Is plug-in home solar coming?

plug-in-solarOne of the most common reasons people are hesitant to make the switch to solar energy stems from the fact that outfitting a house with solar panels can be an involved and potentially expensive process. Many people, therefore, have a desire for solar technology, but essentially they “stop before they start.”

In an attempt to simplify the going solar process Clarian, a renewable energy startup company, has created a new technology called SmartBox Solar.

SmartBox Solar, as the company describes it, “allows homeowners to plug solar power into an existing outlet without the expense and hassle of larger turn-key systems.” The SmartBox, says Clarian, is comparable in set-up to something as simple as plugging in a household appliance.

Quick installation
The process of installing a SmartBox Solar is relatively fast. After purchasing the SmartBox, buyers install the included solar modules on preexisting structures such as on a shed or over a porch. They then connect the SmartBox Gateway to an existing circuit. Finally, they plug the solar modules into existing outlets.

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The result, according to Clarian, is that the solar modules start generating power, very similar to the larger and more expensive professionally installed panels – but without the added expense of a large solar inverter. And, if buyers want more solar power, additional modules can be installed in order to create higher output.

The SmartBox, though not yet available, should be about the “same cost as a household appliance with a payback in 5-8 years or less after rebates and tax credits,” according to Clarian’s website.

Overall, Clarian notes: “It’s about slowing down the meter and conserving energy. The 200W SmartBox Solar Module produces enough clean, renewable energy to offset the cost of lighting an average home.”

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