Published on August 23rd, 2017 | By: April Gocha, PhD0
Video: Green on the go—Mobile solar panel brings plug-and-play power from the sun anywherePublished on August 23rd, 2017 | By: April Gocha, PhD
[Image above] Credit: SolPad; Vimeo
It’s not easy being green.
But, then again, nothing good comes easy.
But being green on the go? Now that’s a real challenge—especially considering the disposable culture we live in today.
When it comes to harnessing solar energy, however, a company called SolPad (Mountain View, Calif.) has introduced a nifty new product that could allow you to take the power of the sun with you wherever you go.
SolPad Mobile is an all-in-one solar solution that incorporates gallium nitride solar cells and solid-state battery storage into one sleek, portable, clean energy-providing package.
Designed in a compact casing equipped with a carrying handle, SolPad Mobile is the “thinnest, lightest, and most efficient portable solar generator in the world and represents a quantum leap in personal solar power” according to the company’s website. “SolPad Mobile is far more than just a portable energy collector—it’s a one stop solution for significant power at home or on the go and it’s the world’s first self-architecting AC micro-grid.”
The portable panels—28” x 21” and 1.8” thick, and weighing just 25 pounds—offer 72 W of solar collection and 600 W·h battery storage (meaning that it can supply 600 W of energy for an hour), plus an extra 60 W·h of reserve power.
And because SolPad Mobile panels are directly equipped with two AC outlets and three USB ports, the devices are one of the most straightforward plug-and-play solar solutions you can find. Multiple SolPad Mobile panels can be hooked together, allowing users to harvest enough energy to meet their specific needs.
Credit: SolPad; Vimeo
Of course, going green comes with a price tag—SolPad is accepting $1,795 pre-orders for SolPad Mobile, which the company says will ship in 6–9 months.
SolPad isn’t just into the on-the-go game, however—the company has also adapted its technology into an integrated home solar power solution, called SolPad Home, which is reportedly hitting the market in 2018.
SolPad says its home-installed solar solutions costs 50% less than traditional solar panel and storage installations. According to an article on Green Tech Media, “the savings are primarily achieved through the integration or elimination of balance-of-system parts and by reducing soft costs, such as labor.”
Because just like SolPad’s mobile solutions, its home-installed panels are designed to be turn-key solar solutions—consumers can do it all themselves.
“Each SolPad Home panel is like a smart-energy computer on your roof, with each device being its own energy powerhouse that is completely self-sufficient,” the company states. “Homeowners can start with one SolPad and easily add more with minimal installation time.”
I think SolPad’s innovations look like the Apple products of the solar world—designed to be pretty and simple, yet efficient and technologically superior. And SolPad creator Christopher Estes would probably be happy with that comparison.
“With our groundbreaking component miniaturization and integration, we’ve transformed solar—much like the smartphone revolutionized the personal computer sector—combining numerous components into a single device that’s significantly less expensive, more powerful, and easier to use than conventional systems,” Estes says in an article on Green Tech Media. “They just stack together like Legos—click, click, click.”
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