I may not pick Anaheim, CA as my dream vacation destination, but so far, it’s been an inspiring place. This week, Steady Glow Digital is walking the VERY LARGE floor of the SPI (Solar Power International) and ESI (Energy Storage International) convention. I like to lovingly call it “spicy” for its combined acronym (SPIESI). Massive booths from all over the world are working the big contracts while I take a peek at the smaller guys. There’s innovative solar systems on all levels but what I love to see are the small companies and non-profits making an impact. Today, let’s talk about the products that can change our lives.


I had the chance to talk with Sol-Simple for a little while after hearing you could use solar power to cool your house. Coming from Phoenix and a brisk fall day that reached over 100 degrees, this was music to my ears. This distributor out of Texas offers several innovative solar systems to the trade industry. The one that piqued my interest was a DC air conditioner that works with an existing solar array. You can also install solar with it. When the sun goes down, this unit switches back to the grid, saving users on expensive peak electric hours. Sol-Simple also offers other products to make solar installer’s lives easier, including their Real Time Energy Monitoring app and a Solar Installer’s Toolkit. If you’re reading this during the show, find them at Booth 3623.

Ice Energy

Ice Bear cooling unit at the Solar Power International conference
The inner mind of the Ice Bear

Still obsessed with my desire to escape the heat of Phoenix, I spoke with Eric from IceEnergy about their Ice Bear units. Upgrading existing technologies like…well, ICE, coils and coolant, these big units replace a standard A/C system. I made a joke about how ice has been around a while but it failed. The Ice Bear freezes its water during off-peak hours and then cools the coolant running through coils to almost freezing. When the coolant warms and cycles back around, the ice re-cools it. Since I believe that nearly every product isn’t tested to withstand Arizona summer standards, I was reassured that they do. They’ve even used these units in Saudi Arabia and can function up to 120-140 degrees. If you’re reading this during the show, find them at Booth 3721.

Wattway by Colas

Wattway at Solar Power International
Sneaking a peek at Wattway at SPI

Although I didn’t get a chance to speak to anyone about this product, its simplicity held a lot of promise. This product generates solar power from the road surface. From their website:

Wattway produces electrical energy without overtaking farmland or natural landscapes, and contributes to increasing the share of photovoltaic electricity in the energy mix, both in France and worldwide.

Panels can be applied directly on to a road surface that you can drive, park, or walk on. It blends right in with the landscape (all that scenic asphalt!) and does not need to be connected to the grid. The Wattway could solve numerous issues like powering charging stations or street lights, not to mention how an innovative solar system like this could be used on a parking lot to power an entire building or residential area! Find them at Booth 3951.

P.S. Wattway, if you’re reading this…get an SSL for your website!

Wattway needs an SSL



I’m can’t wait to find out more tomorrow! Tons of educational sessions, panels and great people to talk to! I’ll write a little more tomorrow about some of the amazing non-profits out there, making a huge difference.