LOS GATOS, Calif., Dec 10, 2009 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- For the first time, homeowners can purchase high-performing, easy-to-install solar panels off the shelves of a major retailer, announced Akeena Solar Inc. (Nasdaq:AKNS), a leading installer and manufacturer of solar power systems. The Andalay AC panels are available at 21 Lowe's home-improvement stores throughout California. The panels, which were recently honored with a 2009 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Product award, are featured as part of Lowe's Energy Center at the stores.
"The PC revolution in the computer industry occurred when new technology made PCs easy to use and affordable," said Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Akeena Solar. "Likewise, with panels becoming plug-and-play appliances, the solar revolution has started. The availability of solar panels in Lowe's stores makes it easy for homeowners to go solar and is a big step toward getting solar on every sunny rooftop."
The Lowe's Energy Center is a one-stop, easy-to-shop destination that empowers customers to create an energy plan that fits their budget and home-improvement goals. An information kiosk offers a touch-screen display to help customers evaluate their home's solar and wind potential, and the Energy Center features products that help them measure their energy use, reduce energy consumption and generate clean energy. Lowe's is the first major retailer to offer many of these products in one place, products that range from power monitors and small solar chargers to a solar panel system. The Energy Center will be in additional U.S. and Canadian stores in 2010.
Breakthrough Andalay AC Panels are Safer, More Reliable and Simpler to Install
Andalay AC panels, developed by Akeena Solar in Silicon Valley, have integrated racking, wiring and grounding -- reducing the overall parts count by 80 percent and protecting against performance-threatening breakdowns that could happen with ordinary DC power systems.
Andalay panels also have built-in inverters that produce household AC power, so there is no high-voltage DC wiring. These safety and reliability benefits are achieved without compromising performance. In fact, Andalay AC panels produce 5 to 25 percent more energy output compared with ordinary DC solar panels. Because of the modular design of Andalay AC panels, homeowners could install a few panels now and gradually add on later, unlike DC systems that require a complete redesign when adding panels.
Ordinary DC solar power systems also require special installation skills. The innovations provided by Andalay's AC solar system deliver simplicity and safety so that for the first time, electricians, HVAC contractors and experienced do-it-yourselfers can install a solar power system without specialized training.
"Buying panels off the shelf at Lowe's offers solar options to homeowners that they didn't have," continued Cinnamon. "Homeowners now can get a system as small as one panel. With Andalay's safe household AC power design, they are the only real choice for do-it-yourselfers."
Participating Lowe's stores will stock the accessories required for installation, eliminating the need for do-it-yourselfers and contractors to pre-order components and enabling them to pick up what they need on the way to the installation.
About Akeena Solar, Inc.
Founded in 2001, Akeena Solar's philosophy is simple: We believe producing clean electricity directly from the sun is the right thing to do for our environment and economy. Akeena Solar has grown to become one of the nation's leading installers and manufacturers of solar power systems. Akeena Solar's revolutionary Andalay AC solar panels produce safe household AC power and have built-in racking, wiring, grounding and inverters. With 80% fewer parts and 5-25% better performance than ordinary DC panels, Andalay panels are an ideal solution for solar installers, trades workers and do-it-yourselfers. For more information on the company, visit www.akeena.com. Installers can also visit www.andalaysolar.com to learn more about the Andalay panels.
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SOURCE: Akeena Solar, Inc.
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