We are interested in all technologies for distributed, point-of-usage energy generation. We define “point-of-usage” as the smallest real estate shared space. In cities this space goes from one single-family home to a residential building, from one stand-alone retailer to a shopping center, one office building, one warehouse, one manufacturing plant, etc.
These technologies may include: solar photovoltaic, rooftop concentrated solar, thermal and thermodynamic solar, rooftop micro wind turbines, waste-to-energy, and others.
We believe we would live in a much more peaceful world if every building would be energy self-sufficient. And we want to help create such world.
Of course these technologies need to be price competitive to current non-renewable energy generation systems, without governmental subsidies.
We expect our World’s first three-phase micro-inverter to contribute to this competitiveness.
Perhaps novel energy generation systems can use scarcely considered energy sources such as the solar infrared spectrum, which accounts for more than 50% of the total solar radiation but is usually not harvested.
Better storage devices than lithium-ion batteries are in urgent need. Batteries that carry more energy density and power, as well as handling more charge-discharge cycles, could be used for distributed energy storage… solving one of the most pressing problems of renewable energy: intermittency. These batteries, manufactured in small, medium and large formats would cause a paradigm shift in several industries: public and private transportation, aviation, consumer electronics, medical devices, and many others.
We are already incubating one such technology through one of our spin-offs and remain open to any other technologies with the potential to revolutionizing this sector.
New materials like graphene and several nano-technologies seem to be as promising as our FlashCharge Batteries.
Matched demand and micro smart grids
Another way to reduce the impact of the intermittency of renewable energy is by adjusting demand.
HVACs and other home, commercial and industrial systems can be activated, deactivated or delayed to match consumption to generation, rather than matching generation to consumption—as it has been for the last 100 years.
Smart home appliances—called The Internet of Things—like: refrigerators, electric water heaters, dishwashers, and water pumps could communicate through special software to sequence their operation based on available power. Smart electric engines could perform similar tasks at commercial and industrial buildings.
Micro smart grids could also contribute by exchanging generation, storage and demand among the houses and buildings in a city block or small neighborhood.
While generation migrates from centralized to distributed, the above mentioned systems could perform as ancillary services for utilities.
Efficiency and savings
It took LED technology 60 years to get from invention to marketable residential lighting, reducing energy consumption by 90% compared to the incandescent light bulb. Like LED, other technologies could deliver significant savings for everyday applications, hopefully in a much shorter timeframe.
Efficiencies of just 5% in renewable energy generation may deliver 50% savings in the electric bill during the lifetime of the device.
We look forward to inventions of more efficient devices and energy-savings technologies.