MAREC incubator develops new, commercial-scale solar technology

From left, Ed Brandel and Jim Wolter with a Solar24 battery pack on the back of a solar panel.
From left, Ed Brandel and Jim Wolter with a Solar24 battery pack on the back of a solar panel.
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Energy Partners, LLC, the same company that developed a panel that addresses one of the major limitations of solar energy, has developed a new, commercial-scale version at Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center. 

Solar24™, introduced in October 2013 by MAREC incubator client Energy Partners, LLC, is a device that collects solar energy during daylight hours, storing it in a built-in, lithium-ion battery pack that allows it to discharge energy 24 hours a day, unlike traditional solar panels. The new advanced version is matched with 300-watt solar panels, includes a high-performance control system, and offers potential for a variety of commercial uses.

The new version can support portable solar-powered communication systems in remote or isolated locations, such as in emergency or disaster relief situations. 

“The development of Solar24™ represents a significant breakthrough in the renewable energy sector,” said T. Arnold (Arn) Boezaart, director of MAREC. “One of the shortcomings of solar technology is that it’s limited to daylight hours. The development of Solar24™ and the ability to store and manage energy generated opens up a wide-range of possible applications.”   

The device was built using technologies and materials from Michigan-based companies. Staff members engineered their own proprietary microcomputer-controlled circuitry to support the latest version of Solar24™. 

President and CEO Jim Wolter said there are many applications for Solar24™ and he’s already seen interest from Michigan and national companies that could mass-produce the device. 

Energy Partners, LLC received support from the state-funded Business Accelerator Fund (BAF) program. As an incubator client at MAREC, the company has benefitted from business development and related resources available at the facility. Energy Partners specializes in development of solar energy storage systems, power management and smart grid controls.

About the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center 

The MAREC incubation program supports the commercialization of innovative technology with both existing and new companies, and promotes the application and use of alternative, clean and renewable energy sources.  MAREC brings community and institutional resources together with entrepreneurs and innovations, to create successful collaborative opportunities to enhance the environment and achieve its vision of advancing energy and technology development for a sustainable economy in West Michigan and beyond. Visit www.gvsu.edu/marec for more information.

For more information contact, Arn Boezaart at boezaara@gvsu.edu or Jim Wolter at (616) 638-6341 or www.solar24ham.com.