Alternative energy is a real head-scratcher. Very few people doubt the benefits of clean energy and the need for…never mind, forgot the US Presidential debates were on last night. It turns out a large number of people actually doubt the benefits of clean energy. But moving on.

google solar panel

Yes, clean energy is a crucial innovation, but despite all of the touted benefits, not a lot of households by comparison are using it. Why? Because it’s not that simple. Solar technology, for example, has created some supremely advanced panels, including clear solar glass to replace your home’s windows and solar shingles that roll out across your roof in a virtually undetectable pattern. So what’s stopping consumers from making the switch? That extra room you need to add to your house to house the batteries and the inverters.

But a new tech startup has found a way to integrate the battery, inverter, and even the software that will make their panels compliant with “smarthome” concepts. According to a report by TreeHugger, “SunCulture’s SolPad solar device integrates solid state batteries directly into the solar panels themselves, offering its users the ability to not only generate their own clean electricity, but to also store if for use after dark or during peak demand times, when electricity costs are higher. The SolPad units also incorporate an inverter, which converts the electricity from the DC generated and stored by the device to the AC required by most household appliances, and includes ‘intelligent software’ that communicates with both the users and with their home’s systems, allowing for granular control over which rooms or devices will receive the solar power.”

But is it really innovative? You bet, and here’s why: SolPad works as a stand-alone panel or in an array of panels to meet your home’s needs. Why does that matter? Because you don’t have to completely remodel your house–and invest the expected $20,000 that SunCulture estimates a typical home would require to go completely solar with their product. You can grab up one SolPad and install it on your patio, for example. You can use it for viable off-the-grid use, as opposed to lugging portable panels and heavy batteries with you. You can even take a look at the most energy-draining room of your house and convert only that room as a jumping off point, then add further SolPad’s later as energy needs and your budget allows.