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#203012 - 09/04/11 11:48 PM DIY grid connect solar panels...safe to use?
Keef_Wivanef Offline
Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 11
Loc: NSW
Hello, I am hoping that you can help to resolve this issue.
Westinghouse Solar (formerly known as Akeena Solar) has been claiming for quite some time that it will be selling 200 Watt solar panels with built in grid connect inverter through Lowes.
CEO Barry Cinnamon claims that there is no need for any unnecessary paperwork....just take em home and plug em in.
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/...ilable-at-lowes

http://www.westinghousesolar.com/index.php/do-it-yourself

Lowes don't actually have any yet and my humble opinion they never will.

Would NEC and NFPA be happy about the idea of hundreds of thousands of grid connect solar panels installed by Joe Public?

Interesting claims by Bazza Cinnamon here.... http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/guest-post-epitaph-for-solyndra/



Edited by Keef_Wivanef (09/04/11 11:51 PM)

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#203014 - 09/04/11 11:52 PM Re: DIY grid connect solar panels...safe to use? [Re: Keef_Wivanef]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
If it is listed by a NRTL, I am not sure how you stop it.
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#203015 - 09/05/11 12:03 AM Re: DIY grid connect solar panels...safe to use? [Re: gfretwell]
Keef_Wivanef Offline
Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 11
Loc: NSW
DIY installation ok?

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#203017 - 09/05/11 12:09 AM Re: DIY grid connect solar panels...safe to use? [Re: Keef_Wivanef]
Tesla Offline
Member

Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 1280
Loc: Sacramento, CA
New South Wales?

In America the tax credits are not available for DIY installations.

So -- in economic terms -- the answer is no.
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Tesla

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#203018 - 09/05/11 12:11 AM Re: DIY grid connect solar panels...safe to use? [Re: Keef_Wivanef]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
These things come with a NEMA 5-15 plug cap on them. If they can get it listed it is just like a table lamp or a toaster.
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Greg Fretwell

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#203021 - 09/05/11 01:28 AM Re: DIY grid connect solar panels...safe to use? [Re: Keef_Wivanef]
Keef_Wivanef Offline
Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 11
Loc: NSW
No, I am not planning to use them in NSW Australia (I am off grid and a solar enthusiast)
I am interested to find out whether the claims of Barry Cinammon that his panels will shortly be available from Lowes for DIY installation has any chance of becoming a reality or if it is just more hype to boost Akeena/Westinghouse solar's share value.
Barry has been a very naughty boy in the past...
http://www.zhlaw.com/Akeena-Derivative-Complaint.pdf
and again in 2009
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/akeena-solar-shares-skyrocket-on-lowes-deal-2009-12-10

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#203023 - 09/05/11 05:03 AM Re: DIY grid connect solar panels...safe to use? [Re: Keef_Wivanef]
Texas_Ranger Offline
Member

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2343
Loc: Vienna, Austria
I can't see how any device generating electricity fitted with a male cord cap could possibly be considered acceptable in any country of the world!
So... in my eyes no.
Edit: on the other hand grid inverters tend to have fairly complex electronics designed to prevent putting power into a disconnected line (so for example linemen working upstream in case of a fault won't get injured) so it might(!) be considered safe.


Edited by Texas_Ranger (09/05/11 05:04 AM)

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#203026 - 09/05/11 11:01 AM Re: DIY grid connect solar panels...safe to use? [Re: Keef_Wivanef]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
As I said, this will all hinge on the listing. If U/L (TUV or whomever) deems these to be safe, I see no reason why they can't be marketed. Whether they actually make any economic sense is another question but they sell snake oil by the tanker truck quantities in the US so I expect they will fly off the shelves. If they can actually deliver 200 watts for less than $1000 ($5/w) it might not be a horrible buy ... assuming you can get the various rebates. That is going to be another fight for Akeena. If they can get Obama on board, this is a stock to own, at least for a while ... until they get knocked off by an Asian company selling for $3 a watt.
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Greg Fretwell

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#203027 - 09/05/11 11:21 AM Re: DIY grid connect solar panels...safe to use? [Re: gfretwell]
LarryC Offline
Member

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 776
Loc: Winchester, NH, US
My concern is how are all those 55-15 receptacles are going to make it to where these solar panels are going to be located. Are we now going to see outlet strips nailed to facia boards and extension cords run into open windows?

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#203028 - 09/05/11 11:45 AM Re: DIY grid connect solar panels...safe to use? [Re: Keef_Wivanef]
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
My guess is we will see the orange cords going through attic vents. I agree this is a concern.
I imagine the chance of these outlets being GFCI protected is nil.
This is an opportunity to sell another outlet under the eaves for these collectors and the Christmas lights or de-icing equipment in the gutters.
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Greg Fretwell

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