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Portable SolUtioN for dIstributed geNeration in a BOX

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Suninbox (Portable SolUtioN for dIstributed geNeration in a BOX)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2015-05-31

Suninbox consists of a portable Solar PV energy solution that integrates in a certified container all the components necessary to generate electricity autonomously. Our project arises from a joint business venture between Solarbox Solar Solutions (henceforth Solarbox) and Generaciones Fotovoltaicas de la Mancha (henceforth GFM) to develop Suninbox as a portable solution for the off-grid generation market. The joint venture between Solarbox and GFM started in 2007 for the design of a solar tracker to increase the collection efficiency of solar systems by more than 30% whilst making it easy to transport to cover the lack of solutions in the market with good price/characteristics rate. The development of Suninbox will allow both Solarbox and GFM to gradually reach industrial scale with increasingly lower costs (objective price of 4.25 €/W per 12kWp module), increasing penetration in the international market through a lower cost of energy (i.e. <0.35 €/kWh) vs. other off-grid solutions (<0.5 €/kWh for generation with diesel). Before starting with the final product development of Suninbox we first carried out a feasibility study as a result of the Phase 1 of the H2020 SME Instrument during the project period between February and May 2015. The objective of this feasibility study was to gain further insight in the technical, economic and regulatory details required to introduce the solution in the international market.
Solarbox and GFM are two experienced companies well connected in the renewable energy market. The expertise of Solarbox is mainly in the solar energy (thermal and photovoltaic) and biomass fields. Currently, Solarbox has developed portable solutions for thermal generation through biomass, delivering the system semi installed and configured in a container ready to operate. Thanks to the demand of these solutions, Solarbox has acquired experience in the development of portable and preinstalled configurations of renewable energy. On the other side, since 2000, GFM has demonstrated experience in wind and solar developments, having 15 years of experience in setting up photovoltaic installations, maintenance of solar farms and research and development of new products and solutions, mainly in Spain.
The feasibility study has been carried out from February 2015 to May 2015, covering the following tasks to assess the technical and commercial viability of the proposed Suninbox technology:
Task 1: Determination of the detailed scope of work. We estimated the timing, budget and specific activities required at operational level by each partner in order to implement Suninbox, our solar energy generation packaged solution.
Task 2: Costs revision. We carried out an analysis of the market prices for the Suninbox solution by further evaluating the maturity of the components such as PV modules, batteries, inverter as well as the expected evolution in the market.
Task 3: Analysis of the levelized cost of energy. Detailed analysis and calculation of the levelized cost of energy of Suninbox in different locations and variation of several parameters (investment, operations and maintenance costs and discount rate) in order to reach an in-depth knowledge of the base payback for the final users.
Task 4: Partner agreements. Negotiating conditions with selected subcontractors for technical activities:
Task 5: Intellectual property and regulations analysis. We included in this feasibility a deep intellectual property analysis and revision of the European and international market regulations that apply in the PV market, as well as the security standards and regulations we will need to comply with.
Task 6: Market study. We performed a deep market study in order to set the business margins and refine the analysis of the competition, as well as revising our market strategy.
Task 7: Suninbox business plan. We completed and updated our initial strategy with a business plan in line with the current state and future commercial plans of Solarbox and GFM.
The Suninbox project will boost the commercialization of previous renewable energy generation packaged solution, through:
 Further development of the patented solar tracker decreasing its manufacturing costs whilst maintaining its 35-45% increase in efficiency vs. non tracked PV. This will be achieved through a detailed cost engineering and assembly plan and reengineering tasks to achieve, among others, a decrease of at least 50 % in the steel quantity used for the current prototype.
 The use of an easy-to-transport easy-to-install concept through the inclusion of all the components in a 20-foot standard shipping container (TEU, ISO-668) to permit “Plug and Play” on-site installation (without the need for especially skilled experts).
 The integration of current mature renewable technologies in a modular solution for 12 kW peak of electricity generation, in a profitable way, in order to reach a competitive ratio of energy/cost of acquisition (4.25 €/W of installed capacity versus 6.5 €/W of current similar solutions in market.)
 Development of a low cost semi-automatic rail system to allow extraction of the solar PV sun-capture infrastructure in an easy way from the container.
 Development of a standalone independent system: includes all required components to guarantee quality and continuity of electricity supply (batteries and/or a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) mini generator to deliver continuous energy) with 25% less maintenance than current remote diesel generation systems (due to unavoidable motor maintenance for the latter)
 The upgrading of the software (SW) system to control the overall solution components.
 Closing of agreements with business stakeholders in the overall Suninbox supply chain (international distributors, manufacturers and suppliers) once the solution is ready to scale up to industry.
 Up-scale and down-scale the design of Suninbox modular solution of 12 kWp to 5 kWp and 20 kWp modules once the previous technology objectives are reached.
We expect to have over 5 million € profit by 2022. With an additional 1.5 million € being necessary to go on with the development of Suninbox, a market introduction in 2018 and over 400 units sold by 2022 we estimate our break-even point to be reached in the third year after market introduction.