A gap exists in the market now for installer-enablement tools. Current providers are not thinking through the near-future rapid adoption of storage and other energy management tools. Current providers try to enable a homeowner, or an installer, but not both. Current providers think of storage as a piecemeal add-on to solar, not that solar and storage are inextricably-linked components of the total energy-system of the future. We hope to disrupt all current providers and develop a tool that is ready to funnel the future complexity of the solar/storage landscape into actionable insights for homeowners and installers!
What it does
VARSanity takes a homeowner's address and completes detailed analysis on PV generation, rates, and load to recommend a specific PV+Storage system size. Following that recommendation, after a user clicks on a system, we display installers that homeowners can choose and then generate a lead for that installer. For installers, more detailed analysis on system size and storage optimizations are displayed which they can use to have a conversation with customers in person. After a specific system-combination is chosen, installers can export component lists (BOMs) in order to fine-tune the energy system using last-mile software such as Sighten or Folsom Helioscope.
How we built it
We used links to consumption data from utilityapi, rate-tariff information form utilityapi and genability, and our understanding of storage-interactions with solar to develop our back-end within genability and a data analysis platform in R. Our front-end was designed using bootstrap.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into challenges thinking through the best views to display to both an installer and a homeowner. Also, we had to figure out the best balance between model-complexity and user-simplicity and sided with ensuring things are as simple as possible for a homeowner on the front-end while have a robust back-end to handle the complexity.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We have built a prototype web app that dynamically calculates the savings a homeowner would would achieve by installing a solar PV/battery system.
What we learned
A LOT! The back-end algorithm will be the differentiator, and enabling new business models can help us reach scale as we need.
What's next for Varsanity
Hopefully developing the UI/UX and back-end further as soon as possible.