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One of the World's Most Advanced Solar Nano-Grids Is Here.
Watch and Learn how the PowerBloc Works. This video features computer generated animations of PowerBloc modules.
Electric utilities, significant contributors to climate change, cannot support the amount of renewable energy required for a clean energy future. Various studies put the necessary investment for getting the world's electrical grids ready for the all-renewable future in the trillions of dollars (Source).
Utility Upgrades for an All-Electric Home Are Expensive for Consumers.
Many modern all-electric homes will require over 400 A of utility service. Most existing homes have 100-200 A service. Service upgrades by utilities are expensive, as the above cost estimation by the California utility PG&E shows. Even if the utility upgrade is on time and budget, the customer is still exposed to an unreliable grid, has little or no choice over the source of the electricity, and is captive to utility rates. In contrast, a PowerBloc can deliver reliable and green power equivalent to up to 800 A of service with fixed energy cost for decades to come.
Also, today's centralized power grids cannot withstand increasingly frequent weather extremes caused by global warming, and they are prone to preventive shutdowns in wildfire areas and flood zones.
The Power Grids Are Vulnerable to Wildfires Caused by Extreme Droughts.
In Northern California, such as here near Fairfield, wildfires have destroyed power lines, leading to power outages. Outages also occur when the local utility turns off power during high winds to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires.
We need a new paradigm to deliver reliable and carbon-free electricity to everyone. We believe that solution must be a primary power supply with little or no reliance on utility power and outside the control of utilities. The YouSolar PowerBloc® is such a system. It is a fully-integrated and intelligent solar nano-grid that powers an entire home or business and requires no utility approval.
Meet the Modular PowerBloc® . The PowerBloc comprises modules for different functions. The above animation provides an overview of all modules. Modularity delivers ultimate flexibility in configuration and size and is ket to PowerBloc's success in the market.
The PowerBloc is modular and highly scalable. All of its components – batteries, chargers, controllers and power electronics – are efficiently arranged in a rack. The configuration can be easily customized and expanded to meet customers' growing needs.
A PowerBloc® Powering a Modern Home in Calistoga, California.
The picture above shows Arnold Leitner, CEO, explaining the PowerBloc® to its owner. The system shown here is a two-cabinet PowerBloc with 10kW of solar, 50kWh of energy storage, and 38 kW of inverter power.
(During the demonstration, the front doors of the PowerBloc were removed. There are no dangerous high electric potentials in the front of the system.)
To accelerate sales and take the PowerBloc global, we have designed and patented stackable modules that are uniquely plug-and-play. These modules will make the system easy to ship and even easier to assemble. This innovation also allows rapid deployment of the PowerBloc by disaster relief organizations or the military. We believe the stackable PowerBloc will be a game-changer.
Meet the Revolutionary and Patented Stackable PowerBloc®. We believe the stackable PowerBloc is a
game-changer. The image is an engineering rendering of module prototypes in testing.
Today’s residential solar and battery systems are a mix of legacy and new technology that were not designed together and depend on stable grid power to function. All leading solar-battery systems are grid-tied and require utility approval, making incumbent utilities the gatekeepers of the entire solar industry. This is not the blueprint for a paradigm shift, especially in critical international markets where unstable grids cause technical problems for grid-tied systems and where utilities view distributed solar as a threat to their business.
The Electrical Systems in Many Emerging Markets Are Already Overloaded.
The electrical systems in many emerging markets are already overloaded and fairly frequently. Imagine installing a 10kW Level-2 electric vehicle charger in a home connected to the power system in Old Delhi, shown above. It will break the grid. Residential independent primary power systems, such as the PowerBloc, are the answer.
These solar-battery systems have little flexibility and very limited scalability. They are primarily designed for energy arbitrage and use simple algorithms to manage power outages. Installation requires trained personnel with tools and dollies and lift jacks to handle large and heavy batteries.
