And now, a solar-powered generator

Sol Solutions’ SolMan transportable, can generate 2,000 watts

[caption id="attachment_25188" align="alignright" width="314" caption="Chaz Peling, CEO of Sol Solutions, unveiled the company’s new lithium battery solar-powered generator at the Solar Sonoma Expo, where his SolMan generators powered most of the booths."][/caption]

WILLITS AND SANTA ROSA – A North Bay startup has an alternative to the portable gasoline generator, and it’s getting the attention of green expos around the West Coast.

Sol Solutions’ SolMan is a solar-powered unit that can generate 2,000 watts and store them in a powerful lithium battery.

According to Sol Solutions CEO Chaz Peling, it’s the only solar generator that can be loaded onto a truck and go to construction projects, off-grid ranch operations, fairs, concerts or even along on a camping vacation for modest charging or powering needs.

These days the SolMan is doing a lot of traveling, from the Solar Sonoma Expo, where three SolMans powered most of the booths, to last weekend’s SolFest in Ukiah, where four of the generators provided quiet, clean solar power to the sound stage, booths and zones.

On Sept. 29, Sol Solutions will be presenting at West Coast Green at Fort Mason in San Francisco, the largest show featuring green solutions for the built environment.

“We were one of 10 chosen by West Coast Green as Innovation Pipeline companies from a field of 80 applicants,” said Mr. Peling, an entrepreneur with a background in telecom and Internet telephony in addition to 15 years in alternative energy design.

The mobile solar generator was 15 years in development by its inventers Phil Jergenson, Howard Letovsky and Reinhold Zeiglar. Mr. Peling organized a marketing partnership called Sun Tools with Mr. Jergenson and Mr. Zeiglar to commercialize the SolMan several years ago.

[caption id="attachment_25189" align="alignleft" width="252" caption="The SolMan solar-powered generator is perfect for an off-grid Tiny Home or cottage."][/caption]

In 2009, Mr. Peling bought out his partners and formed Sol Solutions to take the concept further, featuring the generator in his Sol Solutions retail store in Willits along with LED lighting, energy-saving appliances and other environmentally friendly products.

“We stress personal power and point-of-use power, both of which are exemplified by the SolMan,” he said.

While the generators are not strong enough to power an electric car, they can and do charge electric bikes and scooters. eMotors Electric vehicles in Sebastopol uses a SolMan to charge its product line.

The plug-and-play system is perfect for recharging power tools overnight at off-grid construction sites or pumping water at a winery.

“Biodynamic grape growers and farmers like it, and it’s getting a lot of interest from the Tiny Home movement,” said Mr. Peling.

Real Goods store in Hopland shows the SolMan paired with its Tumbleweed House, a small, green mobile home.

“We’ve carried solar generators in the past, but they were generally underpowered and of poor quality,” said Real Goods tech salesman Erik Frye.

“The inverter and all the components of the SolMan except for the lithium battery are made in the U.S., and soon the battery will be U.S.-made, too. Sol Solutions didn’t skimp on quality. The only negative is the high price, but that’s the nature of high-end generators.”

Sol Solutions has three models of SolMan, starting at $3,950 and going up to $8,000 to $9,000 for the lithium battery-equipped unit.

“Our generators are the same size and weight as a gas-powered generator, with none of the noise, fumes and carbon production,” he said.

The company has its main office in Willits and maintains a smaller office in Santa Rosa.

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