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A New Solar Option for Those Who Rent

A New Solar Option for Those Who Rent


Written by Derek Markham

Solar power generation can be a clean way to produce the electricity you use everyday, whether you’re just supplementing grid power or trying to power your whole house. But most solar panel systems require a permanent mount, usually on the roof, which isn’t really an option for the many people who just rent their house or apartment. So one choice that could make sense to renters, both in terms of cost and portability, is a plug ‘n play system that can be moved when you do.

SpinRay Energy makes a line of supplemental solar energy systems that can be mounted right on your deck or patio and plugged directly into a standard 120V electrical outlet (the type installed in every residential house in the U.S.).

The company’s DeckPower systems are dubbed “supplemental solar energy saving appliances” – appliances because you can just plug them in (not go through a major installation process), and supplemental because unless you tie together a bunch of them, they don’t produce enough power to completely replace your grid power. But it’s a start.

The panels include a microinverter pre-mounted on the back, and require five minutes of steady power from the grid before they begin producing power (as well as automatically shutting down when grid power goes out), which keeps the system from putting electricity into the grid at times when utility workers may be working on it and aren’t expecting a live line.

According to SpinRay, these systems are modular, and up to 5 of them can be connected together into a single electrical receptacle to produce over 1,000 watts of clean green energy.

And right now, these systems are eligible for IRS residential energy tax credits, which can reduce the cost of the systems up to 30%, bringing the payback time that much closer.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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Photo from mikecogh via flickr

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2:55PM PDT on Oct 4, 2012

good news

1:51PM PDT on May 31, 2012


5:18PM PDT on May 24, 2012


7:00PM PDT on May 14, 2012

This should get more popularity! Is is just stupid not to use the good,clean energy!

10:57PM PDT on May 13, 2012

Yes it is a start, and later add more solar towards using all solar.

8:07AM PDT on May 10, 2012

I like it. I had a similar system in Australia on my granny flat roof that I put together myself using a Grid Tie Inverter an panels from China. Very simple to install as you connect + and - cables from panels to Inverter, plug inverter A/C cord into standard power outlet and turn outlet switch on, thats it! Inverter was available in 240V and 110V. When I convinced my parents to get a larger approved Small Generation Unit (SGU) on the house roof we found out the Grid Tie Inverter did not meet local regulations and it had to be removed. Our regulations require all systems to be hard wired to the main electrical box with a special grid feed meter. To use this system in Australia would require some changes to electrical regulations. How crazy is that!

2:24AM PDT on May 10, 2012

Good idea.

1:22PM PDT on May 9, 2012

It's disappointing that the only transformer/alternator offered is for 120VAC. Offering a 240VAC model as well would open up the British and European markets (we use a higher voltage/lower current standard than the USA).

6:05AM PDT on May 9, 2012

Thanks for the article.

11:27AM PDT on May 8, 2012

How much does one 200 watt kit cost and how is a tenant having one going to affect real estate taxes on the land lord?

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