Peppermint’s Forty2. The solar microgrid – made portable and accessible.

September 6, 2012 in Distributed Power, Solar

Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Peppermint Clean Energy is a cleantech startup developing the Forty2an integrated solar “Utility in a Box” – powerful enough to run an emergency disaster-relief medical facility, compact enough to be carried by a child.

The Forty2, with a name that pays homage to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s Answer of the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everythingis a 2ft-by-3ft all-in-one unit that combines

    • power generation: 180-200W solar panels,
    • power storage: 350 watt-hour Lithium Ion battery, and
    • power inversion: an inverter with 3 built-in AC outlets.

The Forty2 can be used for off-grid situations like camping, tailgating, and back-up power – large enough to run a small fridge, a HDTV, fans, laptops, multiple phones, a lot of LED lights, or some combination of the listed items.

More interestingly, the Forty2 could serve as a robust solution for portable electricity generation in developing countries in rural, unelectrified communities.

Integrated solar projects are already successfully addressing this market – like Mera Gao Power‘s solar microgrid, We Care Solar‘s solar suitcase, and ReadySet’s Solar Kit.

However, the Forty2 offers a unique combination of ultra-portability and high power that could be particularly useful for certain applications.

At ~$500 per system, the Forty2 is too expensive / over-dimensioned for a single household’s needs, but could be interesting for a community of houses, a small business, or especially appropriate in emergency, health, and aid situations.

  

As a startup, Peppermint is looking for investors to raise capital but also recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the beta production run of the first 250 units.  The campaign has already raised $73,011 on  (largely over the $25,000 goal) and still has 6 days to go.

Peppermint plans to sell the Forty2 domestically through their website and traditional retailers.  For developing countries, Peppermint plans to partner with NGOs for distribution.

Portable.  Powerful.  And pretty sleek.

Check out this video for more information.