I've been saying for a few years that if you just had a few solar panels in your back yard, and didn't want to go through the expense of all the inverter stuff, you could just use it to charge a small battery and power a DC air conditioner. That's because you generally want air conditioning at the same time that you have the most solar power. At the time, the only DC air conditioners available were for marine use, and so they were expensive. However, in the last year and a half I noticed a lot of DC air conditioners on the marker on AliExpress (in China). Some of them even come as a kit including solar panels. The difference here is that presumably the Sharp ones are UL and/or CSA certified, so you could use them in North America.
Honestly, some of the stuff on AliExpress is impressive for how cheap it is. You can buy 500W grid-tie inverters for a solar array for the $200 range. Unfortunately they only have a CE rating, so they're not OK for North America yet. In comparison you can spend 3 to 4 times that much here.
It's sad but I fight the same battle almost every day regarding safety systems in factory automation. There are specific regulations and best practices that we have to follow in order to determine that a machine is safe for an operator to use, and it falls under the heading of "big E" Engineering, as in the type you need to have a license to certify. We put a lot of effort into making the machine both provably safe, but we also have to make it recover nicely from an abrupt shutdown if someone opens a guard door, etc. Everyone from management, to the engineering staff, to the operators themselves who use the equipment constantly gripe about how much effort we have to put into the safety systems, even when it's their own life that's at risk. Almost every discussion involves someone saying, "why can't we just tell people not to stick their hand in the machine?" The answer, of course, is that the rules are different for a machine that starts and stops automatically, than it would be, e.g., for a table saw or a drill press with an on/off switch. The rules are different precisely because people do stick their hands into machines that are stopped. Engineers are professionals who accept people as they are, not as we wish they could be.
Really we could solve the security problems in "IoT" devices by applying the same strict Engineering principles that we do to safety systems in factory automation. You would do this by functionally separating the part of the system responsible for security from the rest of the system, having certified parts that you can purchase that are rated to various industry best practice security standards, and then having a licensed professional engineer review and sign off on the design. Guess what though... it would cost more money. However, I believe there are certain products, where there's a risk to the public, that should be legislated to require this kind of certification.
When I used to go to automotive plants, they'd search your bags and you weren't allowed to bring cameras in. Once everyone got a cell phone with a camera, they just gave up.
When we had our first kid (2008) they'd look at you a bit snarky if you had a cell phone in the hospital. By the time we had our third kid, there were medical interns texting in the surgical room (it was a C-section). Nobody batted an eye if you had a cell phone, though the signs were still up. In my doctor's office, he uses some kind of program to manage all the patient medical files, and there's a terminal (it's a Mac actually) in every examination room. He leaves it logged in even though there are theoretically steep penalties for violating patient confidentiality. Just looking at the screen you can see his whole schedule for the day. When he comes in, he doesn't have to type a password or anything to start entering data about my visit. Devices like insulin pumps are known to allow wireless connections without authentication, and even if there was authentication, let's face it, it's probably broken.
Not long ago I was doing searches for industrial equipment manufacturer names on Shodan and ended up connected to one of those big wind turbines, somewhere in the middle of the US. No authentication. It was a monitoring dashboard and I didn't poke around, just closed it, but there were suspicious links/buttons on there to access the industrial controls, such as the PLC.
There are so many vectors: web browsing, phishing, thumb drives and phones brought in from the outside, pwnies, wireless, executives taking laptops home or even to China, spoofed OS updates, hardware infected as the point of manufacturing, and those are just some of the ones we know about. There is no real security.
Stellar rays prove fibbing never pays. Embezzlement is another matter.