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Energy security

Mark Millar, CEO of Puredrive Energy, on how an integrated home battery system and EV charger can slash energy costs
The Puredrive Energy EV charger

This article first appeared in our COP27 special issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published on 11 November 2022. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

This November we will launch our latest Puredrive product: an electric vehicle (EV) charger that offers a seamlessness of integration not yet seen on the market.

Our goal with the charger is to address an important market issue: the way EV charging can drain precious green or low-cost energy.

We noticed a significant number of our customers were complaining that their EV was using energy from their home battery system that would be better used in their home. For example, their car charger was using power in the evening when energy prices are often higher.

We recognised that integrating these systems is critical if we are to maximise homeowners’ energy savings and protect customers from spiralling energy costs.

Using cheaper energy

The ideal scenario is for both the car and the home battery to be charging when the lower cost tariffs come into play, such as between 00:30 and 04:30.

If the two systems are not integrated, the battery is likely to discharge. This means that cheaper energy from the battery would not be available for the homeowner to use when the cost of energy is expensive – usually first thing in the morning and 16.00-19.00.

The Puredrive app integrates the home battery system and the EV charger to enable the automatic operation of variable rate tariffs.

Puredrive is agnostic to energy suppliers and can therefore integrate with any tariff on the market.

The app automatically determines the cheapest periods to charge the car and home battery system, based on the weather, season and the homeowner’s energy consumption.

Optimised for the weather

During the winter, the days are shorter and darker; there is less sunshine and less available energy. A homeowner with energy stored in a battery system would prioritise powering the home over charging the EV.

The app’s software would recognise this and charge the EV from the grid, during cheaper periods of a variable rate tariff.

In the summer months, long sunny days lead to an abundance of energy way beyond the requirements of the home.

Again, the software would recognise this change and use the battery’s stored energy to charge the EV, knowing that there is sufficient headroom to cover the needs of the home.

Day to day, the software will consider the weather and optimise a balance between energy used from the battery and variable rate tariffs.

Ultimately, this seamless integration ensures minimal energy is taken from the grid and the energy that is purchased comes at the cheapest price – saving the homeowner cash, reducing their carbon footprint and protecting the grid by using energy at off-peak times.

A smart ecosystem

Our quest for alternative ways to improve accessibility between the homeowner and their devices has also led to a partnership with Amazon’s Alexa, and users are now able to control their system using Alexa as well as the Puredrive app.

On command, you can expect Alexa to welcome you with an update of the current status of a system.

Power Cut mode has also been introduced to ensure energy security in the case of a blackout. If a power cut is expected, setting Power Cut mode using Alexa (or the app) will force a charge to 100% for a 24-hour period. After that the battery will automatically resume to its standard settings.

At Puredrive we believe the seamless integration between smart energy products represents the future of home energy consumption.

Our goal is to create an ecosystem of smart products that work together, exactly how you want them – not unlike the approach taken by Apple.

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