In this post we will be discussing Westinghouse’s solar panel kits which are now available through Amazon.com (see product links, above). But first, I want to highlight a couple of points: First, please note that these panels do not feature the “Smart Connect” technology discussed in my last post, but otherwise they do offer the same innovation from Westinghouse Solar that “requires 80% fewer parts to install and maintain.” Secondly, since this blog is primarily devoted to solar backup systems, it should be pointed out that the panels discussed in this post are “AC” solar panels (i.e., alternating current is output by micro-inverters built into the panels), rather than the traditional “DC” panels (direct current), still typically used in battery backup or off-grid systems. Using AC solar panels in a backup system is not totally unheard of, though. For those who are interested, an AC based backup system is discussed in the following article from altenergymag.com:
The Westinghouse Solar kits are available in various panel quantities, ranging from smaller kits of 1 and 4 panels, to the larger 20 panel kit. The product description on Amazon‘s page says the 20 panel system “can provide up to all the energy needs of a standard size home.” I would caution the reader that the resulting 4700 watt panel array may fall short of that goal, especially if you’re considering a battery backup system (which is inherently less efficient than grid tied systems), like the one mentioned in the altenergymag.com article. The manufacturer does claim, however, that these AC panels will produce from 5% to 25% more energy than “other” solar panels.
Basic quantities for the solar kits are as follows (adjust appropriately for multiple-panel kits):
- (1) Westinghouse Solar AC 235 watt panel
- (4) composition shingle roof mounting brackets
- (2) interconnection splices, for multiple-panel installations
- (1) 240 VAC wiring connector
- (1) Westinghouse Solar installation wrench
Note that optional hardware can be purchased from Westinghouse Solar for other types of roofs. Besides the standard hardware for composition shingle roofs, there is hardware available for flat concrete or cement tiles, S or barrel tiles, and standing seam steel roofs. There is also a 5-degree-angle mounting system suitable for flat roofs with asphalt, EPDM, foam, mod bit, PVC, TPO or tar & gravel. This system’s wind-friendly profile and innovative design guards the system from the corrosive effects of the weather, to provide decades of optimal performance. The Westinghouse Solar warranty will cover the panels for 25 years, and the inverters for 15 years.
A scalable, modular design allows you to install your solar system incrementally over time, or all at once. Below, I have included a You Tube video from Westinghouse Solar showing a time lapse for a typical installation (starting from 1:15 into the video, after a brief “Solar Power Overview”).
This video really does make the installation look simple, doesn’t it? Note that these solar panels can be installed either vertically or horizontally (in “portrait” or “landscape” mode), or a mix of both. Note that portrait mode is favored because it minimizes roof penetrations and AC wiring, resulting in a speedy installation. (But perhaps not quite as fast as those guys in the video!)
Additional links to the Westinghouse solar kits are provided below: note that simply hovering your mouse over the links will reveal current pricing information provided through Amazon.com (for more information, click the links below to visit Amazon.com).
As always, I invite your comments or questions regarding this system, or any other system or gadget featured here at My Solar Backup Depot. We also welcome discussions of “alternative energy in the news.” (Hint: I sense a news item may be the subject of my next post!) To comment on a particular post, simply click on that post’s title, and scroll to the bottom of the page where it says, “Leave a Reply.”