September 28, 2007 Akeena's Andalay solar panel technology combines savvy design with a number of enhancements designed to decrease installation time. With 70% fewer roof-assembled parts and 50% less labor needed to install the system, the company says the Andalay system can cut installation time from half a day to half an hour.
The system also boasts 25% less roof attachment points meaning that a small house can resulting in the dramatically reduced installation time. The materials are designed to be lightweight and sturdy, to decrease pressure on your roof but maintain a barrier against leaks.
The key to the aesthetic improvement promoted by the makers of this solar panel system is that the panels are black, so they look more like a skylight than solar panels. Furthermore, they attach directly to the roof so they appear smoother on the building rather than being attached to large racks attached to the roof. All of the wiring is built in to the system to avoid dangling wires.
The full price of this type of system in California would be US$25,000, but with states offering rebates and tax credits the actual cost is around US$17,000 - not a small investment but with long term savings for the average household of about US$100 in electricity bills each month according to Akeena, the system would have paid for itself in approximately eight years. Customers also get a locked-in electric rate of 12 cents per kwh for the 30+ year life of the system.
Cost is a critical issue when it comes to the development of solar energy and thin film panels for mass solar energy production are one of the ways being trialled to help reduce costs for large scale solar plants.
For further information on the Adalay system visit Akeena.