AC Solar Technology's Blue Leaf 210W solar module (credit: AC Solar Technology)
A new start-up company in my hometown of Bend, Oregon has goals of changing the solar industry! AC Solar Technology’s Blue Leaf 210W AC module promises solar power installation – made simple.
The new solar module was showcased last week at a conference in San Francisco. But this week, it expects to receive its ETL Listed Mark, which shows that the product can meet Underwriters Laboratory (UL) safety standards. That is the final step prior to production!
The Blue Leaf 210W AC module is a small solar electrical system designed for residential and small commercial users. Because it does not require a solar inverter, the system can take direct current (DC) from sunlight to create electricity, without the need for additional wiring to change the DC into alternating current (AC), which is used by most electrical appliances. In other words, your solar electrical system can be up and running in a matter of hours, without the need to call for an electrician!
This new solar module does not require any DC wiring or components because it directly uses AC to power grid: a single AC line leads from the inverter on the back panel, somewhat like an extension cord.
When solar power installation can be made simple like this, some of the most significant hurdles to switching to the renewable resource can be cleared. People that wish to install solar panels usually balk at the price and the difficulty involved in doing so. Both issues are addressed with the new system.
Say goodbye to solar inverters with the new AC Solar Technology product
- Size: 3×5 feet
- Cost: $5 per watt installed, or about $1500 after solar rebates/credits
- Market: primarily residential, with some smaller commercial
- Tax incentives/credits? YES!
- When can you buy one? Manufacturing to start this year – look for models in 2010
You’ll soon be able to get the new solar electrical systems as part of custom DIY solar panel kits. Even more exciting is the fact that each AC module is a complete system. In other words, you can start with one, and then expand as your needs require. From a cost-standpoint, the lack of an inverter means that the overall price is much less on a per watt basis. And, you can use federal Investment Tax Credits, too.
New developments in the solar market are announced every week. When the news is focused on low cost, easy installation, its all good. According to AC Solar Technology CEO Glenn Harris:
“We think the market is going to like a little 200 watt solar system. That’s not something that has been done before.”
Personally, the fact that the new AC Solar Technology product is “homegrown” here in Bend Oregon is but additional basis for bragging rights. Sure, I know I didn’t invent it. But the expertise and interest with respect to solar technology here in Central Oregon is becoming more and more newsworthy each year.
300 days of sunshine annually cannot help but be a good thing here!