Five common mistakes that can ruin your PV installation

Mistake No. 1:

You don’t understand the voltages of microinverters in relation to modules. Microinverters operate in a specific voltage window, and give optimal performance with modules designed for the same range. Having an undersized or oversized module may affect production and potentially cause output “clipping.”

 

Mistake No. 2:

You think of monitoring as an “add-on” rather than an integral part of the system. The homeowner likes to know the solar array is working properly and efficiently, and the installer needs it to help diagnose problems (and possibly gives the installer a way to sell a service package). Some installers do not include monitoring in their installations, which leaves both installer and homeowner flying blind. Make monitoring a priority.

 

Mistake No. 3:

You install the gateway device in a poor location. Communication units that relay module performance data need to be sited properly to facilitate strong Power Line Communication between the PV system components.

 

Mistake No. 4:

You set up the communication unit incorrectly. Always make sure to designate inverter numbers and configure local grid parameters properly, to prevent crosstalk with other systems in the area.

Mistake No. 5:

You don’t know your local codes and jurisdictions. Some inspectors may be using 2008, 2011 or 2014 NEC codes, based on state adoption. This could affect the connections and any safety measures needed. Always make friends with the inspector.

 

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Solar Builder magazine honors APS microinverter installation

APS microinverters power the uber-green Grow Community, a runner-up in Solar Builder magazine’s 2014 Project of the Year awards.

Solar-Builder-POYThe roof-mount installation earns a feature in the magazine’s new issue, on newsstands now.

“We wanted to deliver a product that both was designed to be extremely energy efficient but also had the idea of solar in mind at the time of design,” project manager Greg Lotakis tells Solar Builder. “We started at the roof, asked how many panels we could get on it, designed the roof for that, [estimated] what we expected [to] produce, and then we used that energy budget and worked backwards into the house. What we are really striving to do: deliver a really healthy, energy-efficient home that has the ability to be net zero with solar.”

Grow Community is already the largest planned solar community in Washington state, with more solar on the way in two new neighborhoods now under development.

The installation includes 260-watt modules by itek Energy and racking by SunModo.

The project is being developed by Asani LLC, with construction by PHC.

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No competition? We beg to differ.

The US microinverter market is dynamic and rewards innovation, APS VP Michael Ludgate tells Greentech Media — and GTM agrees. Michael is one of several industry insiders asked to comment on the state of the growing microinverter field and claims by one of the “big guys” that the battle for the market is over.

No competition? That’s news to us — and our many satisfied customers.

“As we enter new markets across the U.S., we’re enjoying tremendous year-over-year growth,” Michael tells GTM. “We’re also profitable, a measure of success that seems to elude some of the more vocal players.”

Read the whole story here.

APS distributor Blue Frog Solar featured on local business journal

APS distributor Blue Frog Solar of Poulsbo, WA, and its Simple Solar program got some great press this week with an in-depth feature in the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal.

The KPBJ gives a comprehensive look at the incentives that make Washington solar such a great deal — and Simple Solar, which makes it easier than ever to make the move to energy self-sufficiency. It’s a great move for both existing homes and new construction.

As the Business Journal notes:

Blue Frog is collaborating on the largest residential solar project in Kitsap County — Bainbridge Island’s Grow Community, a project of real estate development and investment firm Asani. It’s an example of effectively designing and building homes to accommodate rooftop solar panels.
“We knew from the outset that our goal was to create a net-zero community using solar,” says Marja Preston, senior director of development at Asani and owner of a solar home at Grow. “So everything there was designed, including the apartments, so we could get enough solar panels on the roof to provide all the energy needed for the homeowner.”

Blue Frog’s Simple Solar program and partner installer A&R Solar of Seattle count on advanced microinverter technology from APS in all installations — including Grow Community, now the largest planed solar development in Washington state.

Read the whole story here.  

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Sun & Wind Energy bullish on APS microinverters

63Microinverter technology is the future of solar, and APS microinverters are in the vanguard of this trend.

APS is among the companies surveyed in “Two Groundbreaking PV Technologies,” a feature article in a recent edition of Sun & Wind Energy magazine. The report on module-level power electronics – the catch-all category for microinverters and DC optimizers – touts the growth of the global microinverter industry.

The magazine cites technical developments, cost reduction and the range of new integrated PV products as among the factors driving the MLPE industry.

“Our success in the global market demonstrates that microinverters are the new paradigm for PV power inversion,” Paul Barlock, APS senior vice president, tells Sun & Wind Energy. “Microinverters are the best solution for all rooftop applications.”

The magazine goes on to discuss the APS YC 1000, the world’s first true 3-phase, 4-panel microinverter, due to the domestic market in 2014.

Read the whole story here.

APS microinverters are Solar Builder’s cover story for July/August edition

UnknownAPS has reimagined the possibilities of the solar microinverter, and the national media are taking notice. Solar Builder magazine features APS microinverters on the cover of their July/August edition with a lengthy feature story, “Rethinking Microinverters: APS America changes the game with microinverters that power multiple PV modules.”

The cover story touts our advanced APS microinverter technology and the real per-watt costs savings that come with our dual-module microinverter units.

“Our big leap forward was to be able to do a dual that is not twice as big as the single,” APS CEO Kelly Samson says in the story. “There’s a lot of dual use of parts inside that box. The box is 60 percent bigger than a single. That does a lot of magic things for you — makes the box smaller and lighter, makes it more efficient, less costly to manufacture, cheaper to ship and we have a significant price advantage over the competition.”

Read the whole story here.

2014 Trends: Solar Module-Level Power Electronics – Solar Power World

Product reliability distinguishes top microinverter brands, APS VP Michael Ludgate tells Solar Power World in a new article on MLPE trends. Read Micahel’s comments here.

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Trends And Challenges Of Solar Inverters

Solar Power World asked APS VP Michael Ludgate to weigh in on the trends and challenges of solar inverter technology for the online magazine’s recent series. Read Michael’s insights here.  http://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2014/05/trends-challenges-solar-inverters/
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Letting the sun shine in: Habitat for Humanity neighborhood gets solar panels

Blue Frog Solar and Habitat for Humanity have teamed up to bring solar to 32 new homes in Port Orchard (using APS microinverters, of course!), and we get great coverage in the Kitsap Sun newspaper. Read the whole story here.

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APS America adds Andy Weber to technical support team

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 6, 2014

SEATTLE — APS America has added Andy Weber to its team as Technical Support Engineer.

andy_weberWeber has extensive experience as a solar installer, with more than 50 installations in the Colorado market to his credit. He has also worked as a financial analyst in the solar industry, and holds a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies.

“Andy is a great addition to the APS team,” said Tommy VanCleave, Customer Service Manager for APS America. “We pride ourselves on our responsiveness to customers, and Andy’s expertise carries that mission forward.”

Weber said he was drawn by the advanced solar technology now offered by APS, including the flagship YC500 microinverter and the YC1000, the world’s first true 3-phase, 4-panel microinverter for commercial applications, due later in 2014.

“APS products are distinguishing themselves in the market and in the field, where it really counts,” he said. “It’s an exciting time to be joining the company and supporting these products.”

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

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.

For information on APS solar microinverter projects, see www.usa.apsystems.com or email sales@apsamerica.com.