Kickstart the EnergyBridge

Athena Energy is a team of engineers with a vision to make solar energy open to everyone. That is why we are inviting you to join the Kickstarter community for our EnergyBridge launch. Energybridge is a system designed provide stored energy backup and solar power in one complete system. Our goal is to introduce our EnergyBridge system to supporters this spring with the opportunity to help provide Project Mexico with three of our solar power systems. We feel that giving the orphanage access to energy independence and solar power is part of an earth-friendly future that can help add a little more sunshine to the Project Mexico mission.  Check out the EnergyBridge page on Kickstarter to learn more about the Athena Energy project and support them on their goal to share the power of the sun. learn more at www.athenaenergysolar.comAthena Energy Team (compressed)

Cost/Benefit of an Athena Energy Solar Power System

James recently contacted Athena Energy about installing solar in his home. His question was about the cost/benefit of a stand-alone system. Here is my reply

Hi James,

Good to hear from you! I would be happy to answer your question about cost/benefit. As you know solar panels have gotten cheap enough that you can buy from places like for $0.38/W. If you add qty(4) 220W panels to our basic ASI-1000 grid-tie system then you will have about 700W AC output for several hours/day. This will get you about 1 MWhr of energy per year or about $300. The return on investment will be about 4-5 years, then factor in the federal rebate and your return on investment could go down to 3 years.

For homes that operate completely off-the-grid you need to add the extra cost of a transfer switch and batteries to the equation. We recommend a transfer switch because there may be situations where you need to supplement power with a generator. Our system mates well with the very popular Honda 2000i. So a totally off-grid home will have the added expense of batteries (about $1000) and a generator (another $1000). This extra expense will put the power system up at about $5000. The benefits of such a system are complete autonomy but it would take at least 10 years to make a payoff. In certain situations you can factor in the cost savings of not having to pay the utility to bring power to a remote home.

Hope this helps!
Dimos at Athena Energy.

The posted photo is the living room of an off-grid summer home with a 400W solar panel system being upgraded to 800W


Why Solar Powered Backup?

As the northeast digs out of the recent blizzard, I read that Massachusetts alone is dealing with 113,000 power outages. Of these, I am sure a small percentage of people have access to backup power. The irony in most storms, especially the big ones, is that the sun comes out. Why not take advantage of this for energy storage and banking the power to use the next night. Multi-day power outages are no joke, and running basics like a phone, coffee maker, fridge, lights, and internet is a link to civilization. The Athena Energy solar backup is not your tiny solar-powered-cellphone charger. It is a power system you can use every day, to provide backup power and to save you money on electric bills. The Athena Energy backup is powerful and safe; providing energy to a full-sized fridge and certifications for safety in your home installation. No fuel or fumes come from this backup because you use solar panels to provide energy to charge the batteries during the day. Contact Athena Energy for details and help sizing your complete system. Be ready when your lights go out with the Athena Energy solar backup.home hookup installation for backup power 300x200

Kickstarter Update and some reviews from

Hello friends of Kickstarter! Thanks again to our supporters for the Solar Energy Harvesting BoosterPack.

We had some excellent press today from our friends at MSP430launchpad.

Read the review to get the latest skinny on the operation of this project and solar energy harvester board. Also…we feel positive about launching the board on our website in its basic form. With your kickstarter support we can go live with a radio, do the arduino version, and get the cost way down.

Thanks again for your support, lets make that kickstarter goal so we can get these great little systems to you!
Sincerely: Dimos Katsis and Jason Zsak

Publications from Athena Energy Authors

There are a lot of papers from Athena Energy on topics from reliability to power module fabrication. We are sure you will find them useful in your research. Feel free to contact us: for details.

Here are a few topics:

  1. D.C. Katsis, “Film Capacitor Reliability in PV Inverters” (ASME IMECE 2009)
  2. D.C. Katsis, Reliability Assessment for the bypass diode in a PV module (Presentation)
  3. D.C. Katsis and Y. Zheng, “High Temperature Encapsulant Study” Conference proceedings of IMAPS 2007 : (IMAPS 2007)
  4. D.C. Katsis and Y. Zheng, “High Temperature Power Semiconductor Module for Extreme Environments” (PESC 2008)
  5. Katsis D. C. ; vanWyk J. D. ; “A Thermal, Mechanical, and Electrical Study of Voiding in the Solder Die-Attach of Power MOSFETs” IEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging Technologies :
  6. Katsis, D.; Geil, B.; Griffin, T.; Koebke, G.; Kaplan, S.; Ovrebo, G.; Bayne, S.; “Silicon carbide power semiconductor module development for a high temperature 10kW AC drive” Industry Applications Conference, 2005. Conference Record of the Fourtieth IAS Annual Meeting. 2005, Volume 1, 2-6 Oct. 2005 Page(s):399 – 403
  7. Katsis, D.; Wheeler, P.W.; Clare, J.C.; Empringham, L.; Bland, M.; “A utility power supply based on a four-output leg matrix converter” Industry Applications Conference, 2005. . Conference Record of the Fourtieth IAS Annual Meeting 2005, Volume 4, 2-6 Oct., 2005 Page(s):2355 – 2359
  8. Podlesak, T.F.; Katsis, D.C.; Wheeler, P.W.; Clare, J.C.; Empringham, L.; Bland, M.; “A 150-kVA Vector-Controlled Matrix Converter Induction Motor Drive” IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, Volume 41, Issue 3, May-June 2005 Page(s):841 – 847
  9. D. C. Katsis, J.D. vanWyk, “Void Induced Thermal Impedance in Power Semiconductor Modules: Some Transient Temperature Effects”, Transactions of the IEEE Industry Applications Society, Volume: 39 , Issue: 5 , Sept.-Oct. 2003, pp:1239 – 1246
  10. D.C. Katsis, J.D. vanWyk, “A finite element modeling of dynamic hot spot effects in MOSFET dies due to voiding in the solder die-attach”, IEEE 34th Annual Conference of Power Electronics Specialists 2003. June 2003, vol.2. pp: 828 – 833