1. New plug-and-play solar modules from Wagan Tech. At the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Wagan Tech unvieled its new Solar e Power™ Cube 1500 and Solar e Power™ Case 450. More from the news release:
According to Alex Hsu, Wagan Tech Vice President of Sales, the Solar e Power Series is expected to empower the developing world, where access to electricity is unreliable. Remote villages can now access electricity instantly.
The two solar generators are self contained power sources which makes setup quick and easy. They are equipped with solar panels, an AGM/Gel Hybrid battery and one of Wagan Tech’s legacy power inverters, all packaged together in a rugged case.
The larger and more powerful of the two units is the Solar e Power Cube 1500. It boasts a 1,500 watt AC inverter and a 55 AH battery packaged in a sturdy, wheeled case. Once wheeled into place the solar panels unfold and slide out providing 80 watts of solar charging to the onboard battery.
The Solar e Power Case 450 is a smaller more compact unit. It features a 450 watt inverter and a 26 AH battery contained in a sturdy metal case with shoulder strap. The 40 watt solar panel unit attaches to the side for easy transport.
Both units can accommodate additional solar panels and batteries if quicker charging or more storage is needed. “We like to think of these units as a ‘home base’ for a solar setup as you can add more panels for quicker charging and you can add more batteries for prolonged use. The scalability of the units allows them to be easily customized to the end user’s needs,” said Alex Hsu, Wagan Tech’s Vice President of Sales.
Price and Availability
The Solar e Power Cube 1500 and the Solar e Power Case 450 are available now from Wagan Tech. The MSRP for the Solar e Power Cube 1500 is $1,199.00. The Solar e Power Case 450 has an MSRP of $799.00.
Look pretty cool.
2. Wireless solar-panel monitoring and control technology using GreenPeak wireless chips. “Currently, most residential solar panel systems only provide energy information on a monthly basis and do not allow individual panel monitoring,” GreenPeak notes. “The Smart Junction Box reference design utilizing GreenPeak wireless chips provides a solution to monitor solar systems in more detail and to control the chain from a central unit or remote device.”
“The data collected from each individual panel can also be shown in a configurable GUI software application. When a problem in the solar panel system occurs, performance gradually declines or suddenly drops, remote diagnosis and controlling via a mobile App on smart phone can be one of the use cases.”
Contact GreenPeak regarding prices.
3. Home energy management system from Tri Cascade launched. This new home energy management system, the elka 700-10, is an energy gateway thermostat with energy in-home display. The system can reportedly reduce a home’s energy consumption and costs by up to 35 percent in the first year. Pricing starts from $995, according to Tri Cascade.
More from the news release:
The smart energy in-home display of elka 700-10’s household energy usage data provides profile reports and household energy use information while simultaneously calculating real-time energy load data such as kilowatts, voltage, amps and power from such household devices as an HVAC, pool pump, water heater and other electronic devices. The Energy Efficient-Comfort system of elka 700-10 also features over-current detection on each end point, providing consumers with information on the safety of their energy levels.
The elka 700-10 also provides the ability for utilities to send out demand response messages to the household such as events schedule, canceling of messages, support confirmation or mechanism for time-of-use pricing and price tiers. In addition to the capability of two-way communication between the device and the utility, the thermostat enables utilities to balance demand and supply by reducing consumption and shedding load during times of critical peak demand.
The elka 700-10 features an LCD touch display built with Windows Embedded Compact 7, and is equipped with the latest Freescale i.MX28 technology, providing sophisticated remote management capabilities such mobile monitoring from iPhone or smart phones
4. Reliant giving away home energy monitors. More than 3,500 Reliant customers have received the Reliant e-Sense® Home Energy Monitor free in-home display for free. 10,000 will, in total. The monitor “lets customers view the amount of electricity they are using, with data updated as fast as every 10 seconds. And as customers turn on their home’s electrical devices, the monitor will show them the incremental electricity usage…. The home energy monitor also compares daily and weekly usage totals as well as daily, weekly and monthly costs,” the company notes. “To receive a free home energy monitor consumers must be a Reliant customer, live in a single-family home in Houston or Dallas/Fort Worth and have a smart meter. Customers who qualify can request a free monitor by calling 877-338-7206 or visiting www.reliant.com/freemonitor while supplies last. Spanish speakers can visit www.reliant.com/monitorgratis.”
5. In-home electricity display from Wireless Glue Networks. Yes, another one. SmartLook™, the company’s second-generation in-home display device, was unveiled at the 2012 International CES on January 12.
As with other such systems, “Wireless Glue Networks’ SmartLook display unit gives electricity customers easy wireless access to their Smart Meters for real-time information about their energy usage, while giving utilities a direct connection to customers and their energy demands.”
Our friends over at Crisp Green posted a round-up of highlights from the 2012 International CES in Las Vegas the other day. The remaining 5 products are from its highlights post.
6. Rukus solar-powered speakers from eton. “The Rukus Solar, is a solar-powered speaker system that streams music wirelessly via bluetooth devices. Portable and sporting an e-ink display for easy reading in sunlight, the device can also be powered via wall outlets if the sun has gone out of sight.”
7. Grano.la energy-conservation softwear. “Grano.la software, developed by MiserWare, helps PC users to lower their energy consumption. Working in the background, the software lowers the power usage without affecting performance. MiseWare offers a free consumer version for Windows and Linux as well as a more expansive package for paying customers (businesses and data centers). Originally developed for super computers, one of the greatest benefits of Granola is extended battery life for PCs.”
8. One Laptop Per Child’s XO-3 tablet. “Designed for use in remote areas without access to conventional wall outlets, the XO-3 tablet has special circuitry that allows for a variety of power sources, including hand cranks, bicycle-driven generators and solar panels. The solar charging panels are actually built into the removable, rubberized cover for the tablet.”
9. Solar-powered Amazon Kindle. The first solar-powered Kindle, the SolarKindle from SolarFocus “guarantees up to three-months of unplugged use… and includes a built-in LED reading lamp that can be powered up to 50 hours without pulling power from the Kindle’s main battery.” Nice!
10. Nest ‘learning thermostat’. OK, we’ve already covered this one, but in case you missed that post in the midst of the hundred or so we published last week, here’s more from Rav: “The Nest contains some fairly smart silicon, and that enables it to ‘learn’ your schedule and adjust the heating or cooling of your home around it…. for the first few days, you turn the thermostat down a bit at night, up again in the morning, and down again when you leave the house, much like you probably do now. But after a week, Nest will start understanding when you do these things and start doing them automatically — for example, heating the house in time for your usual waking-up time, or turning off when you’re at work.” Note that this was created by the designer of the iPhone and iPod. Price is $249 (which you’ll pretty surely make back rather quickly in energy savings). Here’s more in video format from the company.
Any more products we missed?
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.