The GridKicker is a lightweight, portable solar/storage generator with fully integrated battery storage. It functions as a micro grid setup when deployed in arrays and fields. A micro grid is an autonomous electrical environment that operates within a larger electric utility grid. It allows for distributed power generation, storage, and management. It is the future of electrical transmission and distribution.
Benefits of using Solaroad’s micro grid generation and storage system include:
- More complete use of generation. A typical 500KV transmission line that is 100 miles long and operating at maximum capacity can see losses as high as 8 percent. This is enough power to supply over 50,000 homes with electricity.*(Microgrids: An Oracle Approach) Solaroad’s system will supply energy at the demand area and can avoid this loss.
- The deferment in the construction of new major transmission facilities. If the micro grid system can supply most residential and commercial needs with distributed energy resources located in close proximity to or at the demand area, no additional high voltage transmission will be necessary.
- Enhanced transmission grid reliability. Coordination of micro grids through software that integrates redundant distribution, smart switches, automation, power generation, power storage, and other smart technologies means that whenever there is a disturbance in the grid they will be smart enough to react accordingly and prevent blackouts over large geographic areas. This is accomplished by having Solaroad’s local generation, storage, and management systems on site which allow critical facilities to operate independent of the larger grid when necessary, which will eliminate blackouts. Solaroad’s smart switches and sensors will be able to anticipate power disturbances and reroute electricity around them. Micro grids will also back up the main grid when power demand and cost are highest by supplying electricity ancillary services.
- Helps consumers save money. Power outages in the US cost businesses and consumers at least $150 billion per year. Solaroad’s energy devices will allow consumers to procure power when needed at significantly lower costs, while using local generation and storage to evade peak power costs. Solaroad proposes to generate locally as it is more efficient reduces or eliminates transmission costs, congestion pricing, and customer service overhead.
- Helps consumers generate revenue. Consumers and businesses can supply demand response, real time price response, day-ahead price response, voltage support, capacity support, and spinning reserve services to the grid in return for payments from the serving utility or independent system operator.
- Job creation. Solaroad production facilities and installations will jump start economies through job creation at the local level. It will increase local investment through community on bill financing of energy efficiency, local spending on Solaroad micro grid improvements, and integration of future smart technologies. (i.e. electric vehicles, smart buildings)
- Integration of future smart technologies. Solaroad’s system is positioned to meet the known and unknown needs of the future. Electrical production can be scaled up very quickly with our system as opposed to having to wait for power companies to build centralized power plants which are costly as well as time consuming. Solaroad’s energy management side, EnerMerge, will enable electric vehicles to be connected as a smart power storage device, rather than just another drain on the grid.
- Quick return on investment. The Solaroad system is a peak shifting system. It will allow users to function off of the grid during peak electrical operating hours. When electricity is more plentiful and less expensive, during non peak hours, whatever charge in the batteries that was not put back by solar during the day can be taken off the grid at night, for a much lower cost. The next day it can be utilized during peak rates or sold at peak rates. This gives you a built in profit margin and drastically speeds up your ROI.
A more definitive explanation is as follows:
Today’s energy market is ruled by the time of day that the peak electrical demand occurs. The problem with America’s electrical grid is that we cannot produce enough electricity to carry customer demand during the “peak” hours. “Peak” usually refers to the time of day that most businesses are operating. This period is usually from 9am to 5pm, five days a week. Many businesses do not operate over the weekends, and therefore electrical demand is not as high. Likewise, electrical demand drops significantly during the night. As a matter of fact, most utility companies must curtail their generation of electricity during the night time hours.
Current solar theory would work if we had no interference from the weather. Most businesses and residences do not have enough roof space to run their business or home entirely off the grid. As a result of this, most electrical consumers only experience a 10%-15% reduction in their electrical cost. This small reduction results in a very long return on investment.
Since GridKicker has built-in storage, it pays for itself by taking advantage of the cost difference between peak and off peak electricity. For example, in Maryland, electricity from the grid can cost as much as $0.18 a kWh. (This cost applies to a 9am-5pm peak period). In the same location after midnight, the electricity only costs $0.05kWh. This is a difference of $0.13 between the cost of “peak” and the cost of “off peak” electricity. If a business runs from 9am to 5pm in this particular location it would experience great electrical savings by simply using GridKicker during “peak” to supply the electricity. Instead of covering the roof of the business with solar cells, we supply enough GridKickers to keep pace with the hourly consumption of the business. This greatly reduces the cost of the installation. By waiting until night time to finish recharging the batteries, the GridKicker installation pays for itself much faster.
This type of solar with storage can actually cost less than solar alone. Battery storage can be purchased for as little as $0.25 a watt (lith polymer gels in quantity). By using a simple formula, you can determine how much electricity the business uses every hour. Enough solar power can be purchased to replace what the business uses in one hour. Since we can use the grid to recharge the batteries as well, the solar savings of the business will no longer be subject to the weather.