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"Plug and Play" Solar Panel Kits Offer Homeowners Affordable Alternative Energy Source


Green Lifestyle  (tags: Modular Solar Power, Low Price )

Cristiane
- 3168 days ago - scientificamerican.com
Imagine a modular solar array that you can install--without too much fear of electrocuting yourself--at a relatively low price. That's the vision of Chad Maglaque and Clarian Technologies, and one that hopes to become a reality by spring 2011.



   

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Comments

Mack David (100)
Sunday August 15, 2010, 1:08 am
Yes....
installation of and accessibility are mandatory.
Noted.
 

Anne F (17)
Sunday August 15, 2010, 10:44 am
This is great news. The Sunfish is designed to be wired into a standard outlet box connection. Also, this one is available now - "microinverter and panel array for sale now, although it requires a higher power plug (like the one for a dryer or other heavy-duty electric appliances), "
 

Alice C (1797)
Monday August 16, 2010, 7:26 am
Thank you for posting this information
 

Alice C (1797)
Monday August 16, 2010, 7:47 am
shared
 

. (0)
Monday August 16, 2010, 10:40 am
Why is the government not helping fund this? I'd much rather support hands on alternative energy solutions than bail out banks.
 

milca V (79)
Monday August 16, 2010, 12:26 pm
interesting concept it seems... but there are critic comments about security... cant wait to see how this will evolve! thanx for article, cristiane!
 

Kathy Meyer (2)
Monday August 16, 2010, 12:34 pm
Excellent
 

Evelyn Z (300)
Monday August 16, 2010, 1:01 pm
Thanks. Wish I could afford such a thing
 

Lloyd Lutterman (33)
Monday August 16, 2010, 1:43 pm
I'm confused whether the power metering software—such as Google PowerMeter or Microsoft Hohm is optional or mandatory
 

Norm C (74)
Monday August 16, 2010, 1:57 pm
Very interesting; although, I'd be a lot happier with the whole thing being made in the US.

I see another potential benefit to the homeowner: If positioned properly and properly isolated from the structure, it would also serve as a sunshade to reduce the heat load in the house, depending on the orientation of the house. I could certainly use that here.

Installation seems to be pretty straightforward. Your handy Uncle George should be able to set it up for you. Most utilities already have agreements with the city or county to permit decentralized power generation; so backward running meters shouldn't be much of a problem in areas with fairly large towns and cities nearby.
 

(0)
Monday August 16, 2010, 2:22 pm
The idea is great if it can be practical.
I'd like to see solar cells in awnings and patio roofs and perhaps someday they'll be used as part of the design of a home.
 

Linda G (187)
Monday August 16, 2010, 2:48 pm
It will be great when it becomes more affordable. Some states already have tax rebates and incentives for solar and rainwater harvesting and the like so you can check it out in your area.
 

. (0)
Monday August 16, 2010, 3:04 pm
Excellent information,thanks for posting!
That's very encouraging; reducing your energy consumption, that doesn't cost a mint.
 

Trish K (93)
Monday August 16, 2010, 3:13 pm
Way Cool... Love this stuff.
 

Keith Roberts (0)
Monday August 16, 2010, 3:18 pm
Well some one has come up with a good idea at last. but I must agree with previous writers it should be subsidised and made compulsory. Much as is UK sale of old 40watt and 60watt bulbs for lighting was banned this year and replaced with the low power 9 and 11 watt bulbs of all shapes and sizes. We were already using the 9 watt bulbs in all rooms except the kitchen and bathroom and eneergy saving has been quite fenominal. We also changed all outsie light fittings with solar powered fittings. Despite living in very north of Scotland UK with at moment we had 9 hours medium sunshine (I am blind) the outside lights stay on until about 4-5M . iN WINTER POWER IS POORER SO WE CHANGE CHARGABLE BATTERIES WEEKLY and still get power from 3.30pm to about 4am THERE ARE ALSO iNFRA rED CONTROLLED POWER LIGHTS these only come on when needed and act as deterent to theives. Though there are few on a small islkand
 

Jade H (35)
Monday August 16, 2010, 5:17 pm
About time! We need more of this - lots more!
 

josie batlles (44)
Monday August 16, 2010, 6:27 pm
very interesing article..thanks very much for sharing..excellent. and we need more of this for definite!
 

Kris B (136)
Monday August 16, 2010, 6:31 pm
I hope this will be a jump start to a lot more easy eco-friendly solutions.
 

Sharon S (31)
Monday August 16, 2010, 9:16 pm
Great to see continuing progress in using solar energy.
 

NICKY MELVILLE (119)
Tuesday August 17, 2010, 4:19 am
This sounds like a wonderful idea, that I am sure will be the start of many more! I may be being cynical, but, here, in Australia, doing your own modification of anything that is even VAGUELY electrical is illegal! You are even meant to bring in an electrician, at about $50.00 and hour, to change a power plug. It is just too ridiculous! It makes me feel really mad! Having said that, if I can afford one, when they become available, I shall no doubt get out my screw driver and risk doing my own modification and hope no one notices, as I live in a place where there are not too many small minded petty people snooping about!
 

Kathleen C (18)
Tuesday August 17, 2010, 7:57 am
I have always wanted solar panels on my home but even two panels plus all the other necessary gadgets to collect the energy would cost $50,000. This idea is a good start but I would still need to pay someone to install it. I live on a small pension. New Mexico does give tax credits for solar energy but two panels would only cut down my bill. I really get mad when I see rich celebrities on TV talking about how they converted their mansions to solar energy and now get money back from their electric companies because they are producing more electricity than they are using. I would be happy just to reduce my electric bill but cannot even afford to do that.
 

Charmaine C (177)
Tuesday August 17, 2010, 9:33 am
I looked into solar panels here in the UK and found the cost to me would take about 30 years to repay via electicity for my home. The sunshine is free so why is the means to harness it so expensive? If these plug in panels were 'really' affordable, the companies that are making them would still get stinking rich and the rest of us poor blighters in the trenches would be able to cut the ever increasing cost of electrically powering our homes. Thanks for the article.
 

Jen S (121)
Tuesday August 17, 2010, 9:41 am
I'm so pleased; after three estimates for adding solar panels, over a 12 year timespan, this sounds both practical, cost-effective and accessible. And I agree with the previous post realtive to government funding, even if indirectly through tax credits; I find the thought of solar power rather more appealling than funding one more egregiously over-compensated bank executive.
 

Jennifer M (78)
Tuesday August 17, 2010, 2:45 pm
Wish I could afford something like that
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 18, 2010, 8:58 pm
This is good product that economic and easy to use. But hope that it's affordable, not too expensive, so it's can help the peoples that stay in the rural area that no electric facilities.
 

Mark H (44)
Wednesday August 18, 2010, 11:05 pm
I wish I could, too.
 

ChanTlalok Rain C (363)
Sunday August 29, 2010, 6:59 pm
Thanx, great news looking for price drops.
 
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