Span recently landed $10.2 million in venture capital to modernize and replace one of the more basic and ubiquitous pieces of home electrical hardware â€” the electrical panel. Spanâ€™s ambition is to â€śtransform the electrical panel into an intelligent gatewayâ€ť and help expand the adoption of solar, energy storage and EVs.
Spanâ€™s electrical panel will be paired with Panasonicâ€™s EverVolt residential battery system, which comes in two sizes: 11.4 kWh and 17.1 kWh â€” depending on how many of the 55-pound battery packs are incorporated into the field-serviceable housing. The Panasonic systems are intended for indoor usage and are available in DC-coupled or AC-coupled versions â€” and so can be retrofitted to an existing solar system.
Span CEO Arch Rao recently told pv magazine that as the size of rooftop solar systems increases, the electrical panel has to be replaced. If replaced with a Span smart panel, the package includes energy management software, an output meter, a communications gateway and a separate critical loads panel. These functions would usually require their own enclosures and wiring.
Spanâ€™s panel is designed to monitor and control up to 32 circuits, all managed through a smartphone app. When the power goes out, Span islands the house and lets homeowners choose which parts of the home they want to power.
The company, which already has a partnership with LG Chem for inverters and batteries, will offer the new combined solution with Panasonic to installers and homeowners this year. The Span panel can be purchased as an add-on to an existing solar system or bundled together with a new solar installation.
As Span puts it, â€śthe standard electrical panel has not seen major innovation for nearly a century.â€ť