SunPort Solar IoT Device Raises 160% of Kickstarter Goal for Total of $120,599
We’re pleased to announce new SunPort Internet of Things (IoT) smart device surpassed its Kickstarter goal to raise a total of $120,599. Since the spring of 2015, Technica Communications worked with SunPort’s inventors to prepare the company for it’s Kickstarter campaign, as well as build exposure for the product over the course of the campaign. Over 1,676 backers helped SunPort reach its goal on August 20, and surpassed it to a total of 160% of its $75,000 goal by the time the campaign ended on August 27.
In addition to the funds, SunPort’s Kickstarter exposure has opened up new avenues for collaborations with a variety of Fortune 500 corporations, sustainability minded cities and NGOs to explore new applications for the SunPort. New plug-in device upgrades any wall outlet to solar energy using solar micro-credits based on the US Solar Renewable Energy Certificate Program.
“The amount of support from our fans and backers has been overwhelming,” said SunPort inventor Paul Droege. “Less than 1% of Americans currently participate in solar directly, despite its popularity. With the SunPort the other 99 percent can consume solar energy, even if they can’t become producers themselves. Surpassing our goal shows us the demand for solar energy if strong, if people have an easy way to consume it.”
By plugging in a SunPort between any electrical device and any wall outlet, anyone can become a user of solar energy. It works with a smart phone app to track the energy used and refills the SunJoule microcredits when needed. The SunPort upgrades the grid energy consumed through the outlet by tracking the amount of SunJoule microcredits needed to match that energy use. SunJoules are microcredits derived from the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates program developed by the US Department of Energy. SunPort works with a non-profit called ReChoice to purchase the SunJoules, and those proceeds help fund new solar project given to other non-profits at no cost.
“The SunPort operates sort of like an ATM for solar energy,” continued Droege. “When you take money from a regular ATM, the bank’s system matches your cash withdrawal back to your account. Who held the cash before it arrived at the ATM doesn’t matter. You get your own money from the ATM, not because of the particular bills or how they got to the ATM, but because the bank’s accounting system matches the transaction to your account. In the same way, SunPort’s platform guarantees the power you use with it is real solar, not by tracking particular electrons or controlling grid power flow, but by matching your electricity to a real solar source using SRECs.”
Because it is impossible to differentiate the source of electrons flowing through the electrical grid, it is SunPort’s tracking platform that makes the solar energy available without the use of solar panels. By using a SunPort, users can increase market demand for solar by consuming standard electricity while automatically matching it to solar credits at the same time. While using the SunPort is not free, the cost of a solar upgrade is very small, due to the low cost and large size of SRECs. As an example, anything plugged in (up to 10 amps) can be upgraded to solar for under $2.00 a month. Backers of the Kickstarter campaign will receive one year of unlimited SunJoules to use with their SunPort devices, which are expected to be shipped in the Spring of 2016.
Funds from the Kickstarter campaign will help fund a consumer friendly user interface for the smart phone app, as well as gamification features to enhance user engagement and transparency features to add greater social and community visibility. Additionally, final safety testing and certification will also be funded from the proceeds of the campaign.