Sun Shines On Wilmington Manufacturer With Solar Product Agreement

By Staff Reports, posted Mar 12, 2024

A Wilmington-based firm recently scored a manufacturing agreement with a solar energy product company.

Koolbridge Solar officials announced Monday that they have signed a master manufacturing agreement with Wilmington-based Sturdy Corp. to make its first product, the Smart Load Center, for North America. 

“The partnership anticipates continued significant growth in the United States residential solar and energy storage market,” a news release stated.

According to the release, the Smart Load Center “is a patented, intelligent residential energy management system that automatically and seamlessly switches sources of power on a circuit-by-circuit basis.”

Stephen Burnett, chairman and co-founder of Koolbridge Solar, stated in the release, “Dave Sturdy [president and CEO of Sturdy Corp.] and his team have built a company that offers award-winning custom electrical, electronic, mechanical, printed circuit board fabrication, software integration and other expertise. I’ve never worked with any company that brings a higher level of skill sets to a product like Sturdy does. They are helping us significantly improve a very complicated electrical product, and I’m very thankful to Dave Sturdy and his entire team.”

He said Koolbridge officials expect the Smart Load Center to have “an immediate impact in the U.S. residential rooftop solar market.”

The release said the center:

  • Automatically switches between utility and solar, solar and battery, utility and generator, etc., on a circuit-by-circuit basis based on time of day use, battery state, inverter output state, and weather factors to always provide the lowest cost electricity possible;
  • Uses embedded, proprietary, smart algorithms combined with a microcontroller to shed load and control peak demand automatically when necessary;
  • Allows the homeowner to automatically self-consume their solar power in a grid outage, leaving critical load circuits alive.

Dave Sturdy said the residential breaker box hasn't been able to handle renewable energy very well until recently. 

“When you marry a small computer, or in this case a microcontroller, with a residential sub-panel, all of a sudden you can do lots of things automatically like control peak demand or select which power source will be given priority to any circuit breaker,” he said in the release. “The SLC is an automated electrical power optimizer of a user’s cost to operate their home, which is a game changer.” 

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