Solar Manager Optimizes Green Energy Usage for Homes across Europe On AWS

"It has been easy working with AWS. Easy to find developers. Easy to get support. If you need it, you get it—always there, on demand."

—Andreas Kuhn, Chief Executive Officer, Solar Manager

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Solar Manager specializes in decentralizing energy production by helping households with a solar-powered system to optimize the production, usage, and distribution of their electricity.

Storing and managing solar energy isn’t always easy for homeowners. Swiss entrepreneurs Hans Fischer, Andreas Kuhn, and Corinne Kuhn experienced this problem and decided there should be a better way. So they founded Solar Manager, a Switzerland-based company, to help families become more sustainable in energy usage—easily and cost effectively.
Solar Manager customers use a simple app to help manage the consumption of solar energy from appliances, heat pumps, and even electric vehicles (EVs) that charge in the home. A small, physical monitoring device is first fitted by an installer. Software running on this device manages the distribution of energy throughout the home based on algorithms and user preferences. This device and the end user app connect to the AWS Cloud, where all the data is monitored.
The company built its product on Amazon Web Services (AWS) 4 years ago and has seen usage triple in the last 2 years. Today, it is in over 6,000 European homes, mostly in Switzerland. “We were sure we could build something like this on AWS,” says Kuhn, chief executive officer (CEO) at Solar Manager. “AWS has provided the resources we need at every stage of our development, so we can help the user to experience energy.”
The consumer gets a user-friendly service in the palm of their hand to complement their sustainable investment in solar panels at home. In the background, the technology connects to AWS, where Solar Manager uses machine learning (ML) to predict solar production for the coming days and optimizes energy usage in the home accordingly.
For example, it considers temperature and solar radiation, as well as clouds, rain, and snow which all affect photovoltaic performance. The service uses this information to better inform users. For example, if a family member knows he needs to drive the day after tomorrow, the app analyzes the solar forecast. It then helps decide whether only solar power can charge the car or if it needs additional energy from the grid to be able to make this trip. “It’s great to feel we’re transforming an industry while enabling thousands of households to contribute to a more sustainable future,” says Kuhn.
Consuming energy as it is generated, fed to the household devices needing it most, is the main cost advantage that consumers experience. That’s now driving growth in Germany and Austria, and Solar Manager is also starting to expand to countries farther west in Europe.
Data residency and security have always been paramount for Solar Manager, considering regulations such as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the sensitivity of household usage data. Customer data is therefore encrypted at every point: on the device, in transit, and on the AWS backend, including the database.
Kuhn also appreciates how AWS allows his team to innovate and explore new ideas. “There is such simplicity in launching additional services on AWS,” he says. “It’s just a few clicks to try new things. And if they work, we deploy them.”
Consumers like to know the source of their energy, especially as energy markets in Europe go through an uncertain period. But they want to know that the backend technology is also sustainable. “It has been easy working with AWS,” says Kuhn. “Easy to find developers. Easy to get support. If you need it, you get it—always there, on demand.”
Users also need the experience to be responsive. While the majority of its customers are based in Switzerland, the service was launched using an AWS data center in nearby Germany. Switzerland will soon be supported using the AWS Europe (Zurich) Region. As Solar Manager grows, AWS will be there in an increasing number of countries to support it.

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