Apr 25

Solar Evolution: From Installer’s Nightmare to Plug and Play

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 under Uncategorized | Comments are off
Westinghouse Introduces "Plug-n-play" Solar Panels

Then and now: Westinghouse develops "plug and play" solar panel installations.


Billed as the “world’s first fully integrated plug-and-play solar panels,” Westinghouse Solar has recently announced their new Instant Connect product line. With this new integrated design, extensive rooftop assembly work is now a thing of the past. The rigid design of these panels eliminates the need for a separate substructure: no racking is required. Grounding is built into the frames, with connecting splices providing grounding panel-to-panel. Wiring has also been simplified with special, patented connectors in the sides of the panels. As can be seen from the above graphic, a small selection of essentials eliminates a jumbo jumble of hardware!

Whether you’re a professional contractor, or a just a professed “DIY” specialist with some basic skills, installation of rooftop solar panels is now easier. Of course, as a homeowner, doing it yourself is going to save the most money, but with the reduced labor requirement, the price of professional installations will also continue to drop. Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Westinghouse Solar, discusses the market forces affecting solar installations below:

There continues to be tremendous pressure to reduce the fully-installed costs of rooftop solar. Manufacturers of solar panels are bending over backwards to squeeze an extra 0.1% efficiency out of their panels, or to reduce their costs by $0.01/watt. But now that high quality solar panels are selling for less than $1/watt, the biggest remaining cost savings opportunity is on the installation itself. With Instant Connect, Westinghouse Solar can reduce direct and indirect installation costs by over $0.25/watt, which has a much greater economic impact on customers than incremental efficiency or cell cost improvements.

Westinghouse Solar Instant Connect solar panels are available for immediate shipment to customers in North America. These panels are “state-of-the-art,” having evolved from the Andelay (DC) panels released in 2007, and the first integrated AC panels released in 2009.

Next time, at My Solar Backup Depot, we will feature more solar panel kits from Westinghouse Solar which can be purchased right from Amazon.com (if you can’t wait until next time to browse or shop, feel free to click the Amazon.com link, and search for “235 watt solar panel complete installation kit”).

About Westinghouse Solar:
Westinghouse Solar is a designer and manufacturer of solar power systems. In 2007, Westinghouse Solar pioneered the concept of integrating the racking, wiring and grounding directly into the solar panel. This revolutionary solar panel, originally branded “Andalay”, quickly won industry acclaim. In 2009, the company again broke new ground with the first integrated AC solar panel, reducing the number of components for a rooftop solar installation by approximately 80 percent and lowering labor costs by approximately 50 percent. This first AC panel, which won the 2009 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award, has become the industry’s most widely installed AC solar panel. Instant Connect solar panels, available in both AC and DC configurations, are the only panels with integrated racking, grounding and wiring. Award-winning Westinghouse Solar Power Systems provide the best combination of safety, performance and reliability, while backed by the proven quality of the Westinghouse name. For more information on Westinghouse Solar, visit

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