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String optimizers, like this one from Ampt, put voltage and current limits on each string to achieve 100 percent longer strings without exceeding 1,000 volts.

How optimizers bridge the gap to 1,500-volt PV systems

March 21, 2016 at 2:31 pm 3 comments

The need to lower PV system costs is driving large-scale solar developers to consider changing from 1,000- to 1,500-volt DC systems. The United States PV market was able to lower the cost of PV systems by increasing the maximum system voltage from 600 to 1,000 volts a few years ago.Read More

Inside the new, improved decentralized tracker from GameChange Solar

Inside the new, improved decentralized tracker from GameChange Solar

March 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm 2 comments

When GameChange Solar was formed, its goal was to, well, change the game in racking. The game in particular the company has changed is that of levelized cost of energy by offering some of the lowest priced fixed-tilt mounting and racking systems in the industry. The N.Y.-based company is ready toRead More

The value of residential solar trackers for installers and customers

The value of residential solar trackers for installers and customers

March 14, 2016 at 12:00 pm 2 comments

Residential trackers aren’t for every customer, but they are far from a novelty, and having them among your menu of sellable system options could expand your pool of available jobs. Like much of the solar industry, technology in this area has improved. The first such systems on the market toRead More

Florida Supreme Court to rule on controversial utility-backed solar ballot measure

Florida Supreme Court to rule on controversial utility-backed solar ballot measure

March 8, 2016 at 10:33 am Comments are Disabled

With the solar industry increasing at such a rapid pace, you’d assume “The Sunshine State” would be just exploding with installations. But that hasn’t been the case, and depending on how the state handles a new amendment that’s been proposed, it might never be the case. Basically, the Florida Supreme CourtRead More

Four steps for converting more solar sales

Four steps for converting more solar sales

March 7, 2016 at 12:00 pm 6 comments

Solar customers are out there in abundance, and it is up to the installer to harness and convert them. Think of it like this: Customers are rays of the sun; you are a PV system. But our hope is to get your conversion efficiency higher than a PV system’s 21Read More

How SunPower’s Helix Platform takes aim at commercial sector

How SunPower’s Helix Platform takes aim at commercial sector

February 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm 2 comments

There are two big “I” words for the solar industry in 2016: investment and integration. This could be especially important for commercial projects. Achieving a real widespread influx of commercial solar installations — from large companies, small companies and everyone in between — will likely require some new solutions andRead More

Installed at the breaker panel, power conditioning boxes can reduce EMF by up to 99 percent.

Solar dealers boost revenue with power conditioning equipment sales

February 23, 2016 at 9:00 am Comments are Disabled

  To sell truly clean, green solar power that increases the energy savings, longevity and effectiveness of solar and other home equipment, proactive dealers are now adding a power conditioning and protection component to typical solar panels, racking and inverters. By providing a more complete electrical solution that handles householdRead More

What you need to know about 1500-volt inverters

What you need to know about 1500-volt inverters

February 18, 2016 at 9:00 am 1 comment

Seems like just yesterday that large-scale PV systems moved to 1,000 Vdc in the United States, but another sea change to the 1,500-volt system is imminent. The analysts at GTM Research believe the transition will begin in earnest this year, and so do many of the inverter manufacturers we surveyedRead More

Brittmore’s automated installation can go at a pace of about 160 modules an hour.

Install-O-Matic: One solar company is turning the jobsite into a factory

February 8, 2016 at 12:08 pm Comments are Disabled

Ever since the first solar PV system was installed, someone has been trying to remove components from it. Many of these are small and surgical — what used to need four bolts now needs two, what used to need clips no longer needs them — with each incremental reduction helpingRead More

LCOE Heroes: How inverters drive down PV levelized cost of energy

LCOE Heroes: How inverters drive down PV levelized cost of energy

February 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm 3 comments

Efficiency is a ubiquitous term in the solar industry and an important one — better efficiency means more power, which is what the world needs. But the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) is a truer measure of project value, and there are a variety of ways manufacturers up and downRead More