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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Do-It-Yourself Solar at Lowe’s

    Do-It-Yourself Solar at Lowe’s

    Akeena Solar’s Andalay systems are designed to make it possible for handy homeowners to do their own installations.

    It's inevitable: More do-it-yourself solar panels will be available, this time in your nearest Lowe's.


    Lowe's is now carrying solar panels from Los Gatos, Calif.-based Akeena Solar that feature built-in writing and racks and an installation technique that aims to simplify the steps and shorten the time it takes to put solar panels on a rooftop (see video from Akeena).

    Lowe's is selling the Andalay at $893 per panel, available at 25 stores in California. Akeena said handy homeowners could install the panels themselves if they don't want to hire people to do it, but they might still need an electrician to connect the rooftop system to the home's circuit.

    The announcement brings home what Akeena and some other solar companies see as the future of residential solar market. Instead of hiring contractors or roofers, homeowners could install solar panels themselves and save on labor costs.

    A number of startups are developing this kind of do-it-yourself solar energy systems, including Armageddon Energy. Meanwhile, companies such as Dow Chemical are working on solar cell-embedded roofing materials, which will require strong insulation to protect the cells from moisture and other weather elements.

    Other big-box retailers such as Home Depot already sell solar panels and related parts, though they sell them along with installation services and even financing.

    Whether homeowners would embrace the do-it-yourself idea is uncertain. A solar energy system remains a bulky appliance, and erecting them on a roof isn't as easy as plugging in your big-screen TV.

    Akeena announced an impending launch of Andalay in late 2007, and followed up with another press release in early 2008 to say it would buy microinverters from Enphase. Akeena began selling Andalay systems in May this year.

    Petaluma, Calif.-based Enphase formally launched its first microinverter product in mid-2008. The startup says its microinverters could better monitor the power output of each panel, and they could harvest more energy from the panels as well.

    The use of microinverters allows Akeena to design a simpler solar energy system. Each Andalay panel has a microinverter attached at the back for converting the direct current from the solar panels to alternating current for on-site use or for feeding the grid. Most of the solar energy systems installed today use centralized inverters.

    Using microinverters allows Akeena to eliminate some of the high-voltage DC wiring that would otherwise be necessary to bring the electricity from solar panels to a central inverter, which typically sits in a box next to the house.

    Akeena has designed panels with electrical connectors on the side of each panel, so that plugging them together should be even simpler than the version available on the market now. The new design is undergoing testing at Underwriters Laboratories.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 01:36 AM
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    I have often thought of doing this, I still think they need some time to bring the price down and make it a bit more simple.

    I compare it to satelight systems. Remember back in the 80's those giant satelights in peoples yards? They were a pain in the butt. Once Direct TV came along with a simple idea it took off. I think the solar industry is about to boom like satelight tv.
    ((Just My Two Cents))
    And thats about what its worth.

  3. #3
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 10:48 AM
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    I think you're right.
    sheepa latta peepah dabba looka foh a moopy

    Gunter glieben glauchen globen

  4. #4
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 05:43 PM
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    I want to cover the roof of every building I own with solar panels....I hate F'n First Energy and their decrepid nuclear plants and their stupid ass flourescent bulb program

    I bet I could do this too.....hard hard could it be?

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  5. #5
    On Fire Soon to be EX-fan's Avatar
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    11.14.12 @ 07:51 PM
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    Solar is getting closer to grid parity (the point at which the cost of generating photovoltaic electricity is cheaper than getting it from the power grid)...I'm holding out until that happens.
    yeah.......i'm still here.

  6. #6
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 05:35 PM
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    so how many solar panels does one need? Is each one of those sections a panel? If so, I count 9. $893 X 9 = $8037. Last year I paid $2079. for electricity - so it would take 4 years at least to pay for those 9 panels (provided there aren't other charges involved). If I ever find myself in position to live in one place for more than 4 years (and I own the house!), it might be worth doing. Then again, I guess it would matter where you are. Not sure solar power in a place like, say, Seattle would be the way to go!

  7. #7
    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 01:36 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    so how many solar panels does one need? Is each one of those sections a panel? If so, I count 9. $893 X 9 = $8037. Last year I paid $2079. for electricity - so it would take 4 years at least to pay for those 9 panels (provided there aren't other charges involved). If I ever find myself in position to live in one place for more than 4 years (and I own the house!), it might be worth doing. Then again, I guess it would matter where you are. Not sure solar power in a place like, say, Seattle would be the way to go!
    I do not completely understand how it all works but I did spent a afternoon in a class about solar power. Even with overcast sky's the panels still work and pull what ever out of the sky they need to produce power. I spoke with the speaker after the class and he lives in the Pacific NW, he has a 3500sq ft house and has reduced his power bill by 60% with the panels on his house. He said the size of your home determines how many panels you will need. He also said that 3 different company's are working hard and fast to bring the cost down as well as the size and difficulty of installation. He believes that with in 5 years it will be a do it yourself project for about $500 or you can have it installed for a couple of hundred dollars.

    If someone put out a unit today that was $500 and cost $200 to have installed and if it would reduce my power bill by 40-50% I would have one installed.
    ((Just My Two Cents))
    And thats about what its worth.

  8. #8
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 05:35 PM
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    Probably similar to how you can get a really bad sunburn when it's overcast.

    Wonder if solar panels can double as skylights?

    All I know, if I ever own a home - I'll hire someone to install anything on the roof. I'm not going out like Bo Diaz...

  9. #9
    Baluchitherium
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    12.13.17 @ 02:13 AM
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    My uncle is building a house and using solar shingles:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_shingles

    Posted from yo' mama's house.


 

 

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