Solar Power Brand, NewPower, Launched by AV Veteran

January 16, 2013
AV industry veteran Bob Rapoport believes that selling and installing solar power systems is the next frontier for the custom integration channel. NewPower, his new solar power system company that was unveiled at CES last week, offers a triple-redundant design that, company CEO Rapoport says, assures homeowners that they will never lose power again. NewPower

NewPower’s Hybrid Solar Power System includes 4,500 watts of solar power generation, backed up by 8,000 watts of battery power, which is backed up again by an 8,000-watt stand-by generator.

“Nothing is more ‘in-demand’ than electricity, just try living without it. All the other stuff our channel sells is meaningless without power,” Rapoport stated. “With solar having only two-percent market penetration, it was clear to me that something was wrong, the solar resellers out there today are electricians with some kind of agenda, environmentalists touting climate change as the primary thing to consider as they sell consumers twice as much as they need at exorbitant prices. Deal killer prices.”

As Superstorm Sandy clearly demonstrated, losing power from extreme weather events is much more common now, and that’s all the reason anybody needs, Rapoport added.

When Rapoport, who also serves as CEO of sales and marketing consultancy TRG Marketing, looked into solar power systems for himself, none of them had what he wanted to buy. “I had to design my own, from only the best components, all made in the USA. It’s a triple redundant design, using solar during the day, with a big battery UPS back up,” he said.

St. Petersburg, Florida-based NewPower sells its system, which has already begun shipping, for $29,995.95. Rapoport pointed out, however, that IRS is offering a 30-percent Federal Income Tax Credit for residential solar systems through 2016 and local power company cash rebates of between $2 and $4 per watt create the right incentive for consumers to make 2013 their year to go solar. The net cost of this system is $12,000, which is a 60-percent savings, he said.

As for custom integrators, Rapoport said that he’ll put a system together that CIs can sell, at his dealer cost plus five percent. “They can make 25-percent plus the labor,” he noted.

How the System Works
Rapoport said that with NewPower, 4,500 watts of solar power is generated when the sun is shining, an average of six to eight hours per day, over-riding the grid and enough power to run “the vast majority of homes.” After charging the batteries, excess power is sold back to the power company, reducing the annual power bill by 50-70 percent, he added. The grid is the first back-up during the day or night but if it goes down, the battery system then instantly transfers over and “light bulbs don’t even flicker.” During long disruptions, the generator keeps the batteries charged. As soon as the sun comes up or the grid is restored, the battery system goes to into recharge mode.

“As far as I know, NewPower is the only source for this complete system turn-key, ready to be installed,” Rapoport added. “We survey the job-site using Google Earth and tell the homeowner where to put the panels, in most cases on the poles that are customized in height for each project to make sure they get all the sunlight available. Rooftop mounting is also available but pole mounting allows the panels to be adjusted for the best angle to the sun in the summer and winter.”

The sleek black solar panels have a thick glass overlay to concentrate and focus the sun’s energy for increased efficiency and they are guaranteed for 25 linear years, Rapoport said. The battery system will last seven to 10 years in normal use and the latest Generac generator is designed for “grid-interactive” systems with battery back-up.

The battery system also can be tasked to operate just the audio-video computer circuits at night, delivering the cleanest off-grid power to sensitive electronics. “It’s the ultimate power supply for a home theater,” Rapoport said.

No Need to Stock Systems
The system is shipped directly to the job site, so integrators don’t have to stock anything. It comes pre-wired and tested. The system is in stock and ready to ship, running about two weeks backordered at the moment, according to Rapoport, but usually one week for delivery.

“I will teach installers how to sell it and install it by Skype, [but] it’s not rocket science,” Rapoport concluded. “It’s a dynamic moment for the solar power industry to take off and for CEDIA members to be a part of it. Many of them started selling generators this year; adding solar and battery storage is the logical next step.”

Interested parties should visit NewPower on the web or contact Bob Rapoport at 727.866.9767 or

Want to read more stories like this?
Get our Free Newsletter Here!


No records found
Photo GalleriesMore Galleries >
Doug Henderson and Joe Atkins

Doug Henderson (left) president of Bowers & Wilkins Group North America, and Joe Atkins, Bowers & Wilkins global CEO, invited consumer and t...

BMWs, McLarens, and Volvos

Upon arrival, guests experienced Bowers & Wilkins Automotive products in BMW, McLaren, and Volvo cars (the Maserati wasn’t available...

Demo'ing the McLaren

Bowers & Wilkins North America president Doug Henderson show demonstrates how to open the door on the McLaren.

B&W Speakers in the McLaren

Bowers & Wilkins speakers in the McLaren.

B&W Vintage Living Room

Bowers & Wilkins North America president Doug Henderson shows off the company’s vintage living room space, which featured vintage ge...

The B&W LP Collection

Part of the Bowers & Wilkins vintage living room space is this collection of LP covers that represent a seminal album from each of the com...

The B&W Museum

Bowers & Wilkins had to purchase much of the gear in its museum because most discontinued products were not kept over the last 50 years.

The Wisdom of John Bowers

Words to live by from Bowers & Wilkins founder John Bowers

The History of B&W

A timeline of Bowers & Wilkins’ product and company history

Andy Kerr and Martial Rousseau

Senior product manager Andy Kerr and head of research Martial Rousseau from the U.K. Bowers & Wilkins office. They were showing off the ne...

Turbine Head

  The turbine head for the 800 D3 houses the mid-range speakers.

Andy Kerr

Senior product manager Andy Kerr holds up the very heavy solid-body turbine head.

Historical Flagship Products

A look at the company’s flagship products through its 50-year history

The Legendary Diamond Tweeter Dome

To show off the company’s legendary diamond tweeter dome, one was encased in plastic to protect the brittle material. The tweeter domes ...

Demo'ing the 800 D3 Speakers

Bowers & Wilkins’ new demo room showcases its new flagship 800 D2 speakers, which are the outcomes of one of the company’s mos...

800 D3 Close Up

The silver 6-inch FST midrange drive unit of the 800 D3 uses Bower & Wilkins’ new proprietary Continuum woven material. Developed af...

In-wall Demo

Bower & Wilkins’ showcases its in-wall speakers in this space.

The B&W Nautilus

Bower & Wilkins’ legendary Nautilus is 17 years old but just as contemporary now as it was then.

Nautilus Pricing

A wall plaque in the “Nautilus demo room” itemizing the price of the system

Theater Demo

A theater demo showcasing the flexibility of 800 D2 speakers