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Legalize Plug-in Solar TODAY!!

Here’s a GREAT example of why the US isn’t able to deliver economic progress anymore.

For the past couple of years, very inexpensive and completely safe plug-in solar technology has been available from reputable vendors.

Plug in solar makes it VERY easy install a solar panel.  All you need to do is mount it and plug it into your wall socket.  That’s it.

As you can guess, this technology would completely revolutionize solar power overnight.  It not only makes it easy enough for anyone to install it, it cuts the prices of an installation to less than 1/3 of what a “professional install” would cost.

In other words, in most states the panels you install this way would be paying you an income (!!) in less than three years.

Despite these obvious benefits, this technology isn’t being used in the US.

Why???

One reason is bureaucracy.  The government bureaucracy we’ve built in the US since WW2 prevents Americans from innovating.

How?  Regulations aren’t built to change things.  They are meant to keep things the way they were.

This means that plug-in solar isn’t allowed until there is a regulation that allows us to use it.  In this case, there are tens of thousands of state and local bureaucrats will prevent you from using plug in solar, because there aren’t any regulations that say it is legal to use it.  

In short, we’ve created an economic system where an innovation isn’t innovation until a bureaucrat writes a regulation that says it is.

The other reason is corporate avarice.  In this case, the power industry is lobbying the government to prevent Americans from taking control of their energy production.   The professional installers hate it because it puts them out of business.

The power companies hate it because they want to own the solar panels on your roof and lease them back to you like a finance company.  They want you remain dependent on them for energy forever while they reap a windfall of profits guaranteed by the government.

Worse, there’s not much we can do about it.  As this Princeton study shows, corporations and other economic elites have complete control over US gov’t policy.  In contrast, we have zero influence.

The reason we don’t have any influence is that Americans have given up our economic independence.  We’ve become economically dependent and that makes it impossible for us to have any real influence over our government.

Until we change that, nothing can be done.

So, start taking economic independence seriously again.   Be part of the solution, not the problem.

 

 

Join the movement to restore America's prosperity

Discussion — 17 Responses

  • Paul August 16, 2014 on 3:37 am

    John,

    Links to plug in vendors please? … products, parts, anything.

    Reply
    • John Robb Paul August 16, 2014 on 1:11 pm

      The problem is that there aren’t many products out there due to regulations. The key to it is micro-inverters — see Enphase. JR

      Reply
  • Another Paul August 16, 2014 on 11:22 am

    It’s my understanding that pushing power from solar panels back on to the grid can be an issue. In Hawaii, something like 80 percent of the homes have solar panels and the grid is having a difficult time dealing with it. Using these panels for your own use may be a great idea, but connecting them to the grid, something everyone else depends on for their electricity, should be done with caution. If we expect the utilities to provide stable power to us, having a constantly varying number of others adding an unknown amount of unregulated power at odd times, could cause a stability issue.

    I recently heard a discussion by a couple of electrical engineers addressing this. Something to keep in mind.

    Reply
    • John Robb Another Paul August 16, 2014 on 1:17 pm

      Two different issues here Paul. One is a fear of grid “islanding” which is dangerous for workers dealing with downed power lines. However, that’s not a problem with modern micro-inverters (most of the currently installed base is old, dangerous tech). The second is availability. That’s actually a red herring that’s being used by the power companies to confuse the market and avoid pressure to do the right thing.

      In fact, it’s even worse than this. If you do produce power via solar and sell it back to the grid, you are getting ripped off by the power company. They are paying you only a small fraction of what it is worth.

      Reply
  • Paul August 16, 2014 on 7:49 pm

    Oh, so the technology exists, but is not available in the market anywhere? In other words, I can’t go overseas and purchase it somewhere? If so, how hard would it be for people off-grid to DIY? Or are you saying you can purchase plu-in solar, but it remains illegal to do any kind of grif-tie with it? Pardon my

    Reply
    • John Robb Paul August 16, 2014 on 8:32 pm

      The technology that makes it safe (micro-inverters) is available in the US. However, there are few vendors that offer a plug-in version due to the regulatory barriers to doing so. The few that have tried it are usually out of business fairly quickly.

      Reply
  • Paul August 16, 2014 on 7:50 pm

    Pardon my confusion, I’m just trying to fully understand your points here.

