Solar rooftop installations just got a lot easier: Lumeta, a subsidiary of construction heavyweight DRI, has developed a solar panel sticker -- the Power-Ply 380. The company says its convenient peel-and-stick solar technology allows it to be installed almost twice as fast as regular rack-mounted panels -- a claim put to the test in the above video.
The panels are half as heavy as concrete roofing tiles and can be tailored to fit on most tile designs -- concrete, clay, profile and flat (added bonus: they come in a variety of colors). As Wired Science's Alexis Madrigal notes, the Power-Ply's main downside is that it loses the sun's optimal angle, thus making the peel-and-stick panels less efficient than some of its alternatives. That energy loss amounts to around 5% of the panels' power production. According to its promotional datasheet, its panels can each produce 380 Wp of power under peak performance conditions. Lumeta is hoping to ride on a wave of growing consumer interest in solar panels -- particularly new homeowners looking to invest in energy-efficient technologies for the long run.
While government and business incentives vary state, several companies in California, including SunRun, SolarCity and Sungevity, are dangling loan programs and other goodies to entice homeowners to make the solar leap. Now if we could only get our hands on those hairy solar panels...
CORRECTION: See dredg's note in the comments; basically, each panel has a 380 Wp peak wattage (not 28 Wp), and the appropriate datasheet is here.