An often overlooked aspect of sustainable energy is the seemingly simple switching of electricity. Physical switches slow down the ability of repairs on power systems and can even hinder the installation of renewable energy sources. A lot of renewable energy systems (solar, wind, tidal, etc.) fluctuate greatly in the power output which strains switches; this is where digital circuits thrive. With digital switching it is easier to dynamically change power sources and remotely monitor them.
â€œInstead of using mechanics to switch the power, we apply digital inputs,” Kennedy told Popular Mechanics. â€œNow I have no moving parts. Now I have the ability to connect things like iPhones and iPads for remote power management, which increases safety and improves efficiency. I can set the distribution panel to a schedule so the flow of power is seamless, unlimited, and shifts between sources automatically. You literally wouldnâ€™t notice. The lights wouldnâ€™t even flicker.â€
For a grid-connected solar home, for example, residents sometimes have to disconnect their solar input because traditional power systems (including the circuit breakers) arenâ€™t advanced enough to properly manage multiple power sources that change.