Sunsnap - Solar (FINALLY) Goes Mainstream

Sharp's Solar Energy Solutions Group has introduced the SunSnap AC Solution, a photo- voltatic cell that's ready to go on the retail market. It's a solar electric appliance designed to expand and simplify the mainstream adoption and use of solar energy for homeowners. It ships with a 25-year guarantee. Under full sunlight, it's supposed to generate 235 watts of power. If your Sunsnap fails in the next 25 years, Sharp guarantees it will make it right. The SunSnap AC Solution is a home appliance that consists of black-on-black Sharp photovoltaic (PV) modules, making the roof installation more aesthetically pleasing, and is Enphase Energized™ with high-efficiency microinverters from Enphase Energy with a new mounting assembly from Zep Solar incorporated into the module. SunSnap will help consumers and contractors more easily realize the value of home-generated solar by removing barriers to solar at home through a simplified product design and installation process. As a scalable PV appliance, SunSnap offers homeowners the ability to install a system that meets their budget, roof space and personal energy needs. A small, modestly priced "starter kit" featuring as few as one solar appliance can be initially installed and the system can then be expanded in the future as often as desired. "Recent consumer surveys show an overwhelming interest in transitioning to solar energy, yet many are frustrated by the various barriers to participate in solar," said Eric Hafter, senior vice president, Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group. "Now we are offering an easy, affordable solution for just about any consumer. By introducing SunSnap, Sharp is making solar energy more accessible to the average homeowner." It got a big showing this week at the CES, with many attendees calling it the killer app of the show. SunSnap AC Solution will first be available through distributors and dealers beginning early 2012. Sharp expects to expand sales to retail channels such as popular consumer electronics retailers, in 2012. The basic module will be available off the shelf, starting at less than $1000. A single SunSnap appliance begins generating from the moment of installation. Consumers can realize cost savings immediately to offset energy costs of other home appliances. SunSnap helps consumers work towards energy independence and allows them to offset their carbon footprint, lower electric bills and participate in a culture shift to solar energy use. By converting direct current (DC) from the solar modules to grid-compliant alternating current (AC) at the module-level, the Enphase Microinverter System creates independent power producers out of each solar module in an array. With this, installers have complete design flexibility and are able to offer system owners expandable solar systems that can be easily added to year after year. The mounting and grounding technology is inherently simple and streamlined, fitting seamlessly into the SunSnap solution. Incorporating the Zep Groove into the PV module, we have eliminated the need for bulky rails and separate grounding hardware found in conventional mounting schemes.

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