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Solar Power for the Do-It-Yourselfer

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By David Shaffer

solar_panel_installation(MCT)—An entrepreneurial engineer has brought the assemble-it-yourself concept to solar power.

The SolarPod developed by Mouli Engineering of Eagan, Minn., comes with four solar panels and related parts, including a rack, that its developer says are no more challenging to assemble than furniture from Ikea.

“Two guys can put that thing together in an afternoon,” said Nick Tamble of HGVids, who assembled one for a how-to video on a retail website.

The basic model — enough to run a refrigerator, TV and a bit more when the sun shines — costs under $4,000, and is eligible for a federal tax credit and possibly other subsidies that can bring down the cost.

“Solar was expensive until SolarPod came along,” said the product’s inventor, Mouli Vaidyanathan, founder of Mouli Engineering. “Now, SolarPod is leading the way in plug-and-play and modular solar. Nobody in the world has a product like ours.”

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