What is Energy-as-a-Service, and How Can it Improve your Off-Grid Lighting
Every day traditional technology is being eclipsed by advanced, smart technology to make us more efficient and connected. Our previous blog post discussed smart streetlights, which exemplify this trend and showcase the benefits of Energy-as-a-Service or EaaS which is instrumental in this smart evolution. EaaS helps upgrade off-grid systems into Smart Off-Grid solutions. An off-grid system with EaaS provides an intelligent, efficient and reliable system with no operating costs. That means maximum uptime, longest life and easiest to install and maintain.
How Does Energy-as-a-Service Work?
Energy-as-a-Service can have slightly different meanings depending on the solution and the industry. The easiest way to understand EaaS is by using smart solar lighting as an example. When you purchase a Smart Off-Grid powered solution, such as Clear Blue’s Illumient solar street lighting, you get three years of EaaS included in the price of your system. EaaS is a fixed upfront service cost that covers the ongoing operation and management of your system. This way, there are no operating costs for your system. In addition, your system will never go out because you couldn’t pay the monthly fee, as is the case with grid systems. Instead, Clear Blue monitors and manages your systems to ensure maximum uptime and your upfront payment covers this for three years. Additionally, EaaS covers any replacement components needed, whether it be batteries, solar panels, or solar charge controllers, eliminating the risk of unexpected and high maintenance costs. Knowing you are covered ensures absolute peace of mind allowing you to install your lights and not have to worry about them again. Most especially, you never need to pay for replacement batteries, the risk of batteries dying is on us.
The Smart Advantage
EaaS makes your lighting system smart. A key aspect of EaaS is Clear Blue’s cloud-based intelligent management and control software, Illumience. Illumience provides full remote communication with the lighting system, allowing you to configure settings and set alarms and notifications remotely. Through this, EaaS provides 24/7 system visibility and complete remote system control. On top of this, Clear Blue’s team provides expert power management services to deliver the highest reliability and uptime with the lowest maintenance cost. Remote troubleshooting through Illumience will minimize downtime and avoid a costly maintenance site visit if an outage occurs. This is a significant advantage over what you get with a grid-connected system or a typical off-grid system. Clear Blue is your power service provider, we operate and manage the systems for you. Through EaaS, you get an intelligent street lighting system. You do not have any system visibility with a traditional street lighting system or any other off-grid power system. As a result, outages take a long time to discover, and lights are costly to maintain as they require trips to the site. Thus, EaaS offers you an intelligent advantage.
The Cost Advantage
Battery manufacturer warranties are primarily designed for ideal lab conditions. As a result, they do not cover issues such as improper installation or configuration, lack of maintenance, or exposure to extreme heat or cold, which can damage the battery and reduce its life. With EaaS, you are not responsible for the costly replacement of batteries, solar panels, and controllers if they require replacing and the warranty does not cover it. This way, you have total peace of mind. Beyond this, Clear Blue’s service team performs advanced battery management to extend the life of your batteries and power system to meet their full potential. As a result, operating and maintenance costs are kept much lower than grid or traditional ‘unintelligent’ off-grid lighting.
In the end, EaaS leads to substantial cost savings when compared to replacing your energy system components. Take a lighting system with dual solar panels and lead-acid batteries, for example. In a traditional design, you would have to replace most or all of the components around year 7, costing thousands. Although you wouldn’t be paying annual service fees, you don’t have significant savings. You can get blindsided by the replacement costs and timing, resulting in higher costs and potential outages.
When it comes to efficiency and reliability, regular grid or off-grid systems don’t compare to the worry-free intelligence of Smart Off-Grid powered lighting, supported by EaaS. Clear Blue’s EaaS provides everything that a traditional system will provide, but it goes beyond to give you a smart system, which is far more reliable and measurably cheaper. Innovative software ultimately helps you monitor and actively manage your power system to reach peak efficiency. As well, the fixed fee includes replacements of power components, so you don’t need to worry about your batteries failing under useless warranties and buying expensive replacements at inconvenient times. Overall, EaaS makes your system smart and delivers the highest reliability at the lowest cost. So, it's clear to see that when it comes to street lighting, the best option is smart off-grid that comes with Energy-as-a-Service.
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