    Reply
    • John Robb Paul August 16, 2014 on 8:43 pm

      Also, the barriers to innovation we are erecting in the US won’t just impact us negatively. This is the type of innovation drives economic progress forward. That means this type of innovation isn’t likely to be found in other countries, regardless of how little regulation there is. As we’ve seen over two centuries, no country in the world has been able to qualitatively improve the economy the way the US has.

      Reply
  • Dan August 20, 2014 on 7:32 pm

    I don’t see this viable for a number of reasons. The first is Islanding, mentioned above. A switch could be built into the solar panel to detect this, but will raise the cost. The best location to do this is the electrical panel since you only need one. If the electric company detects you backfeeding they will disconnect your meter and getting reconnected is your problem and your expense.

    Seccond, the plug on the plug in solar is backwards. If the sun is shining on the panel the exposed prongs on the plug are energized. Not safe.

    Third, your circuts are sized to run lamps, TV, vacuums, etc. So you are limited to 20 amps unless you use a dedicated circuit. Think stove, dryer, etc. Your circut breakers are sized to protect the wireing so it is not as simple as changing the breaker.

    Finally, all your circuts are sized for safety. Generally the safety of the circut, though long runs may use thicker wire to prevent voltage drop. In that case it is sized for the safety of the equipment pluged into it. Undervolting your appliances can destroy them. At any rate, they are not sized for efficiency so if you are running the circut an anywhere near maximum ampacicity you are waisting your power generating waste heat.

    Best,
    Dan

    P.s. I think the only thing that has to be done professionally is the wireing. If that is the case there is no reason you couldn’t install the pannels, mount the equipment in the electrical closet, run the conduit, and run pull coards in the conduit. Then the only thing you need to pay skilled labor for is pulling the wire and connecting it. Shouldn’t take more than a half day on the largest of houses.

    Reply
    • James Bowery Dan September 18, 2014 on 2:37 pm

      It seems the plug could be rendered safe by an appropriate mechanical switch that closes only when fully inserted.

      Reply
      • Rick G James Bowery August 7, 2015 on 1:09 pm

        Hi, I’m a licensed electrician in MA… You are referring to a GenTran switch. This would be manually operated and provide an either/or feed scenario to the home for the electrical feed. It would not mix the two electrical sources or back feed into the meter and make your meter runs in reverse (to get you paid by the utility). One other thought… back feeding through an outlet, bad idea… your home would have 100 – 200 amp rating at the main breaker. No home outlet would exceed 50 amps. Just my thoughts on this interesting subject.

        Reply
  • Dustin August 21, 2014 on 11:58 am

    What I’m looking for is a tech that will allow solar panels with microinverters to charge batteries and provide off-grid service. So far nothing like this exists.
    As someone who built a house designed to be off-grid, and then learned when trying to get a mortgage on said house, that no bank would dare give me a loan on an off-grid house, I can say that there are several levels of screwing going on here.
    The mortgage companies want to treat an off-grid house as an entirely different entity, and thus want you to provide a comparable sale (within the last 60 days, no less) of an off-grid house. Due to the rarity of such things, it was impossible. Thus I was stuck spending $20k to bring power to my home to get a mortgage, which could have been spent on solar components.
    Lesson here folks: Live in a tiny house on cheap land that you can pay for with cash. (the compromises required for such was not acceptable to the spouse)

    Reply
    • Guy Dustin February 12, 2015 on 3:02 am

      Teslachargers.com has what you’re looking for.

      Reply
  • joseph December 10, 2014 on 5:25 pm

    I bought one of these micro-inverters years ago… The inverter plugs into the wall. In my case the wind generator plugs into the inverter. It is fully safety protected. The micro-inverter detects whether or not there is power on the grid. This both prevents islanding, and any risk of getting shocked by the exposed prongs on the plug.

    Reply
  • Gary March 3, 2015 on 3:55 pm

    For those looking to learn more about plug-in solar, I found some good info here: http://www.pluginsolar.org

    Reply
  • Jack November 9, 2015 on 12:16 am

    I found this site that sells micro grid tied kits that are plug and play.

    http://plunngen.com Model png200

    Very cool.

    Reply
    • Jack Jack November 9, 2015 on 12:18 am

      I found this site that sells micro grid tied kits that are plug and play.

      http://plugngen.com Model png200

      Reply

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