“It’s my vision to make energy storage affordable for everyone and promote energy independence in as many households and small businesses as possible–that’s what drives me.”
By Linn Smith
November 12, 2015—-Wolfred Walter is a German man from the town of Umkirch who, at the age of 53, has greatly contributed to the health of our planet through his inventions. Here’s what he has done in his 53 years:
Founded a light aircraft school, training over 600 pilots, was named Germany’s light aircraft champion 3 times, invented a special instrument which can search for minerals from the air, turned his Porsche into an electric car, (fueling it with his own solar storage battery), and won the German award for Renewable Product of the Year in 2013–The Sonnenspeicher (Sun Storage) made by his company, ASD, or Automatic Storage Device.
A Smarter Solar Battery
Walter’s greatest contribution towards a healthier planet might be his solar storage unit and his continuing effort to make it available and affordable to the average person, promoting independence from the electrical grid. Instead of building just a better solar storage battery, he built a smarter storage battery.
Why a smarter storage battery? A few years ago he put solar panels on the roof of his aircraft hanger. He grew frustrated when he had to sell 3,600 watts of solar generated power back to the electrical grid during sunny hours, but in the evening, when the sun wasn’t shining or on a cloudy day, he had to buy at least 1000 watts of electricity back from the grid. So he solved his problem by building a smart solar storage battery.
Walter started with a regular lithium-iron-phosphate battery, which he says is the best one out there. He equipped it with software to maximize the battery’s efficiency, micromanaging the flow of electricity between the solar panels connected to the battery, and the power grid, allowing only a minimal amount of power to go back into the grid.
The storage battery system is about the size of a very small refrigerator and works round the clock like a small power plant. It takes only about an hour to install because, “Basically you just have to plug it in.” Customers consume up to 90% of the power generated by the solar panels.
The Automatic Storage Device
Mr. Walter founded his company, ADS or Automatic Storage Device in 2013, two years after he invented the Sonnenspeicher. His company is now selling hundreds to homes and small businesses around the world. He says the key to getting people to go solar is to make them aware they can save thousands of dollars, which will pay off the system in about 8 years, replacing fossil fuels. He doesn’t have to ask the important question, “Will you buy a storage system to help your children, grandchildren and the environment.” He just asks, “Do you want to save/earn money?”
He’s now working on a smaller, cheaper, more reliable storage battery that he thinks might change things in the solar industry. He says, “It’s my vision to make energy storage affordable to everyone and promote energy independence in as many households and small businesses as possible–that’s what drives me.”
Pretty impressive for something that started in his garage several years ago!