Solar power is among the most sustainable forms of electricity we currently have, but it is not yet available to everyone. If you rent an apartment and aren’t able to install solar panels on the roof as many homeowners do, you might be out of luck.
That’s where a new product from “portable power and renewable energy company” EcoFlow comes in. The PowerStream Balcony Solar System allows renters with access to a balcony to plug directly into an electrical outlet and begin harvesting and storing solar energy for home use, Electrek reports.
EcoFlow claims its product is “the first balcony solar system with a portable power station.” However, as Electrek points out, another company called Zendure may have beaten them to the punch. Still, a little competition in the field of plug-and-play solar energy storage systems never hurt anyone.
According to Electrek, the company reports that the PowerStream Balcony Solar System has a maximum solar power of 800 watts and can generate up to 1,039 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, based on internal testing in Germany, which it described as being “more than enough to power a [vacuum cleaner] for a total of 72 hours,” if that is something you would like to do.
As of late June, the smallest version of the product was priced at £1,748.00 GBP (about $2,228), while the largest cost £3,698.00 GBP (about $4,700). It is for sale already in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the U.K., per Electrek, but it has yet to hit the market in the United States. With a fairly hefty price tag, it is not clear how much solar energy a user would have to generate to get the PowerStream Balcony Solar System to pay for itself.
Other options for renters looking to get in on some solar panel action include startups that allow customers to buy into an offsite community solar panel farm on a subscription basis, such as Arcadia and Nelnet.
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