When you think about solar power systems installed on home rooftops, it might seem like a process that would take days, if not weeks. Well, it often is. However, a home solar system in Massachusetts was recently installed in about one hour. (It was also done on a cold day, which might make installation slower.)
So, what made it possible to install a solar system in such little time?
Three things expedite the process: solar panels that can be glued onto a rooftop, quick connect cables, and rapid permitting.
Of course, if you can install a solar power system in so little time, the costs will drop too. (Solar power news keeps getting better, doesn’t it?)
If the installation process is very streamlined, like the one-hour demonstration project in Massachusetts, the cost actually might drop down to $7,500.
If solar panels and their connectors can be installed like adding an appliance to a home, many more people might be interested. The lower cost is obviously an attractant as well. A connector similar to the one used for charging electric vehicles connects the flexible, adhesive-backed solar panels to a rooftop. Software performs tests to make sure the new system is functioning properly and is safe.
The only part of the Fraunhofer system that needs more refining is the automated permitting. That’s on the software side, so it probably can be resolved without a great deal of difficulty.
“By simplifying the system so that it’s like installing an appliance, we envision that the soft cost will be virtually eliminated,” explained Christian Hoepfner, director of the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems.
It would be a huge advantage for home owners if they could purchase a plug and play home solar system that they can mostly install themselves in a single afternoon.
It would obviously be cheaper, and more convenient. They would probably also learn more about the system if they got to touch the parts and assemble most of the system themselves. (An electrician would be needed for a small part of the whole setup.)