Plug and play solar is a huge leap forward in homeowner empowerment! Plug in solar is the easiest way to generate electricity from the sun, and lower or potentially eliminate your electricity bill.
For years plug-in-solar wasn’t practical because only large DC inverters were used to convert DC power produced by solar panels into household AC power. DC wire lengths had to be short due to huge distance losses, and the large DC inverters were typically mounted near the home’s main electrical panel by a licensed electrician with solar expertise.
The invention of the micro-inverter makes plug and play solar possible. Micro-inverters convert the solar panel output to AC right behind the solar panel itself, make the rest of the wiring simple (just a plug), enable long distances (AC power can travel much further than DC without losses), and include safety protection features.
In the past, both solar systems with DC inverters and micro-inverters have typically required installation by a licensed electrician with solar experience, and a direct connection to a home’s main electrical panel. The newest micro-inverters are sized to accommodate an electrical load similar to those in most households, include safety features to protect electrical workers and shut off when the power is out, and have a standard plug for connection to a wall outlet.
It’s easy to install a plug-in solar kit yourself. Just install the panels in your yard, on your patio or roof, and plug them into a dedicated outlet.
Plug in solar kits can 1) reduce your electricity consumption at any given moment, reducing your electrical costs, 2) run your electrical meter backwards in states where net metering is supported to create a credit of kilowatt hours, 3) may enable you to take advantage of financial incentives such as rebates and tax credits.
There’s currently a 30% federal tax credit for homeowners on the cost of solar systems. Some states have property tax credits, state tax credits, rebates from the utility company, rebates from the state, and other financial incentives to reduce the total investment further. Learn more about tax credits, rebates, and other incentives.
Compare plug in solar panel kits available from a variety of vendors on our Where to Buy page.
Latest post from our blog
- Live Demo of Plug & Play Solar Installation by Fraunhofer CSE
At their Plug and Play Demo Day, Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems demonstrated the installation and commissioning of an entire solar PV system. The demonstration took place on June 16th at MassCEC’s Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown, MA, and took less than 2 hours. The Plug and Play PV project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, with a goal to reduce the cost of residential PV systems from today’s costs of $3-4/watt installed, to $1.50/watt by 2020. Check it out in the video below.