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Speed Equals Efficiency in the Solar World

For more information, call Raymond Trejo, iDemand Energy Storage COO, on his cellphone, 951-551-6969.

May 25, 2017 (San Diego) -- iDemand Energy Storage (iDES3) has developed a game-changing, single conversion charge controller that will shorten the time needed for electrical current to travel from solar panels to storage batteries, and in so doing, save energy.  

“Currently there is no product out there that can take voltage coming in and convert it efficiently to low voltage, high amperage, and you need high amps because batteries charge in amp hours,” iDES3’s Chief Operating Officer Raymond Trejo said. “Now everyone’s using standard PV inverters to convert solar energy to usable AC energy, and then they use a secondary hybrid inverter to take that AC and convert it back to DC.” The abbreviation AC stands for alternating current, and DC stands for direct current.

“But the problem with this method is you have a great loss of efficiency, anywhere from 25 to 35 percent of the energy,” Trejo said. “Our approach was to develop a high voltage charge controller that takes the high voltage solar energy and converts it to low voltage, high amperage DC to charge the batteries. So, it’s all DC energy dumped straight into the batteries.

“Other companies aren’t looking for a solution to the conversion problem because they design battery storage solely as a backup system. But our battery is capable of being fully grid-independent.”

Trejo and CEO Walter Ellard co-founded iDES3, a manufacturer of sustainable energy batteries in San Diego in August 2016.

Under development for nearly a year and a half, the new charge controller, which eliminates AC coupling, is expected to go on the market in mid-June. It is best suited for large scale commercial and industrial operations that use a vast amount of electricity.

“Since this product doesn’t require a second inverter, it will save customers money,” Trejo added.   

He pointed out that while the U.S. branch of Mercedes-Benz Energy recently announced a partnership with solar installer Vivint to sell backup storage, and SolarCity has merged with Tesla to do likewise, neither appear to be developing storage systems with a level of extended functionality equal to that of the new iDES3 charge controller.

“Nor is Sonnen, or Adara, apparently. Maybe they’re busy looking for someone to partner with,” Trejo mused.

Trejo and Ellard, both C-10 electricians with a combined 30 years of experience, concentrate on making a powerful lineup of residential and commercial batteries that are easy to install and carry a 25-year warranty.

The iDES3 battery lineup includes the 9-36 kilowatt hour Echo Indoor series suitable for most residential needs, the 9-72 kWh Echo Outdoor and 36-108 kWh Indoor/Outdoor Alpha. Commercial systems include the 36-108 kWh Indoor/Outdoor Alpha, and the Mega, the smallest of which comes in at 500 kWh, and can be customized in 108 kWh increments. They are all comprised of fifth-generation lithium iron phosphate, LiFePO4, prismatic cell technology, which is safe and will not self-ignite.

Solar-Plus-Battery Storage Will Keep the Lights on at the Light Church of Chula Vista

Chula Vista (April 11, 2017) -- Solar-plus-battery storage by SunFusion Solar and iDemand Energy Storage (iDES3) comprise the centerpiece of a renovation and improvement project at the Light, First Southern Baptist Church of Chula Vista.

Construction on the sustainable energy system, including 15 kilowatts of solar and a 45 kilowatt hour battery, is expected to be completed this summer at a cost of roughly $110,000.

“Altogether our renovations and improvements will cost upwards of $300,000. Adding solar and battery storage amounts to a significant portion of that sum, but in the long run it’ll wind up saving us just as much,” said Rev. Eric Maggio, lead pastor of the church. "Our primary reason for getting the system was to offset the power needs of the new air-conditioning unit we installed.”

The sustainable energy system will take advantage of San Diego Gas & Electric Co.’s net energy metering program, which credits power producers for electricity they add to the grid, said Jerry Prince, iDES3’s sales manager who consummated the deal.

iDES3 CEO Walter Ellard has arranged hybrid financing for 25 percent of the cost of the solar-battery project - essentially an endowment that the company provides for nonprofits.

“Under this program, iDES3, the developer, buys the system, obtains the federal, state and utility incentives for the asset, and passes them on to the customer,” Ellard said.

As Prince explained, the utility company classifies nonprofits as commercial accounts, and their bill totals are higher than those of residential customers because of demand charges based on peak usage.

“Currently the church’s electricity bills run about $700 a month. Had the church not gone the sustainable energy route, its utility bill after adding air conditioning could easily have doubled,” Prince said. “Yet the energy storage battery will enable it to eliminate its dependence on the grid altogether.”

Said Maggio, “We are very pleased that this system could take care of all of our power needs day or night, even during a blackout. The other reason we wanted to do this is because, as a minister it was important to me that we take care of our environment by going green. Using solar to power our church is just another way we can be good stewards of what God has given us.”

