Manufacturing photovoltaic panels in Hawaii might seem like a risky proposition given the competition from low-cost producers on the mainland and in Asia and Europe.
But Honolulu-based Greenpath Technologies Inc. is giving it a shot, producing a niche product at its facility in Kakaako that combines lightweight folding solar modules and a battery storage system that can provide power in remote areas.
The company got a good response when it demonstrated its “Solar Transportable Alternative Energy Storage System” earlier this year at military and disaster relief exercises in the Philippines and Thailand, said Jim Chaney, Greenpath’s director of product development.
The energy storage part of the system features lithium iron phosphate batteries that have a longer life and charging times that are 10 times faster than other batteries used in military applications, he said. The brain of the system is a charge controller/inverter that converts the solar energy to usable voltage for lighting, electric motors and other devices.
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