Fraunhofer CSE Developed A Low-cost Plug-And-Play Solar PV System That Installs in Just 10 Hours

Fraunhofer CSE Developed A Low-cost Plug-And-Play Solar PV System That Installs in Just 10 Hours

The plug-and-play technology is almost everywhere being used to connect any gadget or product. Many of today’s smart phones also incorporate this technology. You simply connect the new device to launch an automatic configuration process and, within minutes, your system is set up and ready to go.


One of the bigger elements, in terms of both time and costs, to installing a home solar power system (other than the cost of the solar panels themselves), is the installation of the solar array.

The Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE Initiative is now aiming to bring that same ease of installation to residential photovoltaic (PV) solar systems. It has developed a new Innovative plug-and-play technology; ‘stick-on’ solar modules that might end up being the truly affordable solar option.



Images credit: Fraunhofer CSE

With this technology in future, installing a solar array for your home could be as easy as plugging in common household appliances, which are purchased, installed and operational in one day. 

The goal is to simply plug the new system into a PV-ready circuit to initiate an automatic detection system that would connect your system with your local utility. In just one day, you are able to start powering your home with renewable solar electricity.

Image credit: Energy.gov

It could reduce the soft costs of residential PV installations, the company is targeting a goal of $1.50/Watt installed cost by 2020, down from an average of $4/W installed cost in the U.S. today, as per Fraunhofer site.

Fraunhofer Plug & Play PV Systems - System Installation & Commissioning

The Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE) has completed the first public installation and interconnection of its new residential rooftop Plug and Play PV System which is Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initative, reports PV-Magazine.

The Fraunhofer Plug and Play PV system uses slim and lightweight solar modules, almost like solar shingles, which attach directly to the surface of the roof itself, and which could be purchased as a pre-configured system and installed by the homeowner or handyman. 

The solar panels are connected together through a simple interface on each one, and then to an inverter, which converts the DC electricity produced by the panels into AC for connecting to the home and grid.

Installation of the plug-and-play solar PV system is quick simple and easy:

You just Purchase a Plug & Play PV System at a local home improvement store or from a distributor (preconfigured for your rooftop). Install the system yourself following the enclosed instructions, or hire a contractor. Installation is completed with the following steps:

The system runs a self-test, ensuring it is safely installed and meets code requirements.

The system transmits self-test results and key system parameters to the local municipality and utility via the Plug & Play PV server.

Upon receiving municipality and utility approval, the PV system can be commissioned with the push of a button.

As part of its recent Plug and Play Demo Day, Fraunhofer CSE demonstrated the full-scale installation and commissioning of a PV system in one hour. (Source: The Fraunhofer CSE)

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