Oil and gas are of the past... or so the solar companies at the West Coast Green Expo would have you believe. And they make a pretty convincing argument! From high performance solar collectors to solar shutters, the following companies produce a number of products to harness the sun's power for our energy needs:
Chromasun: manufactures ultra high performance flat panel solar collectors. Their Micro-Concentrator has been specifically designed for easy rooftop mounting and maintenance, and can generate temperatures upwards of 220 degrees Celsius (428 degrees Fahrenheit). The high temperatures are then outputted as fluid or steam which drive efficient double-stage absorption chillers, heating or cooling your home. Chromasun is currently in beta testing, but a full product launch is expected in 2011.
JTG/Muir: A large distributor of both commercial and residential hydronic heating and solar thermal systems. Residential products available include solar hot water heaters and hydronic and hot water equipment. A good place to get an overview on products available in this category.
SolarCity: SolarCity is a provider of solar power system design, installation, monitoring, and financing services, including leasing. Headquartered in the Bay Area, SolarCity serves residential as well as business and government customers in California, Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon, and plans to expand nationwide.
Plug 'N' Save Energy Products: Solar powered shutters! Plug N' Save's solar cells are mounted on bamboo shutters to harvest energy from the sun. Feed the power back into your home by plugging the grid-tied inverter into any wall outlet.
Sol-Solutions: Based in Willits, California, SolSolutions has designed and built the SolMan line of mobile solar generators and also offers various solar components, LED lighting products, refrigerators, pumps, motors, battery chargers, tools, and designing and installing resources.
VELUX, America: Traditional hot water heaters run on oil or gas; Velux hot water heaters run on the sun. We've written about Velux solar water heating systems before, which come in three different systems depending on the size and type of your house, and the number of people in your household. Click here to find an installer near you and to get a price estimate.
(Images, clockwise from top left: 1. SolarCity; 2. Sol-Solutions; 3. CNET; 4. CNET)