Harnessing the Power of the Sun: Smart Notifications for Energy-Saving Home Automation

· 3 min read
Harnessing the Power of the Sun: Smart Notifications for Energy-Saving Home Automation
Photo by Giorgio Trovato / Unsplash

Have you ever wondered how you can make the most of the sunny days without lifting a finger?

Let's dive into an intelligent home automation setup that maximizes solar energy utilization for running household appliances, using smart technology to make life easier and greener.

Smart Home Automation Meets Renewable Energy

Imagine this: It's a bright sunny day, and your solar panels are soaking up all that glorious energy. Wouldn't it be fantastic to utilize this surplus power to operate household appliances like your washing machine and dishwasher?

That's exactly what my home automation system does, with the help of some nifty devices like the Shelly Plug S and NOUS A1T. Here’s how it all comes together.

Setting the Scene with Smart Devices

  1. Shelly Plug S:
    • This device is pivotal in measuring the power output from the solar panels. It helps determine when there's enough surplus energy to power appliances, making it a cornerstone of our automation setup.
  2. NOUS A1T:
    • The NOUS A1T switches are used to control the actual appliances. These switches are smart enough to be remotely controlled, ensuring that when the system decides it's time to turn on an appliance, it happens seamlessly.

Smart Use of Conditions and Triggers

The automation, known as "BKW: Maschinen laufen lassen Notification," activates under several conditions using my Home Assistant configuration:

  1. Solar Power Surplus Detection:
    • Trigger: The system monitors the power output through the Shelly Plug S. If the power exceeds 330 watts for at least 5 minutes, it suggests that there's enough surplus energy.
    • Action: I receive a notification on my mobile device suggesting I could run my washing machine or dishwasher to utilize the excess solar energy.
  2. Direct Activation via Mobile App:
    • Triggers: Different notifications allow direct actions from the phone:
      • Activating the washing machine
      • Activating the dishwasher
      • Turning on both appliances
    • Action: Depending on my choice, the respective appliances turn on using the NOUS A1T switches connected to the Home Assistant.

Smart Conditions to Ensure Convenience

My system ensures that these notifications and actions only occur under favorable conditions:

  • Presence Check: The automation only runs if I am at home, ensuring I’m there to handle any immediate needs or issues with the appliances.
  • Do Not Disturb: It also checks that the "Do Not Disturb" setting is off on my mobile device, so the notification doesn’t interrupt me at an inconvenient time.

The Automation in Action

When the solar power output is high enough, Home Assistant sends a charming notification: "☀️ Die Sonne scheint prächtig! Du erzeugst gerade so viel Energie, du könntest doch glatt die Waschmaschine oder die Spülmaschine laufen lassen! Soll ich die Steckdosen einschalten?"

This translates to "The sun is shining splendidly! You're generating so much energy; you could easily run the washing machine or dishwasher! Shall I turn on the sockets?"

If I choose to activate an appliance via the notification, I can simply select the relevant option. The NOUS A1T switches then execute the command to turn on the respective appliance, effectively using the excess solar energy.

A Symphony of Smart Automation and Renewable Energy

This Home Assistant setup exemplifies how smart home technology can seamlessly integrate into our daily lives, making them more convenient and sustainable.

By automating the use of solar energy to power household appliances, I not only maximize my energy efficiency but also contribute positively to the environment by reducing reliance on non-renewable energy sources.

Incorporating such automations in your home can be a fun and rewarding project that saves energy and money while making a small yet significant impact on our planet’s health. Why not explore how you can make your home smarter and greener?