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About

We're a young startup with a focus on creating products that'll help you produce your own electricity in an affordable and ridiculously easy way. All you need for our products are two things:  An electric outlet & basic IKEA-level assembly skills for our mounts

CraftStrom was founded by 4 friends, who noticed that people have a real interest in producing electricity at home, but often don't have the time and nerves to catch up with the tech. Hence, we market plug&play solar systems that require neither skills, nor large amounts of money.

Currently, we are selling only to retailers and utility companies, but we will be selling directly to consumers very soon.  

More details on how this works below the gallery.

Professional solar plug & play solutions for your home

 

Understanding and installing solar systems can be difficult and tricky. You might not have the time or interest in delving deeper into this topic. Even more importantly, you might live in an urban area, like most of us, where you don't have access to precious roof space to mount a full solar system. We get that. We were and are in the same situation. To change this, we started looking for easy to use, plug & play systems that we could place on a balcony or porch. 

Hold on...what is the difference between what I see on roofs and your plug & play system?

When you see many solar panels on a roof or neatly arranged, hovering over the ground, they were installed by a certified electrician. He designed the system, sorted through many options of solar panels and electronic components and then created a layout that will incorporate a secondary power line with an additional power meter. Such systems are designed to sell the power you generate into the public or private network to which you have a subscription. That additional power meter measures the power coming from your panels and going into the electricity grid. Or he designed it with an array of batteries, which means that the house can run on its own and does not require power from the power companies. In any case, you might not have the space to mount more than a few panels. In that case, hiring an electrician and connecting to the grid to sell to the grid provider is probably too expensive. In many countries, especially in Europe, there is a massive difference between the price you pay to buy electricity, versus the price the net provider will pay to buy your power. This means that your investment will pay itself off much slower. Therefore, we thought, we wanted an easy system where we could simply produce electricity for our own use, instead of buying from power providers. This means, when we calculate how quickly the investment will pay itself off, we use the buying prices charged by our providers, since we are replacing their electricity with ours. 

So, how does your system work? What do I need to produce my own electricity.

Not much and you don't even need a battery, though we offer one for the outdoors, since you can simply channel the electricity your panel produces through any outlet in or outside of your home. That electricity is then used by the appliances that are connected to the other outlets in your home. True plug & play solar solutions, as we learned, must have a few, crucial components. There is the solar panel that generates the electricity by converting the sun's energy. Then the inverter, which cannot be any old inverter we might have at home. For safety reasons, we need a grid-tie-in inverter that ensures that you receive the maximum power possible, while keeping you safe from the electricity produced in the panel. Now you have to place that solar panel using a mount, which is often quite large, somewhere where it can receive as much light throughout the day, as possible, without any shading. Unless you have a roof, that might be difficult - and we have a solution now.  
We were unsatisfied with currently available plug & play systems - be it design or price - so we decided to design our own, using off-the-shelf components to reduce prices for our customers. The components and kits we present here are currently only available through our distributors, but no worries: We are working on establishing our network to sell directly to you, soon

 

Product Details

Plug&Play Solar in the news

articles on Plug&play Solar

2017

XING News (German)

2016

Science Daily (English)
Phys.Org (English)
Treehugger (English)
Mein Bezirk (German)

2015

Die Presse (German)


Features Overview

Here a few highlights on the technology in our products

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Solar Panels

Only mono-crystalline cells are used for our products, where most plug & play solar sets are shipped with cheaper poly-crystalline cells.

Each photovoltaic cell is quality checked by a cell sorter at the manufacturing plant, ensuring maximum power capacity and longevity.

3.2 mm hardened safety glass is used for the protection of the solar cells from the environment and impact in framed panels. Semi-flexible panels are the exception, as can be read in the detailed product specifications.

Locally Manufactured, i.e. in the EU, USA, etc., wherever sales are anticipated.
This allows us to reduce our carbon footprint, by ensuring that we use local products that don't have to be shipped around half the planet.

inverters

Our inverters are manufactured at a world leading manufacturer to ensure that we can maintain a steady supply, while at the same time guaranteeing constant, excellent quality.

We only use microinverters, which means that individual or small numbers of panels are connected via individual inverters that regulate the power output (through maximum power point tracking - MPPT), thereby maximising efficiency.

All inverters are true grid-tie-in inverters, meaning that, depending on country, various safety standards are incorporated to ensure that should the municipality's or your home grid fail, the inverter(s) will automatically shut off any power to the AC side within milliseconds.

batteries

We offer 50Ah and 100Ah Lithium Ion, portable batteries for use at home or in the outdoors.

Charging can be done via either an AC outlet at home, through our panels, or even a Diesel genset.

Each battery comes with a detachable DC to AC inverter module, to provide power to your laptop, fan or other gadgets. Versions for both, 120V and 220V are available.

Charge your DC devices, such as cell phone or tablets through an array of USB 2.0 and QC 3.0 (Quick Charge) slots.

Soon to come: We are working on providing battery sets designed specifically for home use, starting from 200Ah, which will be stackable, so you can buy more capacity, if and when you require it.


+ accessories +

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Solar Panel Stands

We design various types pf mounts and stands. The stands we offer are designed to be applicable in a multitude of situations and environments.

Variable Inclination Base (VIB - pictured in product photos)

We designed a standing mount, based on lessons learned from the industry in previous efforts, which incorporates important features, such as a variable inclination slider. This slider enables you with a few screws to adjust the angle at which the solar panel will face the sun. This angle changes constantly throughout the year and needs to be adjusted to receive the maximum from your panel.

We also designed the base so that the panel would always maintain a safe distance to the ground, saving the panels from accidental damage.

Delta Base (pictured on top)

This base is made of two feet in the shape of hollow triangles. This design allows us to mount the solar panel on the three sides, depending on the required orientation of the panel (vertical vs horizontal), as well as the angle of inclination (to the sun).

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Solar Panel balcony mount

This type of mount was designed to provide a cost efficient, simple and easy-to-install way of mounting solar panels on the outer or inner side of terrace or balcony railings/glass walls.

The mount consists of steel attachments for the mounting holes on the solar panel frame. These attachments have 2 inch slots, where ratchet straps are threaded through. The ratchet straps reach around the balcony wall/railings/glass, each supporting a maximum load of 500kg. 

Due to this design, the solar panel can be secured with the ratchet strap loop on the inner side of the balcony/terrace, before lifting the panel over the balcony to the outside. To ensure variability, each strap has a length of 10m.

Universal Mounts

Since no one solution will fit all customer requirements, we also designed a VESA mount for our panels, enabling customers to mount the panels on any wall using a standard TV mount.

On the other hand, we also sell an ABS plastic frame to secure the panels on flat surfaces. This mount allows glueing the panel, instead of having to drill.

 

Cabling

Cables to connect solar panels with inverters are already fixed to the equipment. However, especially the AC cables that leads from the inverter to carry the power to the customer's power outlet requires varying standards. We can provide a wide array of cables, from standard, to German design safety cables. 

 

Contact Us

If you're interested in becoming a distributor for our systems, or simply want to learn more, please contact us via this form. 

 

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