Department of Energy keen on developing plug-n-play solar PV systems
By Anthony Capkun
April 25, 2012 – As part of its SunShot Initiative, U.S. energy secretary Steven Chu announced up to $5 million available this year to develop plug-n-play photovoltaic (PV) systems that can be purchased, installed and operational in just one day. This effort is part of the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) broader strategy to spur solar power deployment by reducing non-hardware (i.e. soft) costs, such as installation, permitting and interconnection.
“The department’s announcement today supporting plug-and-play solar energy technologies will help make it easier and cheaper for consumers to adopt clean, affordable solar energy…” said Chu.
The funding, says DoE, will help drive innovations to fundamentally change the design and installation of residential PV systems, reducing costs for homeowners and simplifying installations and grid connectivity.
Plug-and-play PV systems could be installed without special training or tools, says DoE, and simply plugged into a PV-ready circuit, through which an automatic detection system would initiate communication between the solar energy system and the utility.
The SunShot Initiative is an American effort to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade.