SMASHsolar Awarded $500,000 from DOE’s SunShot Incubator Program

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SMASHsolar, an innovator of scalable residential solar solutions, receives $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Incubator Program. The department selected SMASHsolar because of the product’s simplicity and potential to increase residential solar adoption through cost reduction.

SMASHsolar, an innovator of scalable residential solar solutions, has received $500,000 for a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative Incubator Program. The DOE selected SMASHsolar because of the product’s simplicity and potential to increase residential solar adoption through cost reduction.

The SMASHsolar business is working to break down barriers to solar for homeowners by developing a simple, scalable PV solar module system. According to the company, the system installs in half the time with half the parts, and allows consumers to easily expand their solar system in the future to meet their household’s changing energy needs. The project is developing and testing an integrated mounting system that shifts field work to the factory, resulting in a simplified installation process that drives down balance of systems costs. The product design will ultimately provide a refined and easy-to-use solar power product for homeowners.

“The biggest barriers to widespread consumer solar adoption in the United States are complexity, cost, and commitment,” explains Troy Tyler, founder and CEO of SMASHsolar. “Our simple, interlocking frameless solar modules enable quick installation, which significantly reduces balance of system cost and will allow consumers unprecedented flexibility in how they buy solar power.”

Neil Goldberg, co-founder and Chief Designer of SMASHsolar, commented: “We are thrilled to be selected by the Department of Energy. DOE support will help us bring to market our affordable, flexible and attractive solution that makes solar accessible to everyone. Our goal is to design our SMASH PowerStation to be an easy, expandable and elegant alternative to complex and costly solar power systems on the market today.”

Energy Secretary Moniz recently announced about $60 million to support innovative solar energy research and development. As part of the Department’s SunShot Initiative, these awards will help lower the cost of solar electricity, advance seamless grid integration, and support a growing U.S. solar workforce.

The Sunshot Incubator program, part of DOE’s SunShot Initiative, aims to shorten the time between laboratory-scale proof of concept and prototype development. It also seeks to speed up the process for companies to transition pre-commercial prototypes through the pilot stage into full-scale manufacture. The program uses a five-tiered approach to accomplish these objectives:

For hardware development:

  • Tier 0 is to accelerate the transition from a proof-of-concept of all critical components to an early stage functional prototype.
  • Tier 1 is to accelerate the transition of early-stage functional prototype to manufacturing and commercially relevant prototype made in the lab.
  • Tier 2 is to develop the manufacturing processes and equipment to move from fully developed lab prototype to pilot-scale production.

For non-hardware development:

  • Tier 1S is to accelerate the transition of proof-of-concept or business plan to alpha capability and early customer trials.
  • Tier 2S is to transition alpha capability through beta launch and full commercialization.


Other companies that received funding through DOE’s Sunshot Incubator 8 (2013) program include:

  • Applied Novel Devices (Austin, Texas) 
  • Brittmore Group (San Jose, California) 
  • Clean Power Research (Kirkland, Washington)
  • Demeter Power Group (West Palm Beach, Florida)
  • EnergySage (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
  • Folsom Labs (San Francisco, California)
  • Geostellar (Martinsburg, West Virginia)
  • Infinite Invention (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • kWh Analytics (Oakland, California)
  • Renewable Power Conversion (San Luis Obispo, California)
  • Silicon Solar Solutions (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
  • Simply Civic (Parker, Colorado)
  • SineWatts (Palo Alto, California)
  • SMASHsolar (El Cerrito, California)
  • Solar Census (Walnut Creek, California)
  • Sun Number (Deephaven, Minnesota)
  • Sunrun (San Francisco, California)