I don’t know a single homeowner or renter who wouldn’t like to spend less on their utility bill. Rooftop solar arrays continue to fall in price, and companies are working quickly to make them as simple and efficient as possible. The only problem is that most still require the expertise of an electrical contractor in order to be correctly installed. The cost (and hassle) of getting this done still prohibits many from making this important switch to green energy.
But thanks to a new product from SpinRay Energy, going solar might be as easy as plugging in a lamp. The Rhode Island-based company says it has developed a system that lets consumers install up to five solar panels onto a deck or patio railing and plug them into an outdoor power outlet. Panels can be installed one at a time, or clustered to get up to 1,000 watts of power from five panel groups.
The system is designed to be easily installed and activated by the average homeowner – no spectacular DIY skills required! If you’ve got a porch, deck, balcony or patio that includes a stable railing and is close to a standard 120 or 240-volt receptacle (the kind that are already on the outside of the average home/apt), you’ve got everything you need to start generating free, clean electricity right at home.
Of course, you might be wondering whether such a plug-n-play system is safe. As noted in this review, the main electrical components of the system have the UL safety certification, including the solar panel and the microinverter, which converts direct current from the panels to household alternating current. If there is a loss of grid power, the panels will stop delivering current because it could be a danger to line workers, according to the company.
Because the solar array is simply plugged into a standard outlet, there’s really no reason to involve an electrician or solar installation professional, unless you want their advice on where to position the panels.
The DIY kits (including brackets for deck attachment or setting up panels in a yard) through a handful of retailers, including Amazon, starting at around $990. The panels should qualify users for a 30 percent federal tax credit for renewable energy.