New Plug and Play Solar Panels Launched by Westinghouse

Instant Connect is a range of solar panels recently launched by California based company Westinghouse Inc. The new panels are designed to make roof installations easier and faster and are known as 'plug-and-play' panels because they do not need panel to panel wiring. Instead they use UL-approved connectors that fit directly into each panel thereby allowing the panels to connect together when they are installed on the roof. This allows the connectors to be precisely aligned, thereby eradicating cumbersome wiring and cabling.

westinghouse solar installation

In a traditional solar panel system, the installer has to carry a multitude of separate parts on to the roof where they are manually assembled. The components include sections of aluminium or steel racking, clips used to attach the panels to the racking, electrical conduit which is used to isolate high voltage DC wiring, inverters, disconnects, heavy duty copper wiring, lugs, clips, ties and so the list goes on. As you can imagine, this can be rather difficult on a sloping roof. Westinghouse noted the problem and ten years ago started to develop components that were already built into the panels. The first such 'plug and play' system, nicknamed 'Andalay', was launched on to the market in 2007. In 2009 Westinghouse captured the world's attention again with the first integrated AC solar panel in which rooftop components were reduced by about 80 percent with a consequential reduction in labour costs of around 50 percent. This panel won the 2009 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award.

As well as eliminating all the hassle of working with hundreds of components, the advantage of the plug and play system is that it can easily be extended. The Instant Connect panels are available in both AC and DC configurations and so far are the only panels with integrated racking, grounding and wiring.

Barry Cinnamon, the CEO of Westinghouse Solar, said: "There continues to be tremendous pressure to reduce the fully-installed costs of rooftop solar. Manufacturers of solar panels are bending over backwards to squeeze an extra 0.1% efficiency out of their panels, or to reduce their costs by $0.01/watt. But now that high quality solar panels are selling for less than $1/watt, the biggest remaining cost savings opportunity is on the installation itself. With Instant Connect, Westinghouse Solar can reduce direct and indirect installation costs by over $0.25/watt, which has a much greater economic impact on customers than incremental efficiency or cell cost improvements."

Gary Mull, Westinghouse Solar Vice President of Marketing, believes that this is the way in which solar PV will be installed in the future. "The second part of our technology that brings it all together is our splice system" he said. "It joins panel to panel mechanically. It also automates the grounding process. The modules eliminate the need for solar installers to install separate racking systems on the roof. It removes the cost of having to purchase all disparate parts and eliminates the need to build that inventory or manage that cost. From an installer point of view, there's an interesting dynamic. As solar panel prices have continued to drop, there's been an opportunity for homeowners to take advantage of lower costs. What's clear to us is lower prices have driven demand."

 

Go Solar Today!

Solar Panels news and information from around the world

Prev Next

Solar World Modules Chosen For National Solar Power Projects

Solar World Modules Chosen For National Solar Power Projects

National Solar Power Partners LLC based in Melbourne, Florida, has chosen modules supplied by the German company Solar World AG for over 700 MW worth of solar power projects in the state. The company chose Solar World after touring their...

Hits:2635 Solar Power News

Read more

Baker Electric Solar Wins Top Award

Baker Electric Solar Wins Top Award

Baker Electric Solar (BES) is a full-service solar integration company which specialises in green technology design and build for both commercial and domestic solar systems. The company has just announced that it has won a Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)...

Hits:2189 Solar Power News

Read more

ESA Renewables Begins Operations In North Carolina

ESA Renewables Begins Operations In North Carolina

ESA Renewables has just commenced a 1.26 MW rooftop installation at New Bern in North Carolina for Progress Energy Carolinas. The project, which is already online and generating electricity, is part of Progress Energy's plan to meet the state's renewable...

Hits:2583 Solar Power News

Read more

Study Shows US Solar Panel Installations Doubled In 2011

Study Shows US Solar Panel Installations Doubled In 2011

The Kansas City Star has described 2011 as 'a historic year for the American solar industry'. According to to a recent study by Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and GTM Research, Solar PV installations across the United States doubled in...

Hits:2170 Solar Power News

Read more

New Plug and Play Solar Panels Launched by Westinghouse

New Plug and Play Solar Panels Launched by Westinghouse

Instant Connect is a range of solar panels recently launched by California based company Westinghouse Inc. The new panels are designed to make roof installations easier and faster and are known as 'plug-and-play' panels because they do not need panel...

Hits:2687 Solar Power News

Read more

Lightway Solar America Extends Agreement With G&S Solar

Lightway Solar America Extends Agreement With G&S Solar

Lightway Solar America Inc, the US subsidiary of Chinese company Lightway Green New Energy, has announced a supply agreement with G&S Solar to provide 34 MW of multicrystalline solar PV modules. G&S will purchase over 122,000 panels during the course...

Hits:3148 Solar Power News

Read more

Trina Solar Helps Bring Solar PV To Communities In Need

Trina Solar Helps Bring Solar PV To Communities In Need

Trina Solar has teamed up with actor Patrick Dempsey from the hit series Gray's Anatomy in an attempt to bring clean energy to communities throughout the US. Solar PV panels will be installed on the roofs of schools, health clinics...

Hits:2606 Solar Power News

Read more

Schott Solar Presents High Efficiency Solar Module

Schott Solar Presents High Efficiency Solar Module

Schott Solar PV Inc of Albuquerque, New Mexico, have recently launched a high efficiency Mono module on to the solar PV market. The company is a leading US manufacturer of solar PV equipment, although a subsidiary of German company Schott...

Hits:2672 Solar Power News

Read more

Most Of The Top Module Manufacturers Are Chinese

Most Of The Top Module Manufacturers Are Chinese

IMS Research has released its latest quarterly report which reveals that 4 out of the top 5 module manufacturers are based in China, thus confirming the country's increasing focus on and dedication to the solar industry. The Chinese government is...

Hits:2416 Solar Power News

Read more

BP Halts Solar Operations

BP Halts Solar Operations

The oil giant BP has halted its activities in the solar sector although it continues to pursue business in other areas of the renewable energy industry, particularly wind and biofuels. The company made its decision in December but didn't actually...

Hits:2469 Solar Power News

Read more

Solar PV Cost

Request A Survey Link