Maxout Renewables hit our radar and SB Pro newsletter last week with its Evergrid technology — a cost-effective system that keeps power flowing from a residential solar installation during a grid outage without having to add energy storage. We thought it was cool and the Department of Energy agreed, naming it one of two prize winners in its American-Made Solar contest.
How it works: When the grid is down the Evergrid maintains the voltage waveform, allowing a solar installation to continue to generate power. It also provides up to 15 kW of surge capacity to power surge-heavy appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners.
“In a power outage, a residential solar power system will stop functioning— just when it is most needed,” said Eric Cummings, Maxout founder and inventor of the Evergrid technology. “Battery backup units will keep the power on, but their cost is prohibitively expensive for most homeowners. We are developing the Evergrid to keep daily life functioning, regardless of grid conditions, at a price that the vast majority of homeowners can afford.”
Maxout has been developing the Evergrid in part with funding from the first two phases of the American-Made Solar Prize challenge. “With support from the AMS and its network we have been able to take the Evergrid from concept to prototype in under twelve months. We are very focused on bringing the product to market within the next year.”
The second winner is Wattch, an Atlanta-based company that has developed an inexpensive solution for monitoring solar array components. Both teams earned a $500,000 cash prize plus program vouchers for use at national laboratories and connector facilities.
— Solar Builder magazine