Energy still remains an issue in the United States, and installing solar panels on a home is a great way for homeowners to reduce their energy costs. Akeena Solar offers its Andalay AC Panel to the residential market and have done a lot to increase power output 5 to 25 percent while reducing parts and giving the system a 25+ year guarantee.
Akeena Solar’s Andalay AC Panel is a fully integrated, plug-and-play panel. By incorporating the racking, wiring and electrical grounding elements into the panels themselves, Andalay AC cuts down on the parts count by 80 percent and offers an easy installation process.
“There are two main reasons why homeowners are looking at solar,” explains JB Tengco, director of PR and media relations for Akeena Solar. “The first is that it really helps you control your money and create savings for you. Solar panels generally have a payback of five to seven years, but are guaranteed for 25 years. For other customers, the allure to solar is the ability to generate their own clean electricity and adjust their own carbon footprint.”
The company began in 2001 as an installation company based in Silicon Valley. Just like a lot of companies in Silicon Valley that have ties to beginning in a garage, this company began on a garage. The company CEO, Barry Cinnamon, began working with solar in the ‘70s and ‘80s. After taking some time to work in the high-tech field, he came back to solar by doing some work on his garage and watched as the company slowly grew.
Today the company has several offices throughout California. The success was based on Cinnamon’s commitment to improving solar. He felt that there were a couple of areas where it could be improved upon like reliability, performance and attractiveness for homes. After doing the research, the Andalay AC solar panel was born and went on to win the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Product of the Year in 2009 and also be recognized by SEIA, the Solar Energy Industries Association.
In May, Akeena Solar and Westinghouse signed a partnership to brand the Andalay panels as Westinghouse Solar. These panels are now beginning to make their way into stores and can be purchased like any other home improvement project product. But none of this has slowed down the company. It continues to look at ways to improve the panels and is currently looking at ways to make installation easier.
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