Scalability and ease of installation continue to gain ground in the marketing of home solar systems, with Sharp the latest to jump on the trend. The company unveiled SunSnap AC Solution, “a new retail-friendly solar electric appliance designed to expand and simplify the mainstream adoption and use of solar energy for homeowners.”
The Sharp product, featuring “a new mounting assembly from Zep Solar incorporated into the module,” sounds something like the solar-in-a-box system introduced in September by Westinghouse, which promised that contractors or even DIYers could have solar power up and running with just a little help from an electrician.
In addition to Westinghouse, we’ve also seen Armageddon Energy introduce its Solar Clover, which the company says can be installed by your garden variety trade professional with no specialized tools or training. Like the Westinghouse and Armageddon products, Sharp SunSnap panels come with installed inverters that convert direct current electricity to grid-friendly alternating current.
“As a scalable PV appliance, SunSnap offers homeowners the ability to install a system that meets their budget, roof space and personal energy needs,” Sharp said. “A small, modestly priced ‘starter kit’ featuring as few as one solar appliance can be initially installed and the system can then be expanded in the future as often as desired.”
Sharp said it would kick off SunSnap sales through distributers and dealers in early 2012, then expand “to retail channels such as popular consumer electronics retailers in 2012.” The basic SunSnap module “will be available off the shelf, starting at less than $1,000,” the company said.