Prior to the project, the 40,000-square-foot structure at 335 Church Ave., which was built in stages starting in the early 1950s, did not have air conditioning.

“The church is about four miles from the beach, and with the cool ocean breeze, air conditioning wasn’t needed,” Prince said. “But now with a warming trend along the Southern California coastline, it is.”

Renovations also include installing new carpeting, repainting walls throughout, and installing new seating in the sanctuary, as well as carving out space for a coffee house-style gathering place.

“All of this requires power and air conditioning, which could get expensive if we did not go solar, and since many of our activities and functions occur at night, the battery power was necessary to keep our power usage off the grid,” Maggio emphasized.

iDES3 was co-founded by Ellard, and COO Raymond Trejo. Since opening the doors in late August, the company’s employee roster has grown from seven to 30. To date, sales have totaled more than $1 million.

SunFusion Solar, a 7-year-old company helmed by Sandy Ellard, has 20 employees and average annual sales of $4 million. Both companies are based in San Diego.

Rapid Growth Prompts iDemand Energy Storage to Move to Bigger Quarters

 

 

March 23, 2017 (San Diego, Calif.) Seven months after iDemand Energy Storage Inc. opened its doors near Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, the company is moving to new quarters that more than triple the amount of space at its current location.

“We launched the company with four people,” said CEO Walter Ellard, referring to himself, co-founder Ray Trejo, a bookkeeper and a technician. “Now with 30 employees onboard, we’ve had to put two and three desks in each office.

“Orders continue to ramp up, and we’re running out of room to store our manufacturing inventory. We’re stacking pieces and parts to the ceiling in the warehouse.”

iDES3 manufactures a lineup of sustainable energy storage batteries suitable for residential, commercial and agricultural needs, as well as microgrids.

In a deal finalized on March 8, 2017, iDES3 leased 17,080 square feet of warehouse/office space at 8380 Camino Santa Fe, suite 100, in the Camino Santa Fe Business Park. Ryan Spradling and Brant Aberg of Cushman & Wakefield represented the landlord, RREEF America Reit II Corp., in the transaction while Alex Weiss of Lee & Associates represented iDES3.

The move from 5,000 square feet of space at 7766 Arjons Dr., suite A, about two miles from the new headquarters facility, is currently under way and is expected to be completed on April 1.

 

 

 

iDemand Energy Storage Designs Microgrid for Cambodian Community

 

 

News brief. For more information, contact iDemand Energy Storage Public Relations Manager, Connie Lewis, cellphone, 619-385-9822.

March 16, 2017 (San Diego, Calif.) iDemand Energy Storage (iDES3) has completed conceptual design of turnkey microgrid project estimated to be about $70 million to manufacture a sustainable energy battery system and supply solar modules for a master planned community in the Banteay Meanchey Province of Cambodia, about 400 miles north of Phnom Penh.

As part of the 495-acre project under development by the PVN Trading Group of Phnom Penh, iDES3 proposes to train a local workforce to build the 10 megawatt hour plant and install 5 MW of solar modules, which will be a combination of rooftop- and ground-mount arrays.

The development includes a Comfort Hotel that is already up and running, 2,000 condominium units, space for 80 to 90 retail stores of varying sizes, a school, hospital, supermarket, casino and a freight station,

“The renewable energy microgrid concept is great for communities worldwide, not just those in underdeveloped countries,” said IDES3 Chief Technical Officer Saroj Joshi, the electrical engineer who designed the microgrid. “It has zero emissions which is good for preserving the environment overall. But in areas where people do not have energy they will cut down trees for firewood. If they are provided energy, they do not have to do that anymore, a great solution for deforestation.”

Additionally, the development is expected to improve the area’s economy. “People move in, and jobs are created by the enterprises that come to serve their needs,” Joshi said.

 

 

iDemand Goes Island Hopping in the Pacific

For more information, contact iDemand Energy Storage CEO Walter Ellard, cellphone, 858-837-4755. Hawaii contact, Hi-Power Solar Vice President Cruz Romero, 808-388-0057.

March 7, 2017 (San Diego, Calif.) – iDemand Energy Storage (iDES3), a San Diego-based manufacturer of sustainable energy battery storage systems, has agreed that solar installer Hi-Power Solar of Pearly City, Hawaii, will be its exclusive distributor for the state.

Under the agreement, finalized in mid-February by iDES3 sales manager, Benjamin Luck, the company will ship its custom-designed and fabricated battery units, which vary in size and capabilities to meet customers’ needs, directly to Hi-Power Solar.

“We met with Hi-Power’s executives when they came to San Diego recently, and we are honored and pleased to be working with them,” said iDES3 CEO Walter Ellard.

