Accelerating the Solar Transition

Votes: 27
Views: 8359

SunPax– The Mass-producible, IT-integrated, Solar-Energy Appliance

Solar energy systems need to move from custom-engineered installations to a mass-produced modularized energy appliance containing all related electronics, storage and monitoring functions within a single, UL approved, energy appliance. The SunPax system will do just that.

The rapid deployment of solar energy is inhibited by several issues.
1.Today, all solar energy systems are one-of-a-kind, custom designed systems with engineering being a substantial recurring cost. Systems with widely variable selection of components have variable quality and highly variable failure modalities. This creates uncertain maintenance-cost profiles. This customized style of assembly also fosters high permitting and installation-costs.
2.Solar/light energy is only available during the day. With battery storage, it becomes a 24/7 electrical energy source.
3.Solar energy systems are not well-integrated with IT hardware and software.
4.Utility companies often resist the use of solar.

The potential benefits of this product being developed, mass-produced and distributed world-wide are rapid deployment of solar energy, reduction of pollution and other threats to the global eco-system, as well as, distributed and secure energy systems. Being UL –approved, SunPax will require no permitting, engineering or utility permissions. With a 20-year warranty (20-year batteries are available), installed, solid-state SunPax modules will have very low operating-costs, a small fraction of today’s utility power costs.

With quick-mount panels operating independently, SunPax is an independent, uninterruptible solar-appliance that yields household AC, sine-wave power, 24/7. The modules comprise an individual solar panel with micro-charge-controller, micro-inverter, battery-pack, backup-charger and wireless IT/communications modules mounted behind the panel via plug-and-play individual components. The SunPax modules can be daisy-chained to build capacity. Twelve 200 watt units provide the power for one household 120 VAC, 20 amp circuit. SunPax will include theft-prevention and smart micro-grid technology that will track the performance of all components and every appliance powered by the module

SunPax will be used for camping, RVs, military power supplies, and to power households and businesses.

This product would have a potential market size rivalling that of automobiles or computers. . There is no competing system.

SunPax is an integration of best-practice micro-technologies that have been widely demonstrated. The uniqueness is in the value-added through engineering of individual plug-and-play components and an algorithm which balances the relative component capacities. This algorithm is a by-product of thirty years of the developer’s solar R&D. Long-life solar panels require long-life, cost-effective, balance-of-system components. Since the system does its own fault diagnosis and trouble alerts. Plug-and-play allows easy, affordable replacement or upgrade of components with low labour-costs.

SunPax modules would be mass-produced with local assembly from plug-in, individual components manufactured world-wide.

In mass-production the costs would compare favourably to existing systems because of reduced engineering, permitting, installation-costs and contractors-profits. By bundling all components together, materials-costs, system-assembly costs and installation costs are dramatically reduced. In mass-production, this product would see a steep downward price curve just as has happened in the electronics and computer industry. The market would expand. As volume increases, margins go down but profits go up.


Voting is closed!


  • Name:
    Jonathan Cole
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
    Solar Energy Researcher, Educator and International Consultant
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • Jonathan's favorite design and analysis tools:
    The human brain, the creative impulse, digital photography, the Internet.
  • For managing CAD data Jonathan's company uses:
    We farm out all CAD work
  • Jonathan's hobbies and activities:
    Traveling, Music and too many more to mention
  • Jonathan belongs to these online communities:
  • Jonathan is inspired by:
    I am on a mission to accelerate the transition to solar energy.
    I have been designing, developing and living with solar energy systems that are user-friendly, affordable, robust, and easily maintainable for thirty years. I design solar energy systems that support all of the amenities considered necessary in the developed world. In systems of my design, I have never experienced a power outage. It is my legacy work to spread what I have learned as far and wide as possible for the sake of my children and all future generations.
  • Software used for this entry:
  • Patent status: