Installation Contractor Education

residential solar installer

January is Installer Education month on SolarBuildermag.com, sponsored by Rolls Battery. Here’s a roundup of education / training-focused articles from our archives that run the gamut from residential sizing basics to complex utility-scale layouts.

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Four reasons residential solar + storage installations are surging in the U.S.

Four reasons residential solar + storage installations are surging in the U.S.

January 25, 2021 at 10:44 am 0 comments

Until recently, most solar + storage systems have been out of reach of average homeowners. At first, that was because solar systems were expensive, even with the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) from the U.S. government. Then, as solar prices tumbled thanks to inexpensive imported panels, the sticking point became energyRead More

Lock that box: Hazard posed by switch disconnects in PV systems addressed in NEC 2020

Lock that box: Hazard posed by switch disconnects in PV systems addressed in NEC 2020

January 19, 2021 at 10:02 am 3 comments

Update: This article has been updated to remove the claim that the PV line in would still be live if the switch was off.  While we’ve all been busy figuring out the various ways to comply with NEC 2017 and 2020 rapid system shutdown, NEC 2020 includes another PV system-specificRead More

If you’re not concerned with utility-scale shrinkage, you should be

If you’re not concerned with utility-scale shrinkage, you should be

January 14, 2021 at 9:00 am 0 comments

As greater numbers of utility-scale solar projects are built on challenging topography that includes hilly terrain, shrinkage in utility-scale layouts is becoming increasingly common and more problematic. Shrinkage can be best described as the amount the total length of a tracker or fixed-tilt row is shortened in a top downRead More

PV module procurement: Common mistakes made and issues to consider

PV module procurement: Common mistakes made and issues to consider

January 11, 2021 at 12:36 pm 0 comments

As part of our 2021 Solar PV Modules Buyer’s Guide, we asked solar PV panel manufacturers what they considered to be common mistakes made in the procurement process by solar installers and EPCs. Here is what they had to say. Peak power vs. production One of the factors that isRead More

Battery capacity vs. operating temperature: Sizing a storage system when ambient temperatures vary

Battery capacity vs. operating temperature: Sizing a storage system when ambient temperatures vary

January 4, 2021 at 2:00 pm 0 comments

One of the most common questions asked by PV Installers, as well as customers, is how to properly size and charge a battery bank in places where ambient temperatures may vary considerably throughout the year. Temperature affects battery performance in two ways. The standard capacity rating of a battery isRead More

The Pitch: Large-scale energy storage value drivers with SMA

The Pitch: Large-scale energy storage value drivers with SMA

December 1, 2020 at 9:00 am 0 comments

Large-scale energy storage is entering a boom period. On this episode of The Pitch, we explore the key value drivers and the technology improvements that are leading the segment’s growth trajectory with Chad Spring, Energy Storage Project Sales Account Manager with SMA America. We discuss new revenue streams, what utilitiesRead More

ARCHIVED Webinar:  Residential racking innovations to save time, money via SunModo

ARCHIVED Webinar: Residential racking innovations to save time, money via SunModo

September 21, 2020 at 9:00 am 1 comment

  Sign up for free here Earn NABCEP credits for attending this webinar! Residential solar installers aren’t able to visit trade show booths this year, so SunModo is bringing its booth to installers. There are a lot of residential mounting and racking products on the market, and no manufacturer providesRead More

Solar installer Freedom Forever takes its training mobile with EdApp

Solar installer Freedom Forever takes its training mobile with EdApp

September 15, 2020 at 9:54 am Comments are Disabled

Freedom Forever — a pioneer of the 25-year solar energy production guarantee — is one of the fastest-growing solar contractors in the country, now with almost 30 departments and over 60 crews nationwide. They have made the Inc. 500 list for three consecutive years. All of that growth brings new territory, moreRead More

How much battery do you really need?

How much battery do you really need?

September 1, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments are Disabled

One of the most common puzzles to a solar installation project with energy storage seems simple, but is quite complex to define: how much battery do we really need? The reason the answer isn’t as straightforward as pointing out a specific product or listing a kilowatt number is that itRead More

Pull the alarm: Rooftop solar fires are on the rise, studies point to two possible causes

Pull the alarm: Rooftop solar fires are on the rise, studies point to two possible causes

August 26, 2020 at 9:45 am Comments are Disabled

Solar PV system-caused fires are rare, but they are on the rise in the United States. The numbers here are hard to track down, but Lawrence Shaw, owner of Higher Powered LLC, a residential solar preventive maintenance company in Arizona, reached out to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), dug throughRead More