A US-based start-up SunCulture Solar Inc. has come out of stealth mode and launched a potentially game-changing fully-integrated residential and off-grid solar system. ‘SolPad’ Home combines multiple patented technologies into a single device, including breakthrough solid-state battery technology, an innovative inverter system and intelligent software to enable real ‘plug and play.’ This is the only PV system in existence that provides complete integration, energy management and high-efficiency solar cells.
Labor and technical soft costs are seen to be the hardest problems to solve when it comes to integrating solar and storage with software for residential rooftop applications and have traditionally been purchased and installed separately.
SolPad Home panels store both solar and grid energy with solid-state battery technology. This battery technology is said to be inherently safer than standard lithium-ion-based batteries. They have a broader operating temperature range and longer life, according to the company. Each SolPad device is equipped with its own solar micro-storage, or built-in battery storage at the panel level, and the solid-state low-voltage battery design is optimized for safe rooftop operation. SolPad Home combines solar and smart home components that have traditionally always been bought and installed separately. Due to this integration and elimination of parts, SolPad's fully integrated product design approach is claimed to reduce the total cost of installed solar and energy storage by up to 50% when compared with other existing product offerings.
SolPad's Home's ‘flexgrid’ inverter is flexible enough to account for the many different power environments that exist and is designed to seamlessly integrate with built-in solid-state ‘solar micro-storage,’ that allows SolPad to operate with electrically optimized power efficiency. The inverter can automatically detect when to charge from the sun or charge from the local utility grid, adjusting for cloudy or rainy days, as well as changing local electricity rates. During the most expensive daytime hours, SolPad Home will switch to stored battery power, and switch back to grid power when rates are low. Flexgrid will also detect when there's a power outage or blackout and safely disconnect itself from the grid. Once off the grid, SolPad automatically forms a personal solar micro-grid that will keep delivering power to specific lights and appliances. The SolPad Home ‘Connect’ system is a wire-free system that links two or more SolPad Home panels together on your roof, completely eliminating the need for any complicated cabling or wiring, simplifying the installation and greatly reducing cost and installation time.
‘SolControl’ is the only hardware and software solution that integrates solar generation and energy storage with automated energy management. SolControl's interactive user interface (UI) makes homeowners aware of when and how they are consuming energy.
It puts cost-saving control into a gamified and easy-to-use smart phone application. SolControl also helps conserve electricity by autonomously learning usage habits and intuitively providing suggestions to further optimize power consumption and can manage and control the distribution and delivery of solar power to individual appliances, individual rooms or to the entire home, which has never been done before.
SunCulture Solar is currently selecting its manufacturing partners for SolPad Home and will bring to market in the second half of 2017.