Craftstrom has been selected to advance to the semi-finals of the American-Made Solar Prize Competition

Craftstrom has been selected to advance to the semi-finals of the American-Made Solar Prize Competition

Houston/Texas, February 2020Craftstrom, a renewable technology startup, has been selected to advance to the next stage of competition of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 3rd Round American-Made Solar Prize with a total prize money of $3 million. Craftstrom’s new technology aims at revolutionizing how renewable energy is produced, stored and managed by private users.

The start-up was selected from about 120 participants to progress to the competition’s next phase in June, where the DOE will award $175,000 apiece to ten different companies. The second-phase participants will then face off in a final pitch event in September with two $575,000 prizes up for grabs.

Semi-finalists won $50,000 each, plus access to a network for services from firms and institutions that the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory is sponsoring for the winners. The money and scientific assistance will provide a critical boost for Craftsrom’s new technology said Craftsrom’s CEO Stephan Scherer.

“We are very honored by this recognition from such a renowned institution, as we already see huge interest in our solution from the consumers’ side”, Stephan Scherer said. “This shows that the U.S. Department of Energy’s $3 million American-Made Solar Prize is addressing a highly anticipated topic.”

As a semifinalist, Craftstrom will use its cash prize to fund further development, as well as additional tests and certifications to ensure fast roll-out of its revolutionary product offering. The American-Made Solar Prize will announce the finalists in June 2020.

Media contact:
Felix Mann, Craftstrom
PR & Communications
T:   +1 514-829-4559
E:  [email protected]

About Craftstrom
Craftstrom – a young and innovative renewable energy start-up is based in Houston, Texas with a global footprint spanning from the US over Europe all the way to Asia. The company’s products are designed to let you produce, store and manage renewable electricity anytime and anywhere – tailored for use in urban areas and very applicable in apartments & small houses.

The products – plug&play solar and battery solutions – are easy to install by anyone and double as off-grid solutions, as well. When used at home, they utilize customers’ existing home grid. The Smart Solar and the Smart Battery communicate with one-another using WiFi to optimize charging and discharging cycles of the battery system. An AI algorithm is in the works that will not only use production & storage data from CraftStrom products, but also power contracts, weather data and power consumption data (more CraftStrom hardware to arrive soon) to optimally use the battery for energy saving scheduling.

About the American-Made Solar Prize
The American-Made Solar Prize is a $3 million prize competition designed to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing through a series of contests and the development of a diverse and powerful support network that leverages national laboratories, energy incubators, and other resources across the country. The American-Made Solar Prize is directed and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.

Frequently Asked Questions

Strictly speaking, outlets are just a connection point. You can connect a generator to an outlet and provide power to your home grid. HOWEVER – to protect your home, that power must be controlled or limited.

As we are starting with our initial production runs now, we need to achieve a certain number of orders to ensure we can do a batch run.

We hope (and expect) to be able to deliver your products to you faster than the estimated delivery time, but want to be on the safe side.

To ensure that you don’t potentially damage any equipment or electrical wiring in your house, we are limiting the number of inverters to 2 per household.

The Smart Battery is designed to allow for an additional three batteries. You can certainly buy more, but only three additional batteries (four total) can be used at a time.

In short, by limiting the power. We do not sell more than 2 smart panels per household and we won’t let you register more than 2 in our App. This is because 2 x 300W panels do not discharge enough Amps to overload your wiring.

Yes. Our smart inverters are certified according to UL1741 and feature an automatic, rapid shutdown function. The inverter will turn itself off within milliseconds of a grid shutdown.

Yes. Make sure you inform your utility of your intention to install our system. Notify them of the power rating (300W or 600W – peak). Due to the limited size of our system, no interconnection studies are required.

While not many people have a line dedicated for power input, make sure that no high-usage appliances are connected to the same line, e.g. A/Cs, hair dryers or washing machines.

Sure! We offer just our smart solar inverter for that reason. Our standard inverter is designed to work specifically with our own solar panel, which is a 72V version, but we’ll offer lower voltage inverters, too.

Yes, both the inverter, as well as the internal battery charger use Maximum Power Point Tracking.

Most gadgets and appliances. We do not recommend connecting A/Cs, hair dryers, washing machines or ovens. We have limited power output for safety reasons and the battery is limited in size. We have some typical electronics and appliances that can easily be run, in the following pic.

Some of our product certifications are still pending, but rest assured, we will not ship any products until all required certifications are complete and in place.

We’ll be updating the status of the certifications on the product pages as they are completed.

As we are starting up production for our products, we are producing in China. We do have plans to move manufacturing to the USA and other countries, once we understand sales numbers better.

This happens automatically, since the electricity you produce is discharged directly into your home grid. This power is used first, but if you need more power than is available from your panel(s), then you will automatically draw more power from the utility.

For safety reasons, we limit each household to 2 smart panels.

Yes! Simply take the battery out of its smart base and disconnect the panel from the smart inverter. You can now connect the solar panel directly to the battery to keep it charged. The battery itself has USB-A and USB-C connectors, but we have also designed an AC power outlet for emergencies and on-the-go that connects to the top of the battery. Use that to power your fridge, internet access point or other essentials.

Not, if you use our Safety Products in the US. Our Power Meter communicates with your App to ensure that production is always smaller than your electricity consumption. This is often referred to as ‘staying behind the meter’, meaning none of the electricity you generate will ever leave your home and enter the public grid. Check with your local grid owner, but they are not concerned, if your system doesn’t try and sell electricity to the grid. In case you don’t want to use our power meter, you will have to sign an Interconnection Agreement with the local grid owner. This form depends on your State and the utility you use, but is generally an Agreement For Interconnection And Parallel Operation Of Distributed Generation.
If you live in Europe, where regulations for plug&play systems exist and Max Power is limited to 600W, you do not require our Safety Products. You will, however, have to sign an Interconnection Agreement.

Sure! We offer just our smart solar inverter for that reason. Our standard inverter is designed to work specifically with our own solar panel, which is a 72V version, but we’ll offer lower voltage inverters, too.

Our solar panel is designed to also charge our battery directly, when in use outdoors or for emergencies. Since our battery is a 48V battery, we have optimized the panel Voltage for the internal battery charger.

Our batteries use Lithium Iron Phosphate cells, which are much more stable and do not burst into flames as easily, as your typical cellphone battery. Our battery is designed for indoor use.