Thursday, May 31, 2012

Got A Deck? Solar Panels Now A Plug-In Appliance

It's a green-energy geek's dream do-it-yourself project: attach a few solar panels to your deck and watch your electric bills go down. Now one company is selling such a product.
Power deck: plug-in solar panel appliances being tested.

SpinRay Energy has developed a system that lets consumers install up to five solar panels on their decks and plug them into an outdoor power outlet. People can install one panel at a time, and get up to 1,000 watts of power with five installed.

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.

SpinRay Energy is selling the DIY kit through a few retailers, including Amazon. There are just a few reviews, but people who installed the panels say they work as advertised. The deck kit, sold for $1,099.95 on Amazon, comes with brackets that attach to a deck or for setting up panels in a yard. The panels should qualify users for a 30 percent federal tax credit for renewable energy.

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