Coming Soon: SunMate 3.0
A new version of the SunMate will be available soon, with new features - app control, multi-phase, more power and a weather-proof enclosure.
Produces FREE HOT WATER from your Solar Power
The AWSTM SunMate is an innovative renewable energy management product that will use all the surplus power generated by your solar or wind power to produce hot water. Every unit of power used to heat the hot water in this way reduces imported energy by the same amount, resulting in a significant saving in imported energy costs.
The AWSTM SunMate will work with any solar system or wind turbine and uses a standard electric hot system to produce free hot water. The advanced SunMate controller ensures maximum usage of solar and/or wind power that would have been exported. The system is simple to install and will not affect your feed-in tariff payments.
The SunMate system works by accurately monitoring the power being imported or exported and always diverts sufficient power into the hot water system in order to keep the exported power to as near zero as possible whilst at the same time ensuring that no additional grid power is ever imported to supply the hot water store. Priority is always given to the energy demands of the household appliances and only surplus energy that would have otherwise been exported is stored in the hot water system.
- Recently updated!!!
AWS SunMate 2.0
No Need To Change Your Existing Electric Hot Water Unit
Easy To Install
Accurate power measurement
Precise intelligent power control
Highly reliable dual redundant solid state power electronics
5 Year Warranty
SunMate 2.0 - What's Different?
2 outputs each configurable for variable or threshold power mode
Variable power mode for water heating
Threshold mode control for appliance control
Temperature sensor or thermostat operation
Output power expandable to 12KW
Now also available in
Your Questions Answered
Is SunMate easy to install?
Yes! SunMate can be installed by solar or wind installers or electricians. SunMate does not need to be installed by a CEC certified installer and will not affect the CEC certification of your micro-generation system. Only one clip-on type import/export sensor is used.
What energy savings can I expect?
This will depend on the size of your solar system or wind turbine and the amount of hot water you use. For a 4 person family with a 4KW solar system you can expect savings of nearly $400 per year.
Will I still get my export tariff payments?
Yes. Once your water is heated, excess remaining power will be exported to the Grid. You will receive your current FIT export payment. This means you can use all your generated energy and still receive all the export payments!
Do I need a hot water tank?
Yes, you do need an electric hot water system which uses a hot water storage tank. SunMate stores the excess energy generated as hot water.
If no excess energy is generated do I still get hot water?
Yes, SunMate works in conjunction with your normal hot water system. On days when excess power is not available from the solar or wind system your water is heated in the normal way.
Can I see how much energy I have saved?
Yes, SunMate records and displays how much energy has been saved and which would have otherwise been exported.
Can I still use my Off-Peak water heating?
Yes, SunMate has a built-in timer which allows 3 different on/off periods to be programmed for each 24 hours so you can still take full advantage of your off-peak supply.
Does SunMate have a second output?
Yes, SunMate has two independent variable power outputs so that a second water tank can be heated or power can be diverted to a second heater, e.g. a storage heater if the first water tank becomes fully heated. SunMate can even be programmed to equally share any available surplus solar or wind power between the two outputs.
Can SunMate display the hot water temperature?
Yes, an optional temperature sensor can be fitted to SunMate to display and control the hot water temperature.
What is the SunMate warranty?
All SunMate systems are supplied with a 5 year warranty.
What happens if the hot water system doesn’t heat up completely during the day?
Even if the hot water system doesn’t heat up completely it will heat up as per normal on the off-peak settings. The SunMate aims to reduce the amount of off-peak power that is needed.
Is the SunMate compatible with a PV system larger than 4kW?
Yes. The SunMate is designed to drive a standard 3kW load. A micro-generation system greater than 4kW is likely to produce more surplus power than the 3kW output and there will be energy flow back to the grid on top of that used by the hot water system.
AWS SunMate Performance
The AWS SunMate is an innovative renewable energy management product that will use all the surplus power generated by your solar or wind power to produce hot water. Every unit of power used to heat the hot water in this way reduces imported energy by the same amount resulting in a significant saving in imported energy costs.
The purpose of the SunMate is to attempt to reduce the daily feed into the grid to zero. This is because during the day, when the sun is out, most families are at work and not able to use the surplus electricity produced by their panels which feeds back into the grid at $0.06 or $0.00. When the families are home and actually using power, they are drawing their power from the grid at the off-peak tariff of $0.35 or more.
The way it works is it has a sensor that detects whether any electricity is flowing into the grid. If electricity is flowing into the grid it diverts that surplus energy into your hot water system.
A prototype has been installed at our test facilities. The graphs on the next page show the overall power flow through our test site over a one month period. Our test site has 2kW of solar panels and an AWS HC1.5kW turbine. In the graphs you can see the daily solar production, the daily wind production, the daily grid usage, the daily feed back into the grid and the daily SunMate usage.
Looking at 15/01/2015 in week one of the graphs, solar produced 8kWh of electricity, wind produced 9kWh, 6kWh were drawn from the grid, 4kWh of electricity were sent back into the grid, and most significantly, 9kWh of electricity that was supposed to go back to the grid was used to heat the hot water. Instead of sending 9kWh back to the grid at $0.06/kW or $0.00 earning $0.54 and then at night heating the hot water with off-peak power, 9kWh at $0.35/kW or more costing $3.15, the power was used to heat the hot water during the day. This is a saving of $2.61. And that’s only one day. In this one month alone, a total saving of $57.13 was made by sending surplus power to the hot water system instead of back to the grid. This saving becomes even greater when the feed-in tariff is reduced to $0.00.
This test was undertaken during summer months and it is unreasonable to expect the system will perform as well during overcast winter months. However, it is clear that it will not take long for the SunMate to pay for itself.
We are looking at other ways of storing the surplus electricity during the day to save money through the night. Batteries are an obvious choice but they are an expensive option.