Unlike most common solar installations, CraftStrom’s Smart products do not require electricians or lengthy permits, but can simply be connected to the home grid using any standard power outlet.
The Kickstarter campaign launched on December 10th and offers pricing that takes their system cost below average solar installation costs. Interest in the system seems to be strong, as they have started taking reservations from over 600 buyers.
Stephan Scherer, Founder at CraftStrom, explains: “Traditional solar is always marketed at wealthy suburbanites in single family homes, completely ignoring a large part of the population – people living in major cities, or renters. We’ve designed our products to be easily installed, require no permission and to not come in contact with utilities. Our message is also: you don’t need a full roof installation to make a difference!”
CraftStrom, which was a Semifinalist in the Department of Energy’s Solar Prize and featured in NPR’s Arizona Illustrated, aims to make installing renewable energy at home as easy as installing a wireless speaker.
“We have designed all major components in-house, from the solar panel, to the battery management system and inverters – ensuring smooth functionality. In the end, all the customer has to do is unpack our products, place the solar panels in a convenient spot with ample sun light and plug it into any standard outlet. Do the same for the battery and it will start talking to the Smart Solar Panel, asking how much power is available for charging. We provide all safety features to ensure you can’t do anything wrong. The goal is to use 100% of your produced electricity in your house.”
The company has developed a free app that allows you to monitor and control your system from anywhere in the world. It is up to the customer to decide, how much control he or she wants. CraftStrom offer an optional, intelligent software that creates individualised energy management programs, taking into account weather forecasts, electricity consumption and other data points.
An important added value of this technology is that the solar panel, as well as the home battery are designed to be light weight and portable, for outdoor and emergency use. The panel itself is only as thick as a Quarter and weighs 18lbs, compared to 41lbs for a regular glass panel. Simply pull the battery out of its smart charging base to use it on-the-go. The solar panel then connects directly to the battery and will charge to full capacity in 4 hours, which is faster than most batteries in the market right now.
Panel package includes foldable Solar Panel, Smart Inverter and Safety Gate Adapter
Permission-free and National Electric Code compliant
Size: 68 x 44 x 0.12 in / 1727 x 1111 x 3 mm (but folds up for transportation)
Weight: 18 lbs
8 eyelets for easy installation with zip-ties or screws.
1,056 Watt-hours / 22 Amp-hours
Increase battery capacity with 3 expansion batteries
Safe battery cells (Lithium Iron Phosphate)
500 Watt Output:
2 x USB A and 1 x USB C for portable electronics
1 x 120/230 V power outlet for appliances or medical devices
Size: 18 x 15 in / 458 x 390 mm
CraftStrom was founded by Stephan Scherer, an engineer with experience in the automotive and energy industry, as well as Michael Scherer, an industrial designer, and Christian Möhlen, an energy consultant and legal advisor. The aim of the startup is to democratise renewable energy. The three were quickly joined by other engineers and experts in the field of energy. The core team has a combined 50 years of experience in the energy markets and plans to keep innovating in renewable energy, to make it available to anyone wanting to join the green energy revolution.
This article was originally published on ParlayMe.