Our Partner

Open Climate Fix is working on bridging the gap between the energy industry and researchers working on climate change. They provide three main solutions to combat global warming: open energy data, solar panel mapping, and solar output forecasting via their product Quartz Solar.

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Problem

Open Climate Fix, a UK based nonprofit, developed their product Quartz Solar to generate near-future and accurate solar forecasts using the latest AI technology. While it is already in use by the UK National Grid, they wanted to bring the solar forecasts to individual homeowners, giving them more control over their solar setup. Better solar output prediction can help reduce reliance on the grid and save consumers money as they operate their solar panels.

Solution

We worked with Open Climate Fix to create an easy to use, interactive, and powerful dashboard for home solar setups and their corresponding Quartz Solar forecasts. Our web application is suited for both mobile and desktop workflows, whether it be finding the best time to charge an electric vehicle or combing through several solar sites to determine which are functioning the best. Additionally, an intuitive onboarding process helps homeowners input the requisite information for Quartz to provide accurate solar forecasts.

Design

Our design approach was centered around the question of, “how might we help users who are unfamiliar with their solar data better understand it and be interested in it?” In response, we focused on making the web application approachable and intuitive, giving tips where necessary to help users onboard and access their data.

During the design process, we conducted three initial user testing interviews and one final user testing interview, and sourced additional insights through surveying potential users. We used the responses from these interviews to understand the value of each of our dashboard modules, and to ensure we were providing graphs and metrics that helped bolster real decision making.  

Tech Stack

We opted to go with a tech stack that matched Open Climate Fix's standard frontend project structure. For this reason, we chose Next.js as our overarching framework, a modern and effective choice for a highly interactive web application. We interacted directly with their site-based forecasting data API to provide interactive graphs, metrics, and customizability. Our web app was also built for mobile devices, so we included a PWA configuration and ensured all pages were accessible on any screen size.

Features

Solar Site Onboarding

Given that the insights provided by Quartz is closely tied to info provided by the user, we focused on making their onboarding experience simple and effective. First, users pinpoint their location on the map for precise forecasts and submit key details about their setup to enhance the accuracy of Quartz Solar predictions. Our intuitive process, designed for seamless onboarding, provides guidance through the intricacies of inverter and solar panel capacity differences. Receive practical insights on gathering specific information from your panels, empowering people to actively contribute to the optimization of solar forecasts. This professional approach ensures a smooth integration into the Quartz Solar ecosystem, allowing homeowners to manage their solar setups independently and make informed decisions.

ocf onboarding 1
ocf onboarding 2

Solar Site Dashboard

The solar site dashboard is an instrumental feature designed to empower homeowners with insightful information for effective energy management. Individuals gain access to actionable metrics that provide insights into their solar site's performance. Intuitive graphics seamlessly connect solar output to household appliances and electronics, facilitating a deeper understanding of energy consumption patterns. The inclusion of detailed graphs, equipped with interactive forecast time ranges, allows users to anticipate and navigate upcoming fluctuations in solar output. The dashboard serves as a vital tool in the pursuit of our overarching goal: to provide individuals with greater control over their solar setups, reduce reliance on the grid, and enable cost-saving benefits for consumers operating solar panels.

ocf dashboard

Multi-site Support

Managing complex solar setups was another potential use case we wanted to address with the web app. From split-site configurations on a single roof to expansive solar farms, the user-friendly interface allows for effortless addition, editing, and deletion of solar sites under individual accounts. Whether assessing a specific site independently or collectively using the cumulative dashboard, our solution ensures that users can effortlessly obtain accurate forecasts for every site within their account.

ocf multi site desktop
ocf multi site phone

Site Help Center

The remaining complexity and nuance with the solar site onboarding process is something we hope can be resolved with instructional content. Our commitment to user accessibility extends further with detailed explanations provided within the help center, addressing the parts of more intricate solar setups. By incorporating this site help center into our web application, we aimed to empower users in effortlessly interacting with their solar setups and understanding the details of Quartz Solar forecasts.

ocf help center

Meet The Team

Eric_Liu Eric Liu Tech Lead
Andrew Lester Andrew Lester Tech Lead
Kalyn Watt Headshot Kalyn Watt Product Designer
Anya Parekh Headshot Anya Parekh Software Developer
Rohan Vanjani Headshot Rohan Vanjani Software Developer
Ashay Parikh Ashay Parikh Software Developer
Neha Vardhaman Headshot Neha Vardhaman Software Developer
Jacky Park Headshot Jacky Park Software Developer