The Fort Washington Country Club solar carport project used APsystems YC1000 3-phase microinverters. The 529 kW system used 429 APsystems microinverters to serve 1,760 SunEdison 320W modules.

Solar carports help Fresno country club get on the green

Broad, flat, and just as suited to soaking up sunlight as shading whatever’s underneath, carports have emerged as popular platforms for solar arrays.

You might think of them as the logical evolution of ground-mount PV systems: taller, and dual purpose.

For members of the Fort Washington Golf and Country Club in Fresno, Calif., shaded parking is a welcome side-benefit of an ambitious new solar program.

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Hogi Selling IV, Valley Unique Electric/Solar Universe president, and Fort Washington Country Club’s new solar carports in Fresno, Calif.

The club recently added six solar carports next to its driving range, the largest offering about 20,000 square feet of productive roof space.

Throw in an existing shed now covered with modules, and the new array totals 36,000 square feet –- about eight-tenths of an acre of glistening solar.

The 529kW system supports the power needs of the Fort Washington clubhouse and operations across the sprawling 18-hole layout.

“This is really forward thinking on the part of the club board,” said Dan Stockton, a retired college football coach and longtime Fort Washington member. “I hope some of the other area clubs will take a look at what we’ve done. It’s a good deal.”

The system was designed and installed by Solar Universe, the PV arm of longtime Fresno contractor Valley Unique Electrical. The company has offered electrical services and industrial-commercial construction management in the Central Valley, Bay Area, Nevada and Central Coast markets across four continuous generations dating back to 1924.

The country club first considered a simple ground-mount array, but Hogi Selling IV, Valley Unique Electrical president and six-year club member, steered the club board toward an advanced carport system through a design-build contract.

The elevated array preserves aesthetics on the picturesque course, an oasis of rolling fairways and swaying palms and eucalyptus trees in the burning San Joaquin Valley.

“The project itself is difficult, but we’re well versed in putting carports up with solar,” Selling said. “The measure of success for us is obviously leaving the end user with what we said we would provide them with, and as long as the energy bills come back annually based on our proposal, everything’s good.”

Designer Jared Paniagua chose SunEdison modules and APS YC1000 microinverters for the 3-phase system. Across the seven rooftops, 429 APS microinverters serve nearly 1,700 modules.

Paniagua also used APS 3-phase microinverters for a recent 85kW ground-mount system powering agricultural pumps at a Fresno-area dairy.

“We use APS religiously on all our commercial projects,” Paniagua said. “(The competing brand’s) trunk cable is very expensive, their splice kits get very expensive, and the one-to-one microinverter-to-module ratio drives costs up. Whereas with the YC1000 and its 1:4 ratio, that’s a real advantage.”

The Fort Washington Country Club solar carport project used APsystems YC1000 3-phase microinverters. The 529 kW system used 429 APsystems microinverters to serve 1,760 SunEdison 320W modules.

The Fort Washington Country Club solar carport project used APS YC1000 3-phase microinverters. The 529 kW system used 429 APS microinverters to serve 1,760 SunEdison 320W modules.

The Fort Washington project reflects a strong market for commercial and carport installations in the Fresno area.

Value Unique Electric/Solar Universe offers solar carports as an integrated package, and Paniagua has designed installations ranging in scale from 25kW to 2 megawatts.

“It’s easier to install on something designed for the extra weight and size of the PV system than to retrofit,” he said. “The designs vary based on the engineer and contractor erecting the structure. It’s a fairly simple process and one that works well for us.”

 

 It’s all in the swing

Founded in 1923, Fort Washington Golf and Country Club is the oldest private course in the Fresno area.

Membership is currently topped out at the club capacity of 425, “with more people kicking to get in,” said Larry Wapner, club president and 30-year member.

The club has produced top-flight golfers familiar to any follower of the professional circuit. Fred Couples and Mark O’Meara both earned their tour cards on the course, renowned for its challenging hilly layout.

“You wouldn’t think we’d have hills in Fresno, but there are a lot of hills back there,” said Bob Fries, a club member since 1969 who, at age 85, is still considered to have the best swing among a group of retired Fresno City College athletics coaches who frequent the course.

On a recent morning, unfazed by the clatter of carport construction over his shoulder, Fries launched one ball after another down the range, each shot straight and true.

“It doesn’t take muscle,” Fries said, smiling, as his buddies looked on with respect. “I haven’t got any muscle left.”

Adding solar to the popular course had been in discussion for about three years, Wapner said, before Valley Unique Electric/Solar Universe produced the winning design and bid.

The issue was decided by a vote of the club membership, who would have to assess themselves to cover the cost. Support was overwhelming.

Dan Stockton, Len Bourdet and Bob Fries, all longtime Fort Washington Country Club members, meet at the driving range several times a week. The club’s new solar carports (in the background) offer shaded parking while generating power for the club.

Dan Stockton, Len Bourdet and Bob Fries, all longtime Fort Washington Country Club members, meet at the driving range several times a week. The club’s new solar carports (in the background) offer shaded parking while generating power for the club.

“It’s just a big plus,” Wapner said, looking ahead to the dramatic savings in energy costs projected by designer/installer Valley Unique Electric. “In six to 10 years, it’s going to put us in great financial shape, and that’s why we did it. It’s for the future.”

As a bonus, more than 80 parking spaces are now shaded from the punishing valley sun. Club members previously dueled over the handful of spaces shaded by trees, but then had to contend with pitch and debris on their vehicles.

Now they duel for the coveted carport spots.

“If you take a look at the parking we have today, the available spots are all in the sun,” Wapner said. “We expected that. The good thing is we were able to afford to build a (solar) structure that works as a carport. Now we’ve definitely got shade from the sun and exposure to weather.”

Project: Fort Washington Country Club
Location: Fresno, Calif.
Designer/installer: Valley Unique Electric/Solar Universe
Modules: SunEdison 320W
No. of modules: 1,760
Microinverters: APS YC1000 true 3-phase
No. of microinverters: 429
System capacity: 529 kW

Information: www.valleyunique.com, www.fortwashingtoncc.org

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Midwest distributor AFP Power to carry APS solar microinverter line

apsystems-AFPAFP Power solar distributors will carry the APS microinverter line exclusively, in a new partnership between the companies.

St. Louis, Mo.-based AFP (American Family Place) Power was founded in 2013 with a mission of supplying quality solar products sourced from Tier 1 (greater than 300MW) supply chains from the USA, China, Germany, Japan and Taiwan.

The company offers a variety of high-quality solar product and integrated solutions, for applications ranging from rooftop to off-grid and marine use.

Complete installation kits featuring APS microinverter products will be offered through the company’s distribution website, www.afp-power.com.

“Our customers will be impressed by the value APS microinverters offer versus other brands,” said Willis He, AFP Power president. “The price per watt is significantly lower, as are balance of system costs. And with their remarkable ease of installation, APS offers a truly ‘plug and power’ solution.”

AFP Power founder He is well known throughout the U.S. and international solar industry. He previously served as CEO of China Sunenergy’s North American operations, and is a former Solar Energy Industries Association board member. He has also held an executive post with MEMC/SunEdison.

Thomas Nelson, APS USA Vice President of Sales, welcomed AFP Power to the APS microinverter distribution network.

“AFP Power is in the vanguard among outstanding low-cost solar distributors,” Nelson said. “Like APS, they’re driven by a commitment to a greener world and making solar technology available to consumers across the spectrum.”

APS flagship products include the YC500, a powerful dual-module microinverter, and the YC1000 true 3-phase unit, purpose-designed for commercial applications and offering an unprecedented 1:4 microinverter-to-module ratio.

APS was founded in Silicon Valley in 2009, and is now a global leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of microinverters based on their own proven, leading-edge solar technology. APS USA, representing APS in the U.S. market, is based in Seattle.

APS ranked No. 2 in global market share among top microinverter suppliers by shipment in 2013 (source: GTM Research).

For information on AFP Power solar distribution and services, see www.afp-power.com.

For information on APS microinverter products, see www.usa.apsystems.com.

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The PowerStore adds APS solar microinverter line

APS microinverters will be distributed by The PowerStore, a top-tier solar wholesaler.

The PowerStore offers a full line of renewable energy products including solar microinverters, modules, storage solutions and related equipment.

The company is based in Alvarado, Texas, with an overseas office in Glasgow, UK, under the CCL Components Ltd. banner.

apsystems-tps“We are very excited about the opportunity of adding the APS microinverters to our current portfolio,” said Jim White, The PowerStore president. “They give our customers a very good option for individual module power optimization, along with inherently complying with the upcoming NEC 2014 Rapid Shutdown requirements.”

White founded The PowerStore in 2010 after more than 30 years in the power electronics industry, with experience ranging from initial design and manufacture to supplying some of the world’s largest OEM companies.

The PowerStore is now a Tier 1 direct Authorized Distributor for most of the leading solar manufacturers. The company maintains U.S. offices in Texas and North Carolina, and supplies customers throughout North and Central America.

The customer-focused distributor gives priority service to every account regardless of size, White said, and advises customers throughout the process from initial solar product specification to successful installation.

Paul Barlock, APS America Senior Vice President, welcomed The PowerStore to the APS distribution fold.

“The PowerStore has established a high profile among solar distributors in a short time,” Barlock said. “They’re a professional outfit, and aligned with our own commitment to offering the best solar solutions at competitive pricing.”

APS flagship products include the YC500, a powerful dual-module microinverter, and the YC1000 true 3-phase unit, purpose-designed for commercial applications and offering an unprecedented 1:4 microinverter-to-module ratio to significantly lower BOS costs.

For information on The PowerStore solar distributors, see www.thepowerstore.com.

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APS USA VP Barlock featured panelist at GTM Solar Summit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 2, 2015

Seattle: APS USA Senior Vice President Paul Barlock will be a featured panelist at the GTM Solar Summit, April 14-16 in Phoenix.

Barlock will appear in a panel discussion on “Dynamics in the Distributed PV Inverter Market,” beginning at 2:15 p.m. April 15.

The panel will be moderated by MJ Shiao, director of solar research for GTM Research.

“This is an exciting time to be in solar, especially the fast-growing microinverter segment,” Barlock said. “I look forward to sharing insights with the panel and audience, and discussing how microinverter technology has so dramatically changed the PV installation landscape.”

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APS is sponsoring the day’s second track of presentations under the broad theme of PV Inverter Advancement.

Barlock has been a senior sales and marketing executive in power electronics firms ranging from startups to large multinational corporations, including Alpha Technologies, TDI and Advance Power. His work experience has been in custom power supply design, UPS, telecom power, cable TV backup power, and most recently in renewable energy.

He holds an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Boston College. He also holds the rank of lieutenant colonel in the USMC (retired).

APS is a global leader providing advanced, powerful solar microinverter technology for residential and commercial systems. The APS solution combines highly efficient power inversion with a user-friendly monitoring interface for reliable, intelligent energy.

APS ranked No. 2 in global market share among top microinverter suppliers by shipment in 2013 (source: GTM Research).

Powered by the research and economic analysis of GTM Research’s team, the GTM Solar Summit brings together major players from throughout the solar sphere.

This year’s event at the Wigwam Resort in Phoenix includes panel discussions and debates among the industry’s top thought leaders, and an interactive polling session to let attendees see how their views measure up against the experts.

For information on the GTM Solar Summit, see www.greentechmedia.com.

 

 

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APS Commercial Project of the Year AWARD WINNER: tenKsolar, DAR Constitution Hall installation, Washington, D.C.

The Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall is the largest concert space in Washington, D.C., and one of the most revered buildings in the nation’s capital.

Bringing solar to this National Historic Landmark Building posed an exceptional challenge: any renovation or addition would have to preserve the architectural integrity of the structure – including the roof.

TenKsolar and installer Standard Solar met the challenge with the proprietary REFLECT PV system, which includes APS YC500 microinverters.

For this outstanding application of APS microinverter technology atop one of the nation’s landmark buildings, tenKsolar has earned the APS Project of the Year Award for commercial applications.

“We salute tenKsolar for what is truly a showcase solar installation,” said Paul Barlock, APS Senior Vice President. “Constitution Hall holds a special place among our nation’s historic buildings, and we’re very honored that tenKsolar and APsystems could help preserve and enhance it.”

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Built in 1929, the DAR Constitution Hall sits just off the National Mall a short distance from the White House. Half a million visitors enjoy performances in the spectacular concert setting each year.

Standard Solar’s structural engineering report revealed the building’s roof could not support the original legacy solar array they had designed, and the limited roof space would make installation of standard inverters and AC equipment exceedingly difficult.

Needing a better solution, they turned to tenK to provide a PV system that could match the original system’s energy production at a lower weight. Not only did the REFLECT PV System provide the low-weight array the building required, it produces more DC energy in the same roof area.

The Constitution Hall ended up with a larger, and lighter sys­tem, maximizing the DAR organization’s solar investment, and preserving the national landmark building for years to come.

The array, completed in June 2014, has a 69.29 kW capacity. Annual production for the concert hall is projected to be nearly 1.1 megawatt.

APS YC500 microinverters are integral to the REFLECT PV module system, built by tenKsolar in Minneapolis, Minn.

“We’re very proud to bring solar to this beautiful landmark building in our nation’s capital, and to showcase both tenK and APS technology in the project,” said Joel Cannon, tenKsolar CEO. “This project shows that our technology can overcome space and weight issues to bring solar to even challenging, historic structures.”

For more information, on the tenKsolar REFLECT PV system, see www.tenksolar.com.

See more photos of the project here.

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APS Residential Project of the Year AWARD WINNER: RR Lane Solar Distributing, Bauer installation, Los Molinos, Calif.

Designing a PV system to meet both residential and agricultural needs required a microinverter solution with flexibility and power.

The challenge was compounded by the distance between the solar array and the monitoring devices in the home. Only a system with robust wireless capabilities would suffice.

When other microinverter systems failed, a resourceful installer contacted Rich Varlinsky, owner of Chico, Calif.-based RR Lane Solar Distributing, to see if a solution could be engineered. Rich proposed the APS microinverter solution to complete the Bauer PV system in Los Molinos, Calif.

For their creative application of APS microinverter technology in this demanding setting, RR Lane Solar Distributing has earned the APS Project of the Year Award for residential applications.

“RR Lane Solar really put our microinverters and monitoring solutions to the test, and they succeeded where competitors just couldn’t get the job done,” said Paul Barlock, APS Senior Vice President. “One of the hallmarks of APS technology is its flexibility and functionality in all environments, and RR Lane proved it.”

rrlane_bauer_array

The Bauer system includes three dozen 255-watt modules in a ground-mount array, to serve both the residence and a 3-phase (delta-wye) agricultural pump system. The system was designed with microinverters from a name brand, but once completed could not be made to function.

There were several challenges to overcome. The agricultural pump required the output from 10 modules, but the name-brand microinverters would not support the delta-wye power system without additional transformers – an expensive add-on that the customer did not want to pay for.

The second problem involved wireless communication and monitoring. The array was located 300 feet from the household’s internet source, and the signal had to travel through four walls of the residence. The existing wireless hotspot only had a range of about 40 feet and needed to monitor two communication units at intermittent intervals, as it would not be on continuously.

After a month of fruitless troubleshooting, the installer turned to APS YC500 microinverters for power and the APS Energy Communication Unit for monitoring.

The YC500 microinverters did not require additional transformers to support the delta-wye configuration, and once the APS units were installed, the system performed flawlessly.

The wireless communication challenges were resolved with two inexpensive routers – one for the residence, and one mounted alongside the array and the APS ECU at the agricultural pump site. The second router was redesigned to extend its range and bandwidth, and to negate line-of-sight issues.

This new configuration easily covered the 300-foot distance from the array to the home, and transmitted module performance data even through the stucco walls.

“To our knowledge, this is the first time this particular router, the ECU and a hotspot have been used for a solar array. The design was challenging due to the distance and other factors, but was ultimately successful,” Varlinsky said. “The customer was very pleased, as his cost did not increase and he could monitor the system using his hotspot.”

Varlinsky said the APS solution provided many advantages over the competition. The most important was the microinverters’ ability to function in a delta-wye system without transformers, bringing significant savings and simplifying the installation.

Also, the APS ECU could be programmed with inverter serial numbers and did not depend on line communication for identification. The changes made to the router increased its transmit power and diminished data packet loss. The routers were programmed to constantly check for the hotspot and connect automatically when it was activated.

“The use of APS products saved the customer several thousand dollars in this installation, and gave them flawless ECU communication even with a consumer-grade hotspot,” Varlinsky said.

For information on the RR Lane Solar Distributing, email rich@rrlanesolar.us.

apsystems-krannich

APS, Krannich Solar announce distribution partnership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 29, 2015

Industry-leading PV distributor Krannich Solar will offer APS microinverter products through its domestic channels, under a first-time agreement between the two companies.apsystems-krannichKrannich Solar USA maintains sales operations on both coasts, in New Jersey and California, and serves customers throughout the country.

“We pride ourselves on carrying the very best in PV products, and APS certainly fits that bill,” said Juan Romera-Wade, Krannich CEO. “Our customers will appreciate the advanced technology that APS has brought to the solar market.”

Krannich Solar, founded by Kurt Krannich as a family business in 1995, has quickly become one of the world’s largest solar wholesalers and system design houses, designing high-performance PV arrays while supporting both trades people and major energy utilities. Krannich Solar Inc. is now the U.S. office of the international Krannich Solar Group, founded in 2005.

The company recently expanded its Latin America operations with a new sales office in Mexico City.

The installed capacity supplied by the Krannich Group topped 1,600 megawatts worldwide in 2014.

Paul Barlock, APS senior vice president of U.S. operations, welcomed the agreement with a distributor of Krannich Solar’s stature, saying the companies share a strong culture of customer service.

“Krannich is a national top-tier solar supplier, and very exclusive in their offerings,” Barlock said. “When they carry your brand, it says your product line has arrived. Krannich will help us make 2015 another year of rapid growth.”

APS’ flagship product, the groundbreaking YC500 microinverter, handles two PV modules independently and can be configured to support any grid standard anywhere in the world. The YC1000,  the world’s first true 3-phase, four-module microinverter, recently entered the U.S. market after a highly successful rollout overseas.

apsystems-WNS

Western Nevada Supply adds APS microinverter line

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 8, 2014

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SEATTLE — Regionally renowned equipment distributor Western Nevada Supply has added the APS microinverter line to its solar product offerings.

Known as “the Blue Team,” Western Nevada marked 50 years of local family ownership in 2014, and serves customers throughout the Nevada and California markets with an extensive line of solar, HVAC, irrigation, plumbing and industrial supplies.

“We’ve added the APS microinverter line to our solar offerings to expand our already strong lineup of solar products, and to offer our customers microinverter options in our northern Nevada and Eastern Sierra markets,” said Russ Cartwright, Solar Sales team member for Western Nevada.

Paul Barlock, APS America senior vice president, said the industry-leading APS microinverter brand is proud to be distributed by a company with such a strong history of family ownership and business success.

“Western Nevada is a great company and a great partner for APS,” Barlock said. “Given their geographic coverage, offering APS microinverters will give them a distinct competitive advantage in the Nevada solar market.”

Founded by Jack Reviglio and Bill Higgin, Western Nevada Supply opened shop in a rented 1,200 square-foot warehouse in Sparks, Nev., in 1964. From a modest beginning as a wholesale plumbing house, the business quickly grew, and in 1967 Jack’s brother, Tom Reviglio, joined the firm as marketer.

The company soon expanded with the addition of a waterworks sales department and relocated to a 7,000 square-foot facility. In 1973, strong growth again prompted a move, this time to a 10-acre site, which now has expanded to 20 acres with 40,000 square feet of inventory under one roof.

Today, a second generation of Reviglios run the family business. To better serve outlying areas, the company has opened branches in Elko, Carson City, and Winnemucca, Nev., and South Lake Tahoe, Bishop, Susanville and Truckee, Calif.

