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Posted Mon Mar 9 2009: from Forbes:
Small-scale, cheap solar
BURLINGAME, CALIF.--Imagine a solar panel as affordable as a fancy new bicycle. A panel designed so simply that you can install one (or more) yourself, just outside your windows, in the course of an afternoon. That's the concept behind Oakland, Calif.-based Veranda Solar, a start-up founded last year by Capra J'neva and Emilie Fetscher, recent graduates of the product design program at Stanford University. J'neva and Fetscher dreamed up attractive, flower-shaped solar panels as part of their master's project at the design school. "We created a starter solar system that expands as your budget does," J'neva says. Their plan is to sell Veranda panels at roughly $600 each later this year, provided it raises more funding. The panels snap together, so people will be able to buy just one to start and add more later on if they like. The solar inverter, which converts the direct current (DC) electricity from the panels to alternating current (AC) electricity that can be used in the electric grid, plugs right into a wall socket.
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'Doc Jim says:
Every house a generator -- every human a king.
As I've been thinking about this, I realized something really important: because the wasted energy of transforming coal to heat to electricity to the grid to my light bulb (something around 90\%), if I have a window solar device like this directly feeding my home, then I'm not just saving a bit of my carbon output: I'm saving a lot.

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