The PowerBloc® is a fully-integrated nano-grid using a proprietary and patented power architecture. The PowerBloc is modular and highly scalable. By design, the PowerBloc is the primary electricity supply to a home or business, while the utility just serves as the backup. To be a primary power supply, the PowerBloc’s inverter creates AC power that energizes an independent grid for the house.
PowerBloc Modules Are Easy to Transport. PowerBloc® modules, or “blocs,” in a crate on their way to a customer installation. On-site, the modules are installed into the cabinets by hand. The modular nature of the PowerBloc makes dollies and lift jacks unnecessary.
The PowerBloc can also incorporate and store energy from the grid, a generator, or any other electric power source. All power sources blend seamlessly on the efficient high potential direct current bus that is the core of our patented power architecture. YouSolar sends a real-time hourly solar production forecast to each PowerBloc so that its energy management system can make intelligent decisions optimizing its use of solar energy.
The PowerBloc® Nano-Grid is Highly Scalable.
The picture above shows a four-cabinet PowerBloc with 110kWh of energy storage, 30kW of solar, utility and generator integration. This image is an engineering rendering of modules and cabinets used in customer installations.
For customers with a utility connection, the grid contributes only energy to the PowerBloc but does not connect, directly to the load. Therefore, there are no glitches when the grid goes down, and the PowerBloc operates as an off-grid system wherever there is no grid. It’s as simple as that.
Our Customers Find the PowerBloc's User Interface Intuitive. The Power Flow screen shows how power blends seamlessly on the nano-grid. The image shows a screenshot of the tablet user interface.
YouSolar delivers sustainable and affordable power for the modern world. Customizable and scalable, the PowerBloc is a private power system that meets many needs and can be connected to the grid or off-grid. The PowerBloc can integrate any generator to “extend the range” of the batteries on cloudy winter days.
Due to the modular design of the PowerBloc, customers can start small and expand their system as their needs grow without any design changes. This is particularly important in emerging markets, where power needs change with rising incomes.
YouSolar has sold and installed six residential PowerBloc®s with customers in California's wine country. We also have two off-grid systems operating in Big Sur and the Sierra Nevada, CA.
Our First Customers Are Owners of High-end Homes in Northern California. These homes are subject to frequent power outages because the local utility can no longer deliver reliable power and because the threat or presence of wildfires requires shutting down the electric service.
Our customers are affluent, self-reliant, and uncompromising homeowners. They are unwilling to tolerate power outages and want a reliable and clean power supply with little or no reliance on utility power. They are building all-electric homes with electric vehicle charging and want to avoid paying tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for a utility upgrade or new connection.
These Are Modern Homes with Large Electric Loads. Our customers have central air conditioning systems, electric stoves and ranges, pools, electric vehicle charging, and often well pumps which are large electric loads requiring high power.
Learn More About Our Product
YouSolar sells a fully-integrated solar nano-grid that includes everything the customer needs, including advanced solar panel electronics, called a micro-converter.
YouSolar’s Proprietary Advanced Solar Panel Electronics. The YouSolar STEP™ micro-converter steps each solar panel's potential from about 35 to 400 Volts DC. This video explains the STEP micro-converter and shows its application at a vacation home in the Sierra Nevada, CA, backcountry.
The PowerBloc®'s energy management system uses solar and load forecasts to decide when and how fast to charge the batteries, which helps the nano-grid perform at its best. The forecast increases solar utilization for grid-connected systems, while for off-grid systems, it reduces the chance of power loss.
Understanding and using the PowerBloc energy management system is easy. Information and system control are always at the customer’s fingertips on YouSolar's custom tablet interface, which our customers love.
Our Customers Love DIYA™, the Intuitive PowerBloc User Interface. The DIYA interface provides all the information the customer needs and allows the customer to control the system. This video features a demonstration of the application.
Here is a summary of the key features that make the PowerBloc® work:
Based on our research, the United States has tens of thousands of upscale residences with property values in excess of USD $1M built in unincorporated areas. Most of these homes rely on their own private water well. These customers lose power due to wildfires, heavy winds, and snow. Analysis commissioned by YouSolar showed that there are over 1,500 such properties in California’s wine country alone. The PowerBloc can deliver constant and high power for an uninterrupted lifestyle and the ability to run a well pump, allowing homeowners to water down the property and put out flying embers during a wildfire.
