SunPower introduces a new kit system for residential PV

In October last year, the U.S. PV manufacturer SunPower introduced Helix – its first fully integrated “kit” system for commercial rooftop installations. Due to clip-in racking and plug-and-play cabling SunPower claims a kit can be installed on a rooftop 2.5 times faster than any other traditional system. Today the company offers the benefits of a kit solar system to homeowners.

All the major components of Equinox system have been designed and engineered by SunPower, the company says in the announcement. The rooftop solar system is said to deliver greater than 22% efficiency and 70% more energy.

Highlighting the main advantages of the new pre-assembled PV system, SunPower points out that SunPower’s own microinverters, which are integrated into each solar panel at the factory, don’t have to be attached by hand on rooftops as with conventional solar systems.

“Conventional home solar design and systems can be complicated and not harmonious, with companies assembling disparate parts ? each built in isolation by different manufacturers,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, business units. “For homeowners, this piecemeal approach can result in decreased performance, substandard reliability, low-quality aesthetics, and longer installation times.”

Considering how important it is for homeowners that the solar panels are aesthetically pleasing on the rooftop, SunPower highlights “industry-best aesthetics” of its new product as one of the main benefits. The only parts that are visible from the outside are the panels and a Smart Energy management device – hardware smaller than a shoe box, which tracks energy production and consumption in real time and allows homeowners to control their power use. Cabling is hidden behind walls and under roofs; mounting system is hidden beneath solar panels and hardly seen.

Just like the companies using SunPower’s Helix kit system, homeowners are guaranteed 25-year power and product warranty with Equinox.

Even though, SunPower claims its Equinox to be the “game changer for home solar”, pre-assembled rooftop PV systems are not new for the residential PV market. Last summer, Solar Frontier re-launched its residential lineup of PowerSets, with improvements including a new smart turbo inverter and a new monitoring portal.