Small solar panel kits that can be easily fixed to the walls of houses and barns and send electricity through a simple plug are proving a big success for a French start-up.
The kits start at €780 for four 70cm by 70cm panels, each weighing 5.6kg.
Together they can produce 300 watts of electricity when installed on a sunny south-facing wall.
The kits come with brackets to screw into the wall.
Solution for wonky walls
Pierre-Emmanuel Roger, one of the co-founders of Beem Energy, told The Connexion: “Several of our first clients had walls which were not completely straight.
“Almost always, the best solution was to fix a wooden plank or planks on to the wall, and then fix the kits to the plank. It takes a bit longer but is do-able for anyone with DIY skills.”
A supplied cable runs from the panels to the plug and is up to 10 metres long.
The company, founded in Nantes in 2019, has sold 3,500 kits so far and hopes to double that number by mid-2023, selling up to 100 a day since September.
15% of a household’s electricity
The panels produce around 15% of a household of four’s usual electricity supply, excluding heating.
They are dark grey in colour, or patterned dark grey and white, and the company says they should last between 20 and 30 years.
Happy customers claim bills have reduced by as much as €30 a month, meaning the kits should pay for themselves within three to five years.
For properties outside of a protected area, with panels installed no higher than 1.8 metres on the wall, the only paperwork required is an online convention d’autoconsommation form with the low tension grid operator Enedis. Under this scheme, any electricity you produce but do not use goes into the grid for free.
For installations higher than 1.8 metres, or if you are in a protected area – around a historic monument, for example – a déclaration préalable must be made.