Perhaps you've seen one of a few micro-inverter-type solar products on the market and wondered whether you could install a solar system at home. Unless you're an electrician, that may or may not be a good idea, but these products (some available now and others coming to market) make it a whole lot easier to get started generating solar energy at home. Check these five:
Clarian Power, a start up from Seattle, is on a mission to help homeowners everywhere generate energy from renewable energy. The company developed a proprietary power module that plugs into an existing outlet. In other words, their Sunfish solar product, which is slated for retail availability next year, installs without a dedicated electrical panel and does not require contractors, installers, or additional wires.
There’s a massive residential community under construction in Santa Fe Springs in Los Angeles County. Comstock Homes, developer of The Villages at Heritage Springs, says it’s the largest solar powered community in the nation, which is partially why it’s so interesting. These California homes come with roof-integrated Sunpower Suntiles, and they’re built for efficiency, too.
A couple years ago we mentioned that the University of California San Diego was in the process of installing rows of Solar Trees on top of the Hopkins and Gilman Parking Structures. These parking lots, and the company that makes them, Envision Solar, received a mention by the NY Times recently. That's because Envision Solar has a novel approach — putting solar and shade in otherwise unused and unshaded parking lots.