Software and sun panels are possibly no longer the maximum thrilling parts of cleantech for most people, however, there are a few improvements occurring inside the area, particularly close to software.
We met up with SunPower’s Jake Wachman at this 12 months’s Solar Power International Show in Anaheim, California, to talk approximately how he’s leading the price to make it less complicated for clients to learn about solar while not having to provide out telephone numbers, emails, or selling youngsters off into indentured servitude.
For starters, Jake shared that he believes software is the important thing to unlocking the capacity of sun and that SunPower is committed to leading that fee.”We need to be known for the highest efficiency panels, the nice solution for our patron and additionally, the perfect enjoy which, in a whole lot of cases, is without a doubt desirable software program,” Jake shared. “We have dozens of humans on our software groups which can be committed to solving these types of issues,” and that SunPower is, in reality, making a push to establish a software program group that may compete with the top experts in Silicon Valley.
Zero-Commitment Solar Assessment Tool
Across the net, sun lead technology has devolved into masses of statistics entry fields that work to eke out patron touch facts to pass along to solar installers of their vicinity. The problem with that model is that many customers just want to peer what size solar gadget they could want for their home or to see what it’d value while not having to fear about getting dozens of complying with up calls about it for the subsequent three years.
SunPower has apparently either been skimming thru my e-mail junk mail field or has heard from their personal clients because they went off and built a lovely sun evaluation device for residential clients. Their tool is unique in that it does now not ask for all types of patron statistics up the front to get started out. It actually does need an cope with to apprehend wherein on the planet the machine might be mounted, local electricity prices, and so on, however that may be a bare minimum with the intention to calculate sun requirements.
The person can take in information approximately the belongings and crunch that thru SunPower’s calculator to determine what size machine they could want. The device also subtly suggests off considered one of SunPower’s strengths as their enterprise leading efficiencies result in a miles smaller sized system.
Using my old home as the guinea pig, I located that with SunPower panels, I could have only wished 13 panels for our home plus one car as opposed to the 17 LG and Kyocera panels we had on our roof. Granted, my panels were older and consequently, older tech, but SunPower maintains to lead in panel performance.
At the end of the procedure, users can input their statistics if they need to learn extra, however flipping that equation around is clean and the device works as a substitute nicely. It’s no longer so complicated that customers won’t be capable of recognizing it without a degree in electrical engineering, however, at the same time, it’s miles strong sufficient to add cost.
Sol, The Intelligent Assistant
SunPower’s dedication to software program solutions is also manifesting itself in some unique solutions like its new digital assistant, Sol. Sol is a system gaining knowledge of-powered digital assist but that’s underpinned by way of IBM’s Watson. In layman’s phrases, it’s a help tech that you may chat with and it clearly comes up with shrewd answers.
In a handful of queries, I located Sol to be useful and to provide rich content like video in its responses. Giving visitors alternatives for the way they want to take in the facts via written responses and video makes the device more purposeful for more humans.
Sol is precise in that it becomes built completely in-residence at SunPower, which shows how the corporation is asking two steps ahead at approaches technology can remedy troubles and improve the scenario for clients. Developing the device in-residence let SunPower add in hooks that provide customers a break out if they need to contact an income individual, want to talk to a customer support representative or opt to ship an e-mail to a real person.
I envision clients new to solar getting a lot of fee from Sol by means of simply being able to take a seat there and ask all of the ‘dumb questions’ that they might be too embarrassed to ask an actual person. The answers, films, and content material that Sol spits out are useful and if they simply aren’t slicing it, people can choose to talk to a person about it.
Looking To The Future
In speaking with Jake, he simply had something that he desired to mention however couldn’t speak approximately but, so I’m keen to pay attention what they need to proportion with us in the next weeks or months. There are nevertheless huge opportunities on the patron side to make the method for signing up for a solar system even easier, with a shorter time from order to install.
On the hardware facet, the integration between the solar device, a domestic electricity storage device, and the utilities is increasingly more an art more than it is a technological know-how and as such, represents one in every of the biggest opportunities in sun.