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Location: Emeryville, CA
Sector: Clean Tech .
YouSolar sells a high-power solar+battery system that can be the primary power supply to a home or business. By default, the system does not net meter and thus requires no utility approval.
This fully-integrated, plug-and-play system is built on an advanced modular architecture using all-proprietary components and sets a new standard in performance, ease of deployment and customer focus while powering home or business using renewable energy.
1. Power in emerging markets is a mess. People are spending tens of billions a year for backup power.
Electricity demand in these markets will increase 5x in the next decades, accounting for 90% of global electricity demand growth. India spends USD 9 billion per year on back up power solutions, such as diesel generators.
Unlike generators, our proprietary and state-of-the-art solar+battery power system, PowerBloc™ delivers uninterrupted power with no glitches when the grid goes down.
The PowerBloc is smart, plug-n-play and modular. It can use any current or future solar or battery technology. It will benefit from the rapid cost reduction of both solar panels and batteries over the next 3-5 years.
2. Net-metering is on the retreat. Grid-connected, but not grid-tied solar+battery systems can continue the growth of the sector.
These systems make the power supply system simple and cheaper, benefiting all utility customers. Here are the two reasons why 1. A grid-connected solar+battery system no longer sends power back to the grid and thus no longer burden utilities with excess power, 2. It can provide power during peak times on the system reducing the peak power demand on the system.
This means fewer power plants and distribution equipment. There is no reason for legislators to stop the growth of solar and it puts the market outside the reach of utilities, as these grid-connected systems do not need utility approval. For the industry this means a “free” market and with the inclusion of batteries in the system also much higher revenues.
3. YouSolar’s complete, plug-and-play, and “closed” (meaning only YouSolar components work on it)solar+battery system allows for direct customer access and brand power for higher margins. The need to replace batteries over time results in significant recurring revenue.
By offering a complete system we capture all the value and margin power of a solution. As a plug-n-play system we can sell directly to consumers. Both the completeness and the plug-n-play feature gets integrators out of the equation which by offering other solutions “debrand” our product and steers away or confuses our target customers.
1. Proprietary High Efficient Power Electronics
All power electronics were developed by YouSolar and are the state-of-the-art using the latest advances in power electronics coming from the electric vehicle industry.
2. License to Parallel Direct Current Bus and to Micro-Converter
YouSolar has a full paid-up and irrevocable license to a DC-DC micro-converter technology originally developed by eIQ Energy, Inc. whose founding CEO is also YouSolar’s CTO. Tens of millions of USD went into developing this technology and we acquired a (non-exclusive) license for USD 500k and we are currently the only licensee
The controller is the system’s operating system. The controller assures perfect and seamless blending of power from solar, batteries, or the grid with zero glitches when the grid goes down or comes back up. The controller handles all input and output to internet as well as to the Android-based tablet. The controller also installs all software updates it receives “over the air” on the Android tablet, certain power components, and the controller itself.
4. Energy Management System
The YouSolar solar+battery system comes with a sophisticated energy management system (“EMS”) that runs on the controller. The energy management system executes strategies to reach certain user selectable goals
5. User Interface
The user interacts with the system with an Android-based tablet that runs the user interface. This tablet comes with and is designated for the system. It connects to the controller using WIFI. The user interface provides for system control, forecasts and management, installation help and trouble-shooting.
6. Modular Cabinet
The solar panels are the only components external to the modular cabinet which is created by stacking modules of all other components, including the controller, invertor, rectifier or batteries.
7. Global Solar Radiation Forecast
The system uses an inhouse solar radiation forecast to increase the predictability of future power supply to the system. The energy management system uses that data to learn the local solar radiation, including unknown object shading, and to create a solar production forecast based on the specifications of the panels.
8. Complete Solution
We sell a solution and not just components. Other than the racking for the solar array, which is a heavy and low-value item that can be easily locally sourced and that is not specific to our system, we provide all parts of the system, including cabling. The Android-tablet serves as an assembly guide and system check.
9. Control of COGS
We own all intellectual property with exception of the license to the micro-converter and associated patent, but this is a fully paid-up license which means there are no future payments with regards to how many micro-converters we sell. The system can also use any current or future solar or battery technology allowing us to switch vendors of these commodities.
10. Choice of Distribution Partners
The YouSolar solar+battery system is a complete system where components are plug-n-play and that only requires, if grid-connected, an ordinary electrician to assemble. (Off-grid systems can be connected by anyone.) YouSolar will provide all customer support and, if internet connected, monitor the system.
11. World Class Branding
The YouSolar solar+battery system is branded product. A brand achieves true value when it is protected from de-branding by intermediaries, its quality and customer experience is fully controlled and the brand is supported and expanded with superb marketing. We have these elements in place to create a world-class brand.
Arnold Leitner, PhD MBA, President, Secretary and Chairman of the Board/CEO
Arnold is a technology innovator with 20 years in solar and conventional power. He is the winner of an R&D 100 Award. Prior to YouSolar, Arnold founded SkyFuel, Inc., a company in the concentrating solar power sector. Prior to starting SkyFuel, Arnold was a Senior Consultant at Platts Consulting. While at Platts he authored a seminal solar energy study for the U.S. Department of Energy, “Fuel from the Sky”.
Education: Arnold holds a PhD in physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. MBA in finance and entrepreneurship from Columbia University, New York.
Sanjay Bhasin, MBA, Chief Operating Officer
Sanjay, based in India, has over 30 years of senior management and operational experience in the renewable energy and telecom sectors. Until recently, he was the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of SunTerrace Energy, India. Prior to SunTerrace, Sanjay worked with Samsung and was responsible for the nationwide roll out of the Jio 4G network in India. Previous roles include senior positions in world class companies such as Nokia and Intel.
Education: Sanjay is an engineering graduate from IIT Roorkee and holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, USA.
Michael William Allman, Director
Mike has held numerous executive roles in the power and gas industry. Most recently he was the CEO for Sempra Generation and the CEO of the Southern California Gas Company. While at Sempra Mike built the ground-breaking 10 MW “Eldorado” solar plant in Nevada which was the first solar project to use thin-film solar panels. Within a decade Sempra and other developers built thousands of megawatts of utility solar power projects in the America’s Desert Southwest. Mike started an industry that over the last ten years has deployed over $500 Billion of capital.
Education: BS Chemical Engineering, Michigan State University, 1982. MBA University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 1985
Gene Krzywinski, Chief Technology Officer
Gene is the founding CEO of eIQ Energy and inventor of the patented DC-DC micro-converter that is key to YouSolar’s innovative power architecture. He was also a co-founder of AATI (IPO 2005), a power semiconductor company. In addition to being a serial entrepreneur, he has also been successful in the corporate world. Gene was VP of Sales and Marketing for Impala Linear Corporation where he turned the company around and led its sale to Fairchild Semiconductor. He then spent two years at Fairchild Semiconductor as Director of Technical Marketing.
Education: Gene has a BSEE in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers College of Engineering, New Jersey