Ellard was referring to a late January meeting when he and iDES3 CTO/chief engineer Saroj Joshi met with Hi-Power Solar Vice President Cruz Romero and Patrick Ambler, the company’s operations manager.

“Our interest in becoming an exclusive dealer for iDemand was based on the quality of the product,” Romero said. “Compared to other batteries, iDemand’s is more dense, and it’s backed by a 25-year warranty. No one else in the U.S. is doing that, and it’s a great benefit for homeowners who are looking to buy a self-generating system. Most companies are only offering warranties of 10 or 15 years.

“iDemand batteries fit to customers’ needs and scalability, and they’re safe. They won’t blow up, and they’re made in the U.S. That’s important, particularly from the standpoint of job creation.”

iDES3’s battery lineup includes the 9-36 kilowatt hour Echo Indoor series suitable for most residential needs, the 18-72 kWh Echo Outdoor, and the 36-108 kWh Alpha, available in either indoor or outdoor versions. They are all comprised of fifth-generation lithium iron phosphate, LiFePO4, the most advanced sustainable energy battery technology available.

“Our battery storage units are the only whole-house, whole building systems on the market today,” Ellard stressed. “That means they’ll pick up all your heavy-hitting loads, such as air-conditioning, pool pumps and electric vehicle chargers, while providing ample output for other appliances and needs. We keep the lights on 24/7, 365 days a year.”

Romero conservatively estimated that sales of solar-plus-battery systems could reach $2.5 million in an initial 12-month period.

Background: iDemand Energy Storage was co-founded in August 2016, by Walter Ellard and Raymond Trejo to serve both the residential and small- to mid-sized commercial markets. Their mission is to revolutionize the energy storage sector, and they’ve recruited and hired a team of highly experienced electrical and design engineers to assist them. To date, sales total $1 million, and there are $5 million in contracts on the board, including one for five facilities of a San Diego-based biotech company. iDES3 is also in negotiations for projects in Cambodia and Nigeria.

Ellard, whose background in electrical installations dates back to 1986, started working in the solar industry in 2005 as a project superintendent for one of California’s largest commercial installers, then opened his own company, SunFusion Solar in 2010. He earned the C-10 electrical contractor’s license in 2008.

Trejo, who studied mechanical engineering at San Diego State University, has devoted his career to the renewable energy industry. He holds multiple contractor’s licenses, including the C-10.

Hi-Power Solar was founded in 2010 by Ron Romero, who has 30 years of solar industry experience, which included solar hot water and thermal hot water energy, solar attic fans, solar pool heating systems and photovoltaic systems. More recently, the company added sustainable energy battery backup and off-grid systems to its offerings.

Ron Romero’s expressed philosophy for running a successful and growing company is to treat each of its customers as if they were family and to support the local economy.

“This is a key reason why Hi-Power Solar was interested in offering the iDES3 brand. It ties in nicely with our premium panels, which also have a 25-year warranty,” he said.   

iDemand Newsletter February - March

iDemand Energy Storage Completes First Out-of-State Project

 

Drenched with snow in the winter and sun in the summer, a 3,000-square-foot home on 20 acres in Southeast Utah that is both a vacation respite and ecologically balanced horse ranch was iDemand Energy Storage’s (iDES3) first out-of-state project.

In late January, iDemand’s COO Ray Trejo traveled from the company’s San Diego offices to Fruitland, Utah, to oversee installation of a 36 kilowatt hour sustainable energy storage battery unit, the largest model of the company’s Echo indoor series. Tied to the Echo are 24 kilowatts of OutBack inverters.

The uninterrupted-energy-supply (UES) battery system was connected to 13 KWs of ground-mounted solar arrays installed by Salt Lake City-based GoSolar Group.

While the project is relatively small from a financial perspective for iDES3, the perimeters under which the installation took place and the location represent a company first.

“Not only is this our first installation outside of California, it also proves that our product will work in inclement weather,” Trejo said. “Temperatures range between a negative 15 and 90-plus degrees in the summer and it was negative 5 when I was there.”

Aside from the solar arrays and energy storage battery unit, there is a 15 KW generator on the property. Together they create grid independence by powering the house, a separate garage and two pumps that draw water from a creek to hydrate an agricultural crop via a sprinkler system.

iDemand Newsletter January - February

iDemand Energy Storage Inc. (iDES3) has begun engineering and design work on a $4.1 million solar-plus-battery storage project that will lower dependency on the investor-owned utility and reduce the carbon footprint for five buildings belonging to a San Diego County-based biotech company.

The contract to manufacture uninterrupted-energy-supply batteries capable of storing and discharging up to 1.078 megawatts of solar energy was awarded to iDES3 in early January by SunFusion Solar Inc. Both are San Diego companies.

