Armageddon Powers Up San Jose City Hall

Everyone knows that U.S. solar manufacturers are getting killed by overseas competitors, who can produce photovoltaics (PV) much more cheaply. So how can a domestic company survive? Menlo Park, Calif.-based Armageddon Energy is hoping to do so by emphasizing value over price with an easy-to-install modular solar-power system it calls SolarClover.

We picked up on this story from the Business Journal in San Jose, where Armegeddon just fired up a little 1-kilowatt (kW) demo  system on the roof at City Hall. But EarthTechling readers might well remember Armegeddon as one of five companies – out of 3,600 who entered – to win an honorable mention award in the GE Ecomagination Challenge last year.

SolarClovers, Armegeddon Energy

image via Armegeddon Energy

The Armageddon system consists of solar panels that are coated in a polymer film instead of glass, making them much lighter than typical panels. They go on easy-to-assemble racks, and the three hexagon-shaped panels form an array – looking a bit like a clover when put together. Three arrays combine to produce a kilowatt of power.

SolarClovers, San Jose City Hall, Armegeddon Energy

image via Armegeddon Energy

And here’s the kicker: Armageddon says the system can be installed by your garden variety trade professional with no specialized tools or training. It’s “as simple as getting a new dishwasher,” the company says. In part that’s because each clover has its own DC-to-AC converter, making it easy to wire the system – and any additions a homeowner might want to make to boost power output – right into a home’s circuit board.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

  • Anonymous

    Simplifying installation is a great idea.u00a0 I wonder how the coating handles hail and if it will last as long as the glass covered panels. Weight of solar panels is not a big concern, but no sense in them being heavier than necessary. Output is important, for instance, the amount of space required for thin film solar compared to high efficiency panels, can be a space problem if you want to supply all your power needs, and get them all on the roof.

  • PARECEN MUY BUENAS ESA FORMA NUEVA DE CELDAS SOLARES DE ENERGIA

  • Leyla

    If you are interested in finding out more about solar, go to the San Jose Solar Homes Tour on Oct 1. It’s free! All you have to do is register: energy.sanjoseca.gov/

  • Leyla

    If you are interested in finding out more about solar, go to the San Jose Solar Homes Tour on Oct 1. It’s free! All you have to do is register: energy.sanjoseca.gov/