N.C. State University scored a $9 million federal grant to develop a plug-and-play technology that will allow consumers to buy solar panels that plug directly into wall outlets without requiring electricians, permits and inspections.
Such solar panels would significantly bring down the price of solar photovoltaic energy, which sucks up significant costs in hardware, labor and code compliance, said Alex Huang, director of N.C. State's NSF FREEDM Systems Center. The FREEDM Center researches alternative energy applications and will conduct the research on the 5-year grant announced Friday by the U.S. Department of Energy.
"We're very excited," Huang said. "The idea is to reduce the cost."