APS was founded in Silicon Valley in 2009, and is now a global leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of microinverters based on their own proprietary, leading-edge solar technology. APS America, representing APS in the US market, is based near Seattle.

Recent major distribution deals have brought the APS line to the American Southwest, central California, mountain and mid-Atlantic solar markets.

APS ranked No. 2 in global market share among leading microinverter suppliers by shipments in 2013 (source: GTM Research).

For more information on Western Nevada Supply, see www.goblueteam.com.
Information on APS microinverter products can be found at www.usa.apsystems.com.

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New ArrayApp lets installers register APS microinverters in the field

Already renowned for their ease of installation, APS microinverters are now even more installer friendly.The new ArrayApp mobile application from APS allows installers to map a PV array and complete the microinverter registration process in the field through their mobile device.iphone-array-image“Being able to register a whole PV installation from the job site really simplifies things for installers,” said Tommy VanCleave, APS’ Technical Support manager. “The ArrayApp is a great new tool that our APS installers will appreciate.”

ArrayApp lets installers log in from a remote location and enter system information including microinverter serial numbers and a PV array map.

Serial numbers on each microinverter unit are scanned using a wireless barcode reader or the mobile device’s camera, and automatically entered into the APS customer database for warranty and support.

Once the microinverter installation is in the database, PV system performance can be monitored by the owner through any web-enabled device via the APS Energy Monitoring and Analysis software (available separately).

ArrayApp is available for both iPhone and iPad through the Apple iTunes Store. The app requires iOS 7.0 or later, and offers English, German and simplified Chinese language support.

The Android version is available for download on our website.

APS was founded in Silicon Valley in 2009, and is now a global leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of microinverters based on their own proprietary, leading-edge solar technology. APS USA, representing APS in the US market, is based near Seattle.

APS ranked No. 2 in global market share among leading microinverter suppliers by shipments in 2013 (source: GTM Research).
Information on APS microinverter products can be found at www.usa.apsystems.com.

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APS microinverters now offered by Albasolar, top-tier U.S and international wholesale distributor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

apsystems-alba-solar

November 13, 2014

SEATTLE — Leading international distributor Albasolar has added APS microinverters to their select PV product line.

The APS YC500 microinverter and related products are now available through Albasolar in the U.S., Spain and Portugal markets. Introduction of APS equipment to other European and Latin American solar markets through Albasolar channels will follow.

“APS is emerging as a dominant player in the microinverter space both here in the U.S. and abroad,” said Thomas Nelson, APS Vice President for Sales. “Albasolar’s multi-country presence gives us another key partner in the U.S., while this same channel allows us to expand internationally.”

Albasolar was founded in Europe in 1993. Always loyal to a pure wholesale distribution model, the company has supplied thousands of PV installations in Europe and North and South America.

The company’s industry experience means it can offer superior logistics and create strategic agreements with the industry’s leading manufacturers like APS. This allows Albasolar to offer best-in-class products at excellent prices.

“The microinverter is still a young product compared to string inverters, and APS has come to play a good role in the growth of this market,” said Alberto Medrano, CEO of Albasolar. “APS, with its 500-wattoutput model, will be a leader in this category.”

Albasolar’s U.S. operations are headquartered in Boston, Mass., and the company maintains additional offices and wholesale distribution centers in California, Florida, and across Europe.

APS product design positions the line for success in a growing number of international markets like those served by Albasolar.
APS microinverters’ unique chip-based architecture allows each unit to be easily programmed to accommodate the various grid voltages found in different regional markets – a flexibility built into each APS unit and unmatched by other microinverter products.

APS was founded in Silicon Valley in 2009, and is now a global leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of microinverters based on their own proprietary, leading-edge solar technology. APS USA, representing APS in the US market, is based near Seattle.

APS ranked No. 2 in global market share among leading microinverter suppliers by shipments in 2013 (source: GTM Research).

For information on Albasolar, see www.albasolar.com
Information on APS microinverter products can be found at www.usa.apsystems.com.