“One of the challenges of this project will be to customize solar awnings that will hang off the sides of the buildings,” said Ray Trejo, co-founder and senior vice president of six-month-old iDES3. “They will need to be specially engineered to ensure that they’re not too heavy. There will also be solar arrays atop carports and rooftops.”

Work, including installation of the battery units and solar arrays, is expected to be completed in mid-October. The name of the biotech concern is being withheld pending iDES3’s patent applications for the solar storage technology, Trejo added.

“This is the first of potentially several projects for the biotech company, which in addition to its buildings in San Diego County, also has facilities in Baja, Mexico,” said Sandy Ellard, president of SunFusion.

The client’s objective is to shave peak-load electricity demand during the middle of the day by using energy discharged from the battery units that was stored overnight. During peak-demand periods, utility companies charge higher rates than in off-peak times, Trejo said.

Rates may run as high as $20 per kilowatt between noon and 6 p.m. and $15 per KW from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. “It all depends on the utility jurisdiction,” he said.

However, utility companies will essentially “double-dip” by adding what’s called a non-coincidental charge on top of the peak rate any time they detect a user’s maximum rate. “But our battery system looks for a rise in demand and it automatically discharges stored power to level off the demand load,” he explained.

The biotech contract, which calls for 900 kilowatt hours for the five buildings’ load is the largest to date for the startup battery manufacturer.

SunFusion Solar has averaged sales of $4 million annually since it was founded in 2010.

iDemand Newsletter November - December

San Diego – (November - December 2016) Since iDemand Energy Storage (iDES3), a manufacturer of sustainable-energy battery units cofounded by Walter Ellard and Raymond Trejo, opened in mid-August, it has garnered tens of millions of dollars in residential and industrial contracts, and has more than tripled its staff, including the addition of three engineers.

Ellard and Trejo, a mechanical engineer, both have extensive experience in the renewable energy sector, and hold C-10 electrical contractors’ licenses.

iDES3 is finalizing terms on a contract valued at $10 million to make systems with 2 megawatt-hour battery units that will store energy from 1.72-MW solar arrays for a medical company that has three separate buildings in Southern California and two in Baja totaling about 2 million square feet. Work, including the solar installations by SunFusion Solar Electric Inc., is expected to begin in December.

iDES3 is also in talks with agovernment contractor to manufacture a 2.7-MW-hour energy   storage system for two buildings and a parking structure totaling approximately 2 million square feet in San Diego. In combination with solar arrays, the battery units could save that company roughly $81 million in utility costs over 30 years. The value of that contract is $22 million.

 
 

Walter Ellard

Ellard credits the success of iDES3 to its technical expertise as well as superior battery units comprised of lithium iron phosphate in large formed prismatic cells, for “maximum performance.” 

 
 

Raymond Trejo

Said Trejo, “Ours are the only whole-house, whole-building systems on the market today. That means they’ll pick up all your heavy-hitting loads, such as air-conditioning, pool pumps and electric-vehicle chargers while providing ample output for other appliances and needs. Furthermore, we provide a bumper-to-bumper warranty for the entire system for up to 25 years. Nobody else in our business does that.”

Trejo continues, “We have today what Tesla has been unable to provide its customers – a system allowing them to get off the grid with software creating unique battery management, all of which is internet capable. Thus, it allows us to continually monitor and know if our product is operating efficiently.

Meanwhile, a recently completed project at a 4,600-square-foot laboratory in El Cajon for Advanced Dental Arts, as cited in an Oct. 27thpublication of the San Diego Business Journal, couples a 22-KW-hour battery unit with a solar array by SunFusion Solar. Vicki Jones, the laboratory’s owner, said that she was accustomed to monthly electric bills ranging from $1,200 to $1,700, and while she’d yet to receive her first bill following installation of the solar-plus-energy storage system, she expected it to reflect freedom from the grid.

To accommodate projected growth that will bring iDES3’s employee roster to 200 by April of the coming year, Ellard is in negotiations to lease a 33,000-square-foot warehouse in Temecula.

Specifications of the iDES3 system:

  • Mounting: Wall or floor, indoor/outdoor
  •  Inverter: Fully integrated
  • Energy: 9 KWh, 18 KWh, 27 KWh & 36 KWh
  • Power: 5 KW continuous, 7 KW peak or more
  • Round Trip Efficiency: 93% for AC Coupled, 98.5% for DC Coupled
  • Warranty: Unlimited cycles for up to 25 years
  • Dimensions: Flexible
  • Weight: Varies
 
 

The iDES³ is comprised of fifth- generation lithium iron phosphate LiFePO4, prismatic cell battery chemistry. Every one of our battery systems includes a brand new control system that allows for 100% energy use in each cell, with configuration options that last up to 25 years.

For additional information, contact: PR@iDES3.com, or call Connie Lewis at (619) 385-9822.

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