Sol-Ark, a Texas-based solar engineering firm was named a semi-finalist in the U.S. Department of Energy’s American-Made Solar Prize on February 11, 2020 for its latest “virtual power plant” nanogrid solution that makes backup power affordable for the general public while reducing utility company costs.
Sol-Ark’s design integration changes the conventional customer-provider relationship between homeowners and utilities into one where interests become aligned. The power centers work with batteries to safely convert neighborhood homes into thousands of power banks that utilities can access to solve critical demand issues while providing homeowners with safe backup, solving two key issues: 1) utilities needing quicker, cheaper access to power for the EV age and growing economy, and 2) homeowners frustrated by frequent outages due to an unstable grid or storms. What makes Sol-Ark’s design unique is that it allows utility companies to accomplish with only one unit what normally requires other brands two units. Sol-Ark boasts an industry leading power output of 9.6 kW, reduces round-trip battery losses by half and requires less wiring.
“Home battery backup, which has previously been cost prohibitive for the vast majority of homeowners, can now be reduced in cost by nearly 50% while solving the utilities’ headache of demand response in a world where there is rapidly increasing pressure on the power grid in the evenings. Homeowners get low-cost battery backup and the utilities gain instantaneous locally available power to stabilize their grid and mitigate risk,” said Tom Brennan, Sol-Ark CTO. “We are humbled to be selected as a semifinalist in the American-Made Solar Prize. The competition is the perfect venue for us to showcase new technology and business models reducing costs. We are grateful to the DOE for its resources including world-class laboratories.”
News item from Sol-Ark