Innovation never sleeps, and the world of solar is getting a wakeup call. We all know solar panels are becoming cheaper each year, but now they are also getting thinner! Since the genesis of solar, panels and racking have been bulky and cumbersome. The new flexible solar sheets, developed by scientists in South Korea at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, will sit flush against any surface, making them low impact and more appealing to the eye.

These flexible solar sheets are also portable and more versatile. Traditional panels are destined to remain on roofs and flat surfaces. These lightweight solar sheets can conform to any surface, like car roofs, corners, windows, tents, and backpacks. This allows solar owners to make more energy — at home or on the go.

In terms of traditional residential installs, flexible solar sheets dramatically reduce installation time by completely cutting out the need for racking. They preserve the integrity of the roof and have a subtle, incomparable beauty.

This is where a curb comes in. Without the ability to track production, homeowners have to trust that their system is doing its job and they are getting their money’s worth. With a multi-channel curb (like CURB), homeowners can see with their own eyes the real-time production of each inverter and can easily identify if the system needs maintenance. This also allows customers to optimize their solar system by understanding peak production patterns. Compare your production with other homes in your area. Challenge the strange old man across the street to a hyperwatt competition!

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It turns out that many homeowners’ electricity bills go up after installing solar, not down. This is because they believe they have so much excess power that they can afford to be wasteful. Unfortunately, this works against them. An intelligent curb should ensure that customers are realizing the financial benefits of their investment in solar.

Our research has shown that CURB owners’ energy bills are significantly lower after install. This is because visualizing consumption — along with its dollar value — catalyzes automatic changes in behavior. Switching to LED bulbs, running the dishwasher less frequently, lowering A/C loads, and simply turning out lights when you leave the room become almost instinctual after viewing how much energy is consumed in the home throughout the day.

CURB’s curb can identify appliances that may need service in order to maintain energy efficiency. With a significantly lower energy bill, homeowners can pay off their solar faster, and reap the rewards they seek much quicker!

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