Each year, EcoHome’s sister publication Building Products assembles its annual Top 100 list, a ranking of the products that readers of Building Products, Custom Home, Builder, and Remodeling requested more information about by mailing in reader service cards found in each issue. As in year’s past, the Top 100 doesn’t contain many commodities, but rather those wares that are less familiar, new, or trendy. What was different, however, was the sheer number of green products—including solar panels, tankless water heaters, and resource-efficient materials—that came out on top. More than half of this year’s honorees offer properties that contribute to eco-friendly, durable, comfortable, and/or healthy homes.
Here are the 53 green products from this year’s Top 100.
#1 Endurance Wind Power. The Endurance S-250 wind turbine can be connected directly to the power grid without the need for an inverter. It has a power rating of 5 kWh and can match the energy requirements of average U.S. households that consume up to 18,000 kWh per year, the company says. A braking system and over-speed protection stop the rotors in cases of extreme high wind or fault conditions. 888.440.4451. www.endurancewindpower.com.
#2 Ready Solar. A prefab, modular solar electric system with frame mounting, Solar in a Box is sold off the shelf for an alternative to more expensive, custom photovoltaic systems. It comes with all components for easy installation with no adjustments needed, the company says, and includes Web-based monitoring. The pre-assembled system can be customized and is compatible with any roof surface. 650.299.9854. www.readysolar.com.
#3 Velux. Designed to replace or add to an existing water-heating system, the company’s solar hot water heating system can provide up to 100% of the demand for hot water heating, says the firm, with typically 80% of hot water needs coming from free solar power. The SRCC-certified solar energy roof collectors are designed to integrate well with roof lines, the company says, and they integrate seamlessly with roof windows. 800.888.3589. www.veluxusa.com.
#4 Takagi. The T-K3 tankless water heater is water efficient and space efficient. Measuring 13.8 inches wide and weighing 40 pounds, it can be recessed between two wall studs. Up to four units can be connected without needing an additional control box, giving the heater a maximum flow rate of 7 gallons per minute. It starts heating water at 0.5 gpm, not the usual 0.75 gpm, allowing users to get hot water faster at faucets with less water flow, the maker says. 866.356.9190. www.takagi.com.
#5 Sanyo. HIT Series photovoltaic panels for residential, grid-connected systems feature a proprietary hybrid of single crystalline silicon surrounded by ultra-thin, amorphous silicon layers to reach greater cell and module efficiencies. Panels measure 51.2 by 35.2 inches, achieve an STC maximum power rating of 180 to 205 W, and boast conversion efficiencies up to 17.4%. 469.362.5600. www.us.sanyo.com/solar.