14 May 2012
Written by Derek Markham
Solar power generation can be a clean way to produce the electricity you use everyday, whether you’re just supplementing grid power or trying to power your whole house. But most solar panel systems require a permanent mount, usually on the roof, which isn’t really an option for the many people who just rent their house or apartment. So one choice that could make sense to renters, both in terms of cost and portability, is a plug ‘n play system that can be moved when you do.
SpinRay Energy makes a line of supplemental solar energy systems that can be mounted right on your deck or patio and plugged directly into a standard 120V electrical outlet (the type installed in every residential house in the U.S.).
The company’s DeckPower systems are dubbed “supplemental solar energy saving appliances” – appliances because you can just plug them in (not go through a major installation process), and supplemental because unless you tie together a bunch of them, they don’t produce enough power to completely replace your grid power. But it’s a start.
The panels include a microinverter pre-mounted on the back, and require five minutes of steady power from the grid before they begin producing power (as well as automatically shutting down when grid power goes out), which keeps the system from putting electricity into the grid at times when utility workers may be working on it and aren’t expecting a live line.