing the family’s own needs while also supporting the grid to beneﬁt their neighbors when electricity demand is high. They are enjoying energy independence, cost savings, and the peace of mind from knowing that when the husband is away at work there is no need to worry about his family. He knows that they’ll have power, air conditioning, and well water to mitigate the threat of ﬁre.
“I love the ﬂexibility of the Smart Circuit interface in the FranklinWH app. You can see what's going on with the solar, the battery, and the grid, and can manage your own usage to help support the grid, which beneﬁts my neighbors too. I can control loads individually and see how much solar or battery backup we’re using and extend the battery life by turning off individual power loads to reserve power for more critical loads. Knowledge is power, they say.” - Steve Strickland, Homeowner
Advantages to the installer were clear:
No field assembly
The aPower battery is ready out of the box, simply open it and hang it. The typical installation time is 30 minutes.
No complex wiring or compatibility issues
FranklinWH’s AC architecture eliminates the need for complex DC wiring and made it easy to accommodate the homeowner’s request to position the battery away from the main panel.
The aGate smart control is 90% plug-and-play with no special programming. The installer simply connected the dedicated circuits.
To learn more about FranklinWH, Franklin Home Power, and its innovative aPower and aGate components, connect with us at here.