Photo - 4billion - years of sunlight
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4billion - years of sunlight

Renting solar powered battery systems for off-grid events.

Germany
Market: Power Engineering
Stage of the project: Prototype or product is ready

Date of last change: 07.11.2019
Min investment
$  100.000
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Total required
$ 390.000
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Idea

4billion is developing a mobile solar powered battery system for off-grid power supply during outdoor events. Combined with a solar generator in shape of a 5 m high surf sail including a huge advertising space on the backside, which is completely designed and manufactured by 4billion. It is possible to recharge the battery system during the day and to use the solar power stored in the batteries at night. The product is called “SunSet”. We want to create an alternative to fuel driven power generators, which are noisy, smelly and CO2 heavy.

Current Status

The founders invested € 30.000 during the last 14 months to finance three SunSets. 4billion received the Berliner Startup Stipendium for 1 year. Even if the production of the first generation of SunSets was just finished in May 2019, 4billion was able to generate a revenue of € 10.000 out of three SunSets at 16 events over 4 months. All of these customers want to use the SunSet again. To take the step to the next stage of development, we are looking forward to find an investor.

Market

Entry market: Event market Germany

Problem or Opportunity

Mobile generators for off-grid power supply are hard to find on the market. Especially in the power range 1 to 12 kW, fuel based generators are common. There are many DIY solutions and systems, heavy and fragile and not easy to use. Previous solutions have low capacity and short running times. They are noisy and smelly, so they are no longer in line with the spirit of the time. Conventional power generators require technical support during operation, including refueling. These generators are placed in a certain distance to consumers to get rid of smell and noise. This requires long expensive cable routing to each consumer. For critical infrastructure like billing and alarm systems on the event area the generator is not a reliable power source, because of outages and quality of the sinus wave voltage output.
There is a gap in the market between fast growing demand and existing products and service providers.

Solution (product or service)

4billion is developing a solar powered battery system for off-grid power supply during outdoor events. Combined with a solar generator in shape of a 5 m high surf sail including a huge advertising space on the north side, which is completely designed and manufactured by 4billion. It is possible to recharge the battery system during the day and to use the solar power stored in the batteries at night. The product is called “SunSet” and combines the battery system with the solar sail. We want to create an alternative to fuel driven power generators, which are noisy, smelly and CO2 heavy. Due to the self-sufficient operation, the installation of the cables is not longer necessary. SunSets do not need workers to refill the batteries and they can be built up easily by a single person. Its self-sufficient and decentralized function method makes it easier to locate sources of error while maintaining the rest of the energy supply system.
Our business model is based on a rental system, due to the high product cost and the short time demand for power at events. After a successful market entry with rentals, a selling option will be established. The selling option includes customized solar sails with the customers company branding, colours and logo prints.

Competitors

Competitors of 4billion are providers of mobile power generators.
Over the last year all our customers confirmed that there are no substitutes on the market right now. It is not possible to rent a combination of a battery system and a mobile solar generator in this power class, That’s the reason why the use of fuel-driven generators is the state of the art.
The biggest distributor of fuel-driven generators is Boels.
Battery and hybrid units rented by Boels have no energy management function. The “battery pack” does not provide a free solar recharge option, and the solar recharge of the hybrid unit is 14 times lower than the SunSet.
The ratio of the storage capacity to the power of the battery pack is 1.5 times smaller compared to the SunSet, meanwhile the weight is twice as high (118 kg per kW). The systems are not sustainable. Solara GmbH from Hamburg is another competitor with 1 to 5 million € turnover and 1 to 10 employees. Solara sells packages of third-party solar technology components. The biggest difference to 4billion is placed in the lack of plug & play capability of Solara solutions. Solara's solutions also do not provide integrated energy management.
Boels delivers its products to the same market, but they use completely different technology. Solara GmbH is technically comparable, but they do not offer their products to the same market.

Advantages or differentiators

There is no mobile solar powered battery system on the market, which can be build up by a single person. Even if the SunSet fits into a car, it is placed in a power class, which can deliver power for any kinds of devices.

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