*Engineering drawing of the functional prototype of the new stackable PowerBloc®
After devastating wildfires caused power outages in our home state of California interest in the PowerBloc surged. This development presented an immediate and large market for YouSolar's technology. But wildfires are not the only natural disasters that result in a failure of utility power systems. Widespread and persistent outages occurred during an ice storm in Texas. Tropical storms and hurricanes are the main reason for power failures in Florida.
Another set of customers are homeowners or businesses who replace gas furnaces with heat pumps or add electric vehicle charging. Power needs can quickly exceed the 100 or 200 Ampere (a) utility service that typically comes with a home. Instead of requesting and paying for a service upgrade, these customers can choose a PowerBloc to boost power to the house to 300, 400 and even 800 A. Lastly, there are customers who are building new homes or businesses and are facing high bills to run utility service to the new location.
We have a constant stream of prospective customers. At present, 50 new customers have received or are awaiting proposals. Our early success in the market has validated our analysis, and we are clearly meeting a need.
The PowerBloc is capable of powering even the largest homes and businesses. We just sold the largest system to date at a price of $180,000. Opportunities are everywhere, and our pipeline is growing.
THE BUSINESS MODEL
We have a growing pipeline even with no marketing. Builders and architects of luxury homes and their electricians are currently our prime partners for lead generation. We also have strong interest from operators of critical facilities. Our database of over 1,500 potential customers from in northern California overlaps very well with the location of our first six residential installations.
We Design and Make the PowerBloc. The PowerBloc’s TWIN™ Bi-directional Converter steps up the battery pack’s 50 Volt potential to the 400 Volts of the direct current bus. The photo shows a TWIN during assembly.
At this time, we make the sale ourselves, but we will soon begin working with partners and give them the tools to design, size, and sell our systems. Customers will also be able to purchase the PowerBloc directly through our website.
We partner with solar installers and electricians who install the solar array and connect the PowerBloc to the house. YouSolar technicians install the PowerBloc cabinets. Customers can choose the solar panels, or YouSolar can include the solar array in the proposal.
Commissioning, start-up, and operation of the PowerBloc are automatic. We remotely monitor and troubleshoot all systems.
Monitoring of Customer Systems in the CIRRUS™ Cloud.
YouSolar monitors all PowerBlocs with internet connections remotely.
We are able to update software "over the air", trouble shoot, and control the system remotely.
By developing most power electronics and all controls, firmware, software, and hardware in-house, we have a low-cost structure that allows us to offer a competitive solution with a 40% target margin. The average price of a PowerBloc solar nano-grid, including solar panels, for a modern U.S. single-family home is between $35k to $50k. For high-end homes, system cost is between $125k and $150k.
Our revenue stream derives from initial system sales and battery replacements every ten to fifteen years. We also offer monitoring and service contracts to generate recurring annual income.
WHAT IS UP NEXT
In the PowerBloc®, the power flow and communication of each module, or "bloc," are parallel and independent, allowing YouSolar to deliver the PowerBloc as a stackable, plug-and-play system. After years of research, we have developed a revolutionary stackable module, and a stackable PowerBloc is now a reality.
The Stackable PowerBloc Is Plug-and-Play. We believe It Is a Game-Changer. The photo shows Baxter Smith, Product and Support Specialist with the stackable PowerBloc®.
The stackable PowerBloc assembles in a breeze and is easy to use. It has unprecedented flexibility in system configuration and sizing. Even the order of the modules inside the stack does not matter. But when assembled, interlocking modules create a nearly impenetrable monolith. After a one-button boot-up, the power is on.
The Stackable PowerBloc STACK™, Assembles in Minutes. Arnold Leitner, Founder and CEO, demonstrates how easy it is to assemble the stackable PowerBloc®.