Intelligentdeveloper of solar power and electric vehicle (EV) charging technologies, announced Wednesday that it has raised $7 million in capital from strategic and institutional investors to accelerate the commercialization of its proprietary solar platform — what it calls a world first DC-to-DC solar hybrid bi-directional EV charger.
The seed round included investments from several strategic investors such as NOVAthe risk part of Saint Gobainone of the largest building materials companies in the world, and Taronga Venturesa leading real estate technology investor as well as other institutional investors.
Enteligent’s charger, which plans to start shipping in late June or early July, is powered directly by the sun, which takes it off the grid and eliminates inefficient direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) conversion, according to to the Morgan Hill, Calif.-based company. Its liquid DC-to-DC transmission allows users to maximize their kilowatt power, thereby reducing energy consumption and costs, Burke said.
“We take the DC power directly to our EV charger, so it’s DC in, DC out to save a lot of the power that’s often wasted during these conversions,” said Sean Burke, founder and CEO of Enteligent, explaining how his company connects its solar panel technology directly to EV charging stations. “We envisioned it coming to residential rooftops, but what we got was a tremendous desire from small commercial property owners, and then even larger property owners, to use this as part of their clean energy infrastructure and EV charging.”
Bypassing the conversion of solar DC power to household AC power on an electrical grid can save up to 25 percent of the energy lost in that process, he added. Smart customers can store their solar energy in large home batteries or directly recharge their EV, which is the hybrid part of the process, he said.
In addition, the two-way part of the process comes from customers being able to send energy from their EV to their home or to the grid, resulting in energy savings for the consumer through utilities. response to demand programs, Burke said. Demand response provides an opportunity for consumers to play a significant role in the operation of the electricity grid by reducing or redirecting their electricity consumption during peak periods in response to time-based tariffs or other forms of financial incentives.
“The grid is really not set up to provide all the vertices [in energy use]Burke said. “So by using your home storage or electric vehicle storage to supplement the grid at these peak times, utility companies are willing to provide a significant discount on the energy you actually consume from the grid. This is the part that is two-way. This is the reason why you should allow it to be used by the utility.
Enteligent’s goal is to make it more affordable and convenient to charge during the day, compared to the current process where EVs are mostly charged at night via a grid that uses electricity created by burning fossil fuels.
As the proliferation of electric vehicles increasingly strains the grid’s ability to handle rising energy demand, Enteligent’s proprietary solar EV chargers accelerate the fundamental shift to clean, solar-based charging during the day, according to the company.
“There is a growing demand for more accessible EV charging and we are seeing this among our real asset partners globally,” said Avi Naidu, managing partner at Taronga Ventures. “Intelligent’s EV DC charger provides a step change in the energy efficiency and cost of EV fast chargers that is needed to accelerate the adoption of clean energy in commercial assets.”
Philip Rousseau can be found at [email protected].