Span Smart Electrical Panel Review

November 29, 2023
Span Smart Electrical Panel


Nearly every residence is equipped with an electrical panel—often found in the basement, it’s the steel enclosure you tinker with whenever a power strip trips or when there’s an unexplained issue with your lighting. Span is at the forefront of modernizing this critical, yet outdated technology with their advanced Smart Panel, offering a contemporary electrical panel that integrates intelligent controls and energy consumption tracking. In May 2021, Span unveiled an updated Smart Panel, featuring enhancements and financial advantages over their prior version. For those contemplating solar installation, battery storage, or a transition to a fully electric-powered home, the Span Smart Panel might be a wise investment.

Key Points:

  • The Span Smart Panel acts as an advanced energy management system for residential properties.
  • Such energy management systems empower homeowners with the ability to oversee and regulate their energy expenditure.
  • With 32 controllable circuits, the Smart Panel is compatible with standard 1-inch residential breakers and includes a 100A to 200A main breaker along with a 225A busbar.
  • Span’s latest Smart Panel iteration is more cost-effective, simpler to set up, and boasts a more streamlined design than its predecessor.

What exactly is Span’s Smart Panel?

The Span Smart Panel is an innovative reinterpretation of the conventional electrical panel, endowed with intelligent functionalities and detailed visibility into household energy consumption. If traditional electrical panels were akin to old-school cell phones, then the Span Smart Panel would be the smartphone equivalent—familiar yet vastly more sophisticated and informative regarding your domestic power use.

The device itself manifests as a sleek, white rectangular unit, destined to take the place of your existing electrical panel. It becomes the central hub into which all home circuits are integrated, allowing for individual customization and management through Span’s dedicated mobile application.

Span’s Smart Panel Technical Details

The essence of the Smart Panel lies in its functionality as an electrical hub, and its technical attributes are significant. Equipped with the capacity to manage 32 circuits individually, the panel can be scaled up with additional units for expanded control. It’s compatible with the widely-used 1-inch residential breakers, and it features a main breaker capacity ranging from 100A to 200A, along with a bus rating of 225A.

Connectivity is a strong suit for the Span panel, offering Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, and 4G/LTE options for remote monitoring and control of your home’s electrical system from any location with internet access. The panel’s versatile design allows for both indoor and outdoor installation.

Span’s upgraded Smart Panel is crafted with improvements in installation ease, cost-efficiency, and visual appeal over traditional panels, providing more versatility in installation locations, whether you prefer it out of sight or as a visible feature of your home’s design. Here’s an overview of the key distinctions between the initial version of Span’s Smart Panel and the upgraded one.

MSRP $5,000 $3,500
Depth from wall 3.5 inches <1 inch
Carrying capacity of individual circuits 70 amps 90 amps

The new Smart Panel isn’t just more cost-effective due to its lower suggested retail price—the installation costs, though additional, also contribute to overall savings. Moreover, the redesigned panel is more compact, saving precious space in your home, yet it accommodates higher capacities per circuit, enhancing its overall utility.

Is Span’s Smart Panel a Smart Financial Decision?

The thought of shelling out $3,500 in addition to installation fees for Span’s Smart Panel might make you pause—after all, that’s a significant amount of cash! However, the question remains: can an energy management system like the Span Smart Panel justify its price tag in terms of cost savings over time? Let’s touch upon the fundamental cost comparisons between energy management systems and standard home electrical upgrades.

Comparing Energy Management Systems to Standard Electrical Panel Upgrades

When you’re considering a shift towards a solar-powered home or a full home electrification, upgrading your existing electrical panel may already be on the agenda. Homeowners, particularly those with recently built homes, may not require an electrical panel upgrade just to accommodate solar panels. However, if your home is transitioning to complete electrification, especially with the addition of electric vehicles (EVs), your existing panel may fall short in handling the increased energy demands.

For solar upgrades alone, a 200-amp panel is necessary, which could set you back between $1,000 to $3,000 just for the panel. Opting for a premium, smart energy management system like Span’s, which also provides energy monitoring and control capabilities, could be a strategic long-term investment. By integrating an energy management system in conjunction with your solar installation, there’s potential to reduce the costs associated with installation and system design. Additionally, it affords you the advantage of precisely tracking your energy usage, which simplifies the task of sizing your solar installation without the hassle of combing through historical utility bills.

Energy Management System Versus Storage-Only Approach

If you’re contemplating the addition of a solar battery to your home, an energy management system like Span’s Smart Panel presents several advantages over a storage-only setup. Typically, incorporating a battery requires the installation of a critical load panel, which acts as a safeguard for your appliances and the battery itself against electrical mishaps. It also ensures that essential appliances and devices continue to function during outages by drawing power from your solar battery.

