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Solar projects have so much potential when viewed as a collective bundle, like this group of 30 rooftop arrays Standard Solar is installing for the Washington, D.C., Department of General Services that combine for a total of 7 MW (pictured here).

Urban Planning: Commercial rooftops are biggest void, opportunity in solar

June 19, 2017 at 12:29 pm 0 comments

Commercial rooftops offer a ton of potential job opportunities for solar installers and developers going forward. Analysts at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimate a technical potential of 1,118 GW of capacity and 1,432 TWh of annual energy generation, equivalent to 39 percent of the nation’s electricityRead More

Snake Tray has developed a cable conveyance system that maintains a specific separation between cables that eliminates the need for upsizing cable gauges due to the derating cable because of bundling or piping.

Wire management: What to look for when planning, purchasing your next solar system

June 12, 2017 at 7:19 am 0 comments

Wires are good for two things: 1) Installing a kick-ass PV system 2) Tripping people up. To accomplish the first, you must avoid the second at all costs, which means implementing a sound wire management plan on projects of all sizes. Planning Just like the rest of the system, planningRead More

How to use tracker control systems to your advantage

How to use tracker control systems to your advantage

June 5, 2017 at 1:31 pm 0 comments

In the December 2016 Solar Builder, I discussed the industry evolution from passive to active and dynamic systems. Here’s a primer on control systems and how to make them work for your project. The Basics Clients frequently ask how trackers will respond to a given condition. Your tracker manufacturer willRead More

Photo: Quick Mount PV’s E-Mount Lag

We look at the pros and cons of rail and rail-less PV mounting systems

May 30, 2017 at 7:00 am 0 comments

Should you go with a rail or rail-less PV mounting system on your next installation? Depending on who you ask, you will get strong opinions for both. I liken the choice to dieting. Don’t eat meat! Actually, don’t eat carbs! No, it’s sugar that’s the killer! Milk is bad! YouRead More

Mounting Pressure: Today’s large-scale PV boom demands new levels of service from racking companies

Mounting Pressure: Today’s large-scale PV boom demands new levels of service from racking companies

May 11, 2017 at 9:09 am 0 comments

For the first time ever, in 2016, U.S. solar ranked as the No. 1 source of new electric generating capacity additions on an annual basis. In total, solar accounted for 39 percent of new capacity additions across all fuel types, and these big numbers are coming via big installs asRead More

Winning the Midwest: We look at how a new solar market is forming in the Midwest

Winning the Midwest: We look at how a new solar market is forming in the Midwest

May 8, 2017 at 8:35 am 2 comments

You’ve probably heard, but more solar is being installed than ever before. As the cost of solar dropped the last decade, the economic case in areas of the country with high electricity prices was simple. This isn’t the case in the Midwest, where energy costs are lower, which keeps everyoneRead More

Photo courtesy of AceClamp

Clamps of Approval: Here’s what to look for when selecting PV clamps

May 1, 2017 at 8:00 am 1 comment

The following advice was sent our way via Civic Solar. Check them out here. Clamps, the racking component used to fasten and ground modules to rails, are an integral component of a racking system. Knowing what to look for in a clamp is a great place to start when vettingRead More

Did Suniva just start a global trade war? A quick summary

Did Suniva just start a global trade war? A quick summary

April 27, 2017 at 9:32 am 1 comment

It started with the Suniva bankruptcy earlier this month. Well, that’s not quite true because U.S.-based solar manufacturers have been crying foul regarding unfair competition from cell and module imports for awhile, but after filing for chapter 11, Suniva hit the button and filed a petition for global safeguards underRead More

Ask an Expert: Inverter manufacturers give us their best troubleshooting advice

Ask an Expert: Inverter manufacturers give us their best troubleshooting advice

April 25, 2017 at 6:39 am 1 comment

Wi-Fi Can Cause Communication Issues Christopher Barrett, director of technical services, APsystems We often see issues our installers are facing related to communication, often due to misplacement of the gateway or an unreliable internet connection. Following best practices recommended by the manufacturer will help installers reduce repeat site visits toRead More

Top 5 battery installation issues for solar installers

Top 5 battery installation issues for solar installers

April 17, 2017 at 10:30 am Comments are Disabled

With the right installation, battery banks can provide reliable power for years. In this article, you’ll discover how to avoid costly, hard-to-diagnose battery installation mistakes, and you’ll learn a holistic approach that prevents costly errors long before installation. 1. Not Starting with Efficiency Each additional kWh of energy demand requiresRead More

 
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