What is Solpad??
SunCulture is a solartech company based out of the Silicon valley. Last night at an event in San Francisco they introduced Solpad to the world. In their words, “Solpad is a new series of disruptive energy products designed to be the most advanced integrated-home or offgrid solar energy products in the world .Each unit features a high-efficiency solar panel, a built-in solid-state battery, an inverter system, and software that uses gamification to promote sustainable energy use, all contained in a single device.” SunCulture has basically found a way to miniaturize and integrate components that generate solar power, store energy, and communicate together.
How will Solpad benefit homeowners and consumers?
There are a few different products from Solpad. One of them being Solpad Home, which is a panel designed for rooftop installation. However, Solpad Home is not just a solar panel, it is a sustainable energy solution that will power an entire home with clean solar energy. These solution panels are easy to install and they can store solar and grid energy while communicating commands to smart home components like a smart TV. In addition, Solpad Home has a flexgrid inverter that will optimally charge from the sun or the utility grid. And Solpad Home uses a wireless connect system that will aid power circulation and efficiency throughout an entire home.
SolControl is a hardware and software solution that integrates solar generation and energy storage with automated energy management. In other words, it is the operating system. This operating system has the capacity to optimize power consumption based on habits, usage, and awareness. In addition, SolControl is a smartphone application that allows the user to manage and control power distribution throughout the home or to individual appliances, rooms, etc.
SolPad is Sunculture’s personal-solar-power solution. It offers the same home energy management capabilities available with SolPad Home, but in a portable package. Solpad is a thin, lightweight, mobile device that will be ideal for recreational and humanitarian uses. The ability to have sustainable portable power that can light up an entire home’s lighting system just by positioning the panel in the sun for most of the day is groundbreaking. Furthermore, Solpad can act as a powerful internet hotspot for consumers that need power and web from one source. Solpad is a standalone power source that is good for use just about anywhere, especially in developing countries where grid infrastructure is nonexistent.
The reality of it is…
Although Solpad solar panel systems are promising, they are really expensive and rely on exclusive solid-state batteries that can survive extreme rooftop weather. Solid-state batteries are a turnkey to this whole solar energy and storage dilemma. However, the research and development behind these batteries cost millions of dollars and a ton of hours to engineer and produce. Therefore, offering this product to the public is not yet feasible. Only time will tell when Solpads will hit the market, at a reasonable price.