The Span Smart Panel eliminates the need for this additional critical load panel by integrating its functionality. It grants you enhanced oversight and control over which appliances your battery powers. With Span, you can make real-time decisions and remotely manage which circuits are active or inactive, providing you with adaptable control over your battery usage.

For those keen on precise energy management and for homeowners planning to integrate clean energy solutions such as home batteries, solar arrays, and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, Span’s Smart Panel is particularly beneficial. It is engineered to optimize these technologies, making it an ideal match for eco-conscious individuals aiming to modernize their home’s energy infrastructure.

Functions and Benefits of the Span Smart Panel

The Span Smart Panel acts as a sophisticated substitute for traditional electrical panels, regulating the electrical current distributed to the circuits throughout your home. Imagine it as an enhanced version of your current panel, but with additional smart functionalities for energy management.

The Smart Panel shines in three principal functions: managing and monitoring energy consumption, optimizing battery backup systems, and seamlessly incorporating renewable energy solutions.

Monitoring and Managing Energy Consumption

Span’s dedicated mobile app allows users to monitor their home’s energy consumption in real time. It facilitates the ability to switch circuits on or off remotely, covering everything from your lights and household appliances to HVAC systems. With the capability to control up to 32 circuits, the Smart Panel provides an in-depth look at your power usage.

Span Smart Electrical Panel Graphic Gif

Moreover, the app offers analytics to help you understand and act on your energy consumption patterns. For example, discovering a seldom-used appliance that’s a heavy energy consumer could lead to cost savings just by switching it off when it’s not needed.

When it comes to home battery backup systems, the Smart Panel elevates their efficiency. Span claims that the precise control enabled by their Smart Panel can extend battery backup duration by up to 40% more than systems without such controls. This means you might end up needing a smaller battery to achieve the same level of energy security, potentially reducing your investment costs.

Optimizing Home Battery Systems with Span’s Smart Panel

Span’s Smart Panel isn’t just a high-powered replacement for your standard electric panel—it comes into its own when integrated with a home battery system, offering smart energy management and enhanced power outage resilience.

Battery Charge Insight and Management: The Smart Panel brings clarity to your home energy system, showing not just the remaining percentage of your battery’s charge, but translating it into actual usage time for your home’s appliances. This is invaluable during extended outages, as it helps you estimate how long you can sustain your household with the stored energy, potentially until solar recharging is possible. Additionally, the Smart Panel gives you the ability to remotely deactivate non-critical circuits to conserve battery life, ensuring that you can extend the runtime of your essential appliances.

Intelligent Outage Protection: In unexpected power outages, Span’s Smart Panel acts as a proactive safeguard. Traditional setups might leave you completely without power or drain your home battery quickly. Span’s solution is to prioritize circuits through its automatic load-shedding feature, classifying circuits as critical or non-essential. In an outage, Span automatically cuts power to the non-essential circuits, prolonging the battery life and keeping your crucial appliances running. Plus, the panel’s real-time power duration estimates take the guesswork out of managing an extended power outage.

Seamless Integration with Clean Energy Systems

When it comes to integrating clean energy solutions like solar panels and EV charging into your home, Span’s Smart Panel is a game-changer. It not only helps you monitor and manage your battery charge but also plays a pivotal role in determining the appropriate size for your storage system to ensure reliable power during outages. The panel’s detailed control and monitoring, coupled with its load management features, provide a clear picture of your storage needs and energy usage patterns.

Facilitating Home Electrification: Span’s Smart Panel is designed to support the transition to a fully electrified home, a process that involves replacing fossil fuel-based appliances and systems with electric alternatives. Whether it’s moving from a gas stove to an induction cooktop, swapping out an oil furnace for a heat pump, or trading a gasoline vehicle for an EV, the Smart Panel aids in this shift. It enables precise control over your home’s energy usage, allowing for a smooth integration of new electric appliances and potentially circumventing the need for costly service upgrades in the future by optimizing the existing infrastructure. The Smart Panel not only makes your home smarter but also ready for a sustainable, electric-powered future.

Let 8MSolar Help

The Span Smart Panel represents a significant advancement in energy management technology, enhancing the capabilities of home solar panels and storage solutions as tools for both resilience and cost savings. To initiate the shift towards cleaner energy and maximize these benefits, a great first step is to get a solar panel system quote. For those looking to embrace solar energy, get a quote from 8MSolar today.

This content was originally published here.

Span Smart Electrical Panel Review