16 Aug 2010:
Low-Cost Solar Array
Developed for Residential Installation
A Seattle-based company says that it has developed an inexpensive do-it-yourself solar power technology
that will enable homeowners to install solar panels on their roofs and then connect them to their power supply by simply plugging a cord into a regular electrical outlet. The company, Clarian Power,
is touting its Sunfish system — with prices beginning at $799 — as a major advance in reducing
The Sunfish power module
the high cost of installing home solar power systems, which typically start at $10,000. Clarian says its Sunfish system does not require a dedicated control panel and has built-in circuit protection, and thus does not require an electrician for installation. Users would mount up to five solar panels anywhere on the house, and plug the device into any outlet. The system is Wi-Fi enabled, enabling users to monitor the performance with online software such as the Google PowerMeter. The largest module will be able to generate 150 kilowatt hours per month, company officials say, so it would take five to six modules to produce the roughly 900 kilowatts used by an average American home. Clarian officials say their goal is not to enable homeowners to generate excess electrical capacity, but rather to reduce their monthly energy use and lower their utility bills.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
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A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
Watch the video.
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.