Expanding into New Markets
In 2010, Stuart teamed up with Catherine Von Burg, now SimpliPhi’s President and CEO, to leverage the proprietary LibertyPak platform technology for use in a wide range of business and consumer products. Together, they designed a new product line called Optimized Energy Storage (OES), which included the OES2.6 and OES3.4 energy storage and management solutions.
“Our drive was to bring the same power security and energy resiliency the film and television industry was enjoying to the residential and commercial markets. Whether on or off grid, people were expressing a desire to have more control of their own power, either for back-up security, peak-shaving, load shifting or the resultant cost saving benefits from all the functions that efficient and safe energy storage afforded,” Catherine recalls. “Yet, we knew we had to keep things simple and user friendly. So we ensured our OES line was lightweight, non-toxic, maintenance-free and provided seamless integration with renewable power sources in conjunction with or independent of the grid."
Catherine and Stuart expanded into new global markets that need reliable, off-grid power solutions that offer a longer life cycle and that don’t build up excessive heat and don't risk dangerous thermal runaway. Today, these all-electric Gennys are the premiere portable energy sources powering the sophisticated equipment used in the harsh conditions of disaster relief and emergency medical support.
Catherine and Stuart saw an opportunity to expand use of this unique heat-safe battery technology into the most rugged conditions for military, expeditionary and remote monitoring applications. At the time, an Army Environmental Policy Institute report calculated that the Army was suffering one casualty for every 24 fuel resupply convoy in Afghanistan alone. And a Deloitte study for the U.S. Army found that increased use of alternative energy sources could significantly reduce wartime casualties. It found that even a modest 10% reduction in fossil fuel consumption could save 35 lives.
“The military was attempting to bring portable solar generation to the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, but they were doing it with inefficient lead acid batteries,” remembers Catherine. “They were heavy and toxic, and their labels said they would last for years, but in reality, they were only lasting about eight months. We heard stories of the landscapes of these war zones littered with abandoned batteries.”
SimpliPhi Power partnered with ZeroBase to replace lead acid batteries and drastically reduce heat-generating use of traditional generators that can give away the location of forward operating bases. We provided silent, portable, durable and non-toxic solar energy systems with SimpliPhi batteries that are now used by the military in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries. Our stealth power systems have dramatically reduced the number of fuel transport-related casualties.
In 2011, when the magnitude-9 Tohoku earthquake shook northeastern Japan, unleashing a savage tsunami and the level-7 meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Stuart and Catherine miniaturized the Little Genny, into what’s known today as the Baby Genny. The portable consumer and emergency relief off-grid power solution was embraced by humanitarian agencies and launched the company’s emergency relief product line.