TRADE CUSTOMERS: Here’s your quick-and-easy guide for using Wattwatchers devices, data and software solutions
Built-in flexibility gives our trade customers choice and portability: you can bring your own software, select from our third-party partner offerings, use our in-house toolkit … or mix and match. This post takes a high-level tour of the Wattwatchers solution ecosystem from a trade customer point of view, providing links to key resources.
Newsflash – 22/01/2021: Wattwatchers solution now listed in Tradezone
WATTWATCHERS 2021: GET TO KNOW US BETTER
A lot of technology companies want to lock customers into their commercially-airtight ‘verticals’, and aim to hold the data they harvest from users in their own proprietary systems.
Wattwatchers is different. We’re flexible, and very accessible.
Our preferred model is ‘horizontal’, and we’re partner technology agnostic. Within the practical boundaries of commercial and technical reality, and security prerequisites and privacy laws, the Wattwatchers business model is very open and accessible when it comes to capturing, using and sharing data.
The diagram below provides an overview of the Wattwatchers ‘ecosystem’, which embraces our own solutions suite and our ever-expanding partner network.
It begins with devices and data to the cloud, then extends through our cloud server and REST API (we call this ‘Mercury’), our third-party partner network (i.e. ‘works with’ Wattwatchers), our Wattwatchers toolkit to support deployments of our devices (accessed via wattwatchers.app), our consumer app (mydata.energy for Apple and Android smartphones), and our IoT integration platform for managing fleets of smart devices in real-time (ADEPT).
As a customer with Wattwatchers, this means you can pick and choose, and mix and match, in terms of how you operate and engage within the ecosystem.
Some of our customers use our devices, supported by our onboarding and fleet tools, pulling data from our API into their own in-house or third-party software. In such cases, Wattwatchers is a ‘half stack solution’, and these customers manage relationships with their end customers. We also support white-labelling in both ‘lite’ and more comprehensive versions, further demonstrating the inherent flexibility of our business model.
For most of our trade customers, the Wattwatchers journey starts with our smart energy management devices, the Auditor series. These are proven ‘energy IoT’ solutions, with 40,000-plus units in the field – mainly in our home market of Australia, but now also deployed commercially in over a dozen other countries.
Auditors are ultra-compact and easy to install, with an all-in-one design that eliminates ‘hubs’ by combining metrology, power supply and communications in the one box. They began their commercial life in 2014 as monitoring-only smart energy devices, using WiFi communications. Auditors have been evolving ever since, and now predominantly use 4G/3G cellular communications, with options to add switching for remote load control (including solar export limiting), and Modbus to enable integrations with other hardwares such as revenue meters, inverters, PLCs, digital weather stations and more.
Applications range across residential, commercial and industrial, and utility use cases, for single and multi-phase sites, with currents from 0-3000 amps. Increasingly, the applications extend beyond being a smarter, data-driven approach to more traditional energy management activities – like sub-metering and solar performance monitoring – to include use of energy data for sophisticated energy efficiency programs, demand response, distributed energy resources (DER) and even non-energy use cases, such as Industry 4.0-style predictive maintenance and asset protection.
Our third-generation REST API, which we call Mercury, is an industry standard interface for pulling data from Wattwatchers devices – and in some cases third-party devices – into the customer’s own software, or a partner application.
The Wattwatchers API (it stands for Application Programming Interface) presents energy data in a readily useful format, and using it is demonstrably straightforward – with 40-plus integrations in Australia and internationally.
As well as delivering energy monitoring data, the API also supports switching functionality for controlling basic on/off loads like electric hot water systems and pool pumps, while also helping to enable more sophisticated use cases such as coordinating electric vehicle charging and limiting solar exports to assist with electricity grid stability.
You can access the API documentation here.
Works with Wattwatchers
In keeping with our flexible, user-friendly and software-agnostic approach, Wattwatchers devices and data often support our partners to deliver their solutions.
It’s a ‘works with’ strategy, in which Wattwatchers sits in the background as an enabler, while our partner is in the foreground delivering their value-added services to their end customers.
Typical partners include Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) businesses and energy service companies (ESCOs). Generic examples of partner offerings include DER coordination, solar PPA billing, energy project management, data centre energy efficiency upgrades, school education and tariff comparisons.
To help appreciate the diversity of solutions that we support, you can see brief profiles of a number of our relevant partners here.
Our in-house toolkit
The Wattwatchers Toolkit helps to streamline the deployment of Wattwatchers solutions, across the installation, onboarding and ongoing management stages of a device’s or device fleet’s lifecycle.
The key components of the toolkit are made available at no additional cost as part of our standard subscription packages, including:
- Onboarding – verify installation and capture core metadata
- Fleet Management – see the status of multiple devices and manage ‘sites’
- Dashboard – visualisation of site and load data, and switching availability
The account log-ins provided to you when ordering and installing Wattwatchers devices give you access to the toolkit via wattwatchers.app, a web-browser application.
Consumer app – mydata.energy
Our mobile app, optimised for home energy management including rooftop solar generation, is the most recent addition to the Wattwatchers ecosystem.
Its initial release in November 2020 has been driven by Wattwatchers’ need to directly support growing numbers of household and small business consumers through our major multi-year projects:
- My Energy Marketplace backed by a $2.7 million grant the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), and
- MyTown Microgrid funded via a $1.75 million grant under the Australian Government’s Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund – Microgrid Program (RRCRF), with additional funding from the Victorian Government’s Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA).
The app is undergoing continuous development, with upgrade releases on a regular basis (every one to two months) for the foreseeable future.
Direct links to download the mydata.energy app from the Apple or Google Play (Android) app stores are available here.
IoT integration and machine learning – ADEPT
ADEPT is an agile platform for managing fleets of smart devices and data sources, including but not limited to Wattwatchers devices and data, in real-time through the clouds.
Wattwatchers began deploying ADEPT early in 2020 as a major addition to our solutions suite, leveraging a key partnership with smart industry IoT integration and machine learning specialists Rayven IOT, an Australian-Israeli company.
Early use cases include supporting over-the-air management of major HVAC systems, virtual ‘solar operations centres’, research projects, and a special Wattwatchers offering (Agent-as-a-Service, or ‘Smart AaaS’) to enable compliance with solar export control regulations – introduced at short notice in South Australia in September 2020, and likely to be replicated in other jurisdictions over time.
For more information about ADEPT, and all Wattwatchers solutions, please email email@example.com
Support – we’ve got your back
Wattwatchers supports our customers proactively via the Wattwatchers Toolkit, set-up guides, wiring diagrams and our website, including Tech Notes and Application Notes on our Zendesk-hosted Wattwatchers Help Centre.
Our closely-monitored Support service is accessed using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.