My favorite tech magazine is Heise.de, but sorry – no english here. The title of a recent article reads: “Balkonkraftwerke” – which means “a power plant on a balcony“. Amazing how easily you can glue German words together. The subtitle to the headline is:
Guerrilla PV: PV-Kleinstanlagen können Teil der Grundlast im Haushalt decken
Guerrilla PV: Micro PV power plants can cover basic household load
A group of people have already copied the idea and created micro scale power plants and sell them in Germany. The more this idea is spreading the better! In the US we will need millions of those Balkonkraftwerke spread across the country.
Just put one solar panel against the wall or on your balcony and start making your own power. These systems are sold from various companies in Germany and only consist of two items: a solar panel and an inverter. You plug them directly into the wall socket – very simple in terms of cabling but not as versatile as the the solar UPS controller.
The solar UPS controller is completely disconnected from the utility grid during operation time. It also has a battery which has the benefit of providing backup power when the grid is down.