“Plug-and-play” solar energy systems that can be bought, installed, and turned on in a single day are the focus of a $5 million U.S. Department of Energy grant. DOE wants to change the design and installation of home solar systems to reduce costs and simplify installations and grid connectivity.
As the costs of solar photovoltaic modules continue to come down, “soft” costs and other non-module hardware costs, such as electronics and mounting hardware, now account for a majority of the total costs of systems.
Plug-and-play solar energy systems will make the process of buying, installing, and connecting solar energy systems faster, easier, and less expensive, DOE hopes.
Plug-and-play PV systems could be installed without special training or tools, 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.