SunCulture Solar recently unveiled their SolPad, a 100-percent-integrated solar panel that aims to give more control to users over the power they’re consuming. Equipped with battery storage and an inverter, the SolPad can be utilized on or off the grid. SunCulture Solar says it is the “thinnest, lightest, and most powerful fully integrated IoT solar panel device in the world.”
SunCulture Solar plans to offer a series of products built on the SolPad solar panel, including a more portable panel that can be easily plugged into an outdoor outlet on a house, and the SolPad Home, which is designed to function as a rooftop solar panel. Drawing on “forthcoming solid-state battery technology,” the panels can store energy from the sun and the grid. SunCulture says their battery technology is “inherently safer than standard lithium-ion-based batteries,” has a longer lifespan, and has a “broader operating temperature range” than other batteries. SunCulture designed a “flexgrid inverter for the panels” that can switch between grid and solar power depending on weather or electricity rates.
The company aims to gamify the solar experience for users through SolControl, software that clues users in on when and how they are consuming power; it also offers suggestions for how to save energy. Users can even decide which appliances or devices the energy collected by the SolPad will power via an app.
SolPad can also act as a “powerful internet hot spot,” adding more functionality to the device – especially for people using SolPad in off-grid or remote locations. SunCulture says their device could help people in developing countries who might have little access to electricity or the Internet.
SunCulture CEO Christopher Estes said in a statement, “SolPad makes solar even more accessible for the majority of the global population and its growing energy needs, without the cost of building expensive grid infrastructure.”
The company is currently choosing manufacturing partners and plans to put their products on the market “in the second half of 2017.”