2018 Residential Award Winner: Carrington View Apartments

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As single-family residential solar booms across North America, multi-family projects are catching on as a vibrant market segment for developers and installers alike. 

A developer in West Kelowna, British Columbia, is leading the trend, now completing its eighth multi-family residential solar project in just a short time with installer Okanagan Solar Ltd.

Their newest showcase: the Carrington View Apartments, an ambitious three-building, 240-unit solar-powered complex.

For demonstrating the vitality of multifamily solar, Carrington View by Okanagan Solar, Ltd., earns an APsystems Project of the Year Award in the Residential category.

Robert Monteith of Okanagan Solar Ltd. credited “trust and training” received from distributor National Solar and the APsystems technical and sales team for choosing APsystems microinverters for the project. The rooftop arrays use the APsystems YC1000 3-phase units.

okanagan-logo“After our first APsystems install, we really liked the product for performance and ease of install,” Monteith said. “I have APsystems YC500s installed on my own home.”

Before the install, Monteith took APsystems microinverters and related components to the local electrical inspection branch for their review. He also invited them to an install at the nearby St. Hubertus Winery, where code-compliance inspectors tested the rapid-shutdown capability of the APsystems utility-interactive inverters.

Inspectors came away suitably impressed with the APsystems safety features, not least the fact that the microinverters went to low-voltage AC right at the solar panel. 

CR2-5c0aeb0277137“Since that encounter our licensed electricians rarely see them come for an inspection as they know there is nothing to see that they are worried about,” Monteith said. “Having credibility with the electrical inspection branch is an advantage in our business.”

At Carrington View, rooftop modules are arrayed in a crisscross pattern to fit amongst structural elements. Each array feeds the house “common area” panel, Monteith said, “so the common area power costs nothing for the owner to operate once completed.”

Notwithstanding its scale, Monteith said the install went without a hitch; technical challenges were resolved ahead of time with good planning and communication with the entire consultant team.

The APsystems technical support team made a site visit during planning and offered suggestions to make the install run smoothly.

CR3-5c0aeb027719fThere’s more to come – Okanagan Solar Ltd. will install 1.5mW of solar for this same client in 2019. The builder has embraced renewables, Monteith said, and will soon complete the first net-zero residential building in the province.

What is the most rewarding aspect of the Carrington View project? 

“Being able to showcase and demonstrate that we do not have to burn coal, dam rivers or build nuclear power plants to generate significant power at a cost per kilowatt-hour that is less than what the utility charges is great,” Monteith said, “because ‘deniers’ cannot argue with it.”  

Installer: Okanagan Solar Ltd.
Project name: Carrington View Apartments
Location: West Kelowna, BC
Total system capacity: 225kW (75kW/building over 3 buildings)
Microinverters: APsystems YC1000 3-phase
Total number of microinverters used: 204
Brand/wattage of modules: Canadian Solar 270W Mono all-black

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2018 Commercial Award Winner: Poplar Grove Winery/Vanilla Pod Restaurant, Okanagan, B.C.

2018-iconThe same temperate climate and generous sunlight that makes the Okanagan Valley ideal for growing grapes makes it perfect for a natural harvest of another sort: solar.

When Tony and Barbara Holler, owners of Poplar Grove Winery, decided to add a solar-covered patio to the winery’s Vanilla Pod Restaurant, they worked with installer Swiss Solar Tech Ltd. for a design that not only optimized harvest, but highlighted the solar technology itself.

For showcasing solar in a popular restaurant setting, the Swiss Solar Tech Ltd. is the winner of the APsystems 2018 Project of the Year Award for the Commercial category.

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Poplar Grove winery and its 100-acre estate vineyards are perched on a mountainside overlooking the picturesque Okanagan Valley Lake and the town of Penticton in British Columbia, Canada.

The decision to go solar, Tony Holler said, “really revolves around the Okanagan’s high sunlight hours, the increased efficiency and lower costs of solar panels and our belief that if you can use a renewable energy source like solar rather than fossil fuels, why wouldn’t you do it? Solar also has the lowest environmental footprint of other renewable energy sources like hydro and wind.”

It’s the Hollers’ second winery to go solar using APsystems microinverter products. In 2017, they installed a 389module array at their nearby Monster Winery.

poplargrove5At Poplar Grove, Swiss Solar Tech Ltd. came up with an attractive, innovative design: a solar shaded restaurant patio that would provide enjoyable lunches and dinners for visitors, while harnessing the sun’s energy year round.

The bifacial glass modules overhead make brilliant use of the sun by generating up to 35 percent more energy per watt than traditional single-sided modules. APsystems YC1000 3-phase microinverters tie in directly to the low-voltage DC modules, increasing safety for the guests under the patio awning while eliminating the possibility of high-voltage “arc” fires. 

A bold design touch: the APsystems microinverters were left exposed on the patio beam face, in full view of restaurant patrons below. It’s a rare moment in the sun, so to speak, for a solar component generally covered over by modules or otherwise tucked out of site.

poplargrove-1It’s a practical application, said Susan Huber of Swiss Solar Tech Ltd., as the open installation allows for easy inspection and maintenance, while the YC-1000’s NEMA-6 metal enclosures offer robust protection from the elements.

But there was a more important reason: for the Hollers, this project was not just about harnessing solar, but promoting it.

“The Hollers liked the sophisticated, hi-tech look of the APsystems microinverters,” Huber said, “and they want to share that with their customers.”

Installer: Swiss Solar Tech Ltd.
Project name: Poplar Grove Winery/Vanilla Pod Restaurant
Location: Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada
Total system capacity: 46.36kW
Microinverters: APsystems YC1000-3-208
Total number of microinverters used: 42
Brand/wattage of modules: Prism Solar Bi60 bi-facial, 368 watt
Number of modules: 126

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Need for Speed: Inside the upgrades to the most powerful microinverter on the market

A smart grid needs a very smart inverter – and fast data communications. Solar Builder Magazine dives into the high-speed ZigBee communications capability built into the APsystems QS1, the most powerful microinverter on the market. Up to 3x faster than standard PLC, the QS1 ZigBee creates a 2.4GhZ “mesh” network for fast, reliable performance tracking across your array. Get the whole story in Solar Builder here.

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APsystems QS1 Microinverter NOW SHIPPING in USA

APsystems-QS1-trans-web-1 copyThe APsystems QS1, an innovative four-module, single-phase microinverter for residential applications, is now shipping in the USA.

A bold step forward in microinverter technology, the QS1 offers 300% faster installation time, while offering the highest peak output power and up to 3X faster data transmission speed than PLC. A wider MPPT voltage range will result in a greater energy harvest for homeowners.

The first of its kind, the QS1 is designed to accommodate today’s high output PV panels up to 375W, offering 300W AC output per channel, highest in the microinverter segment. The unit significantly reduces installation time and costs, taking the place of four conventional microinverters per each QS1 installed while providing independent MPPT for each module.

The QS1 shares common AC trunk cabling with APsystems’popular dual-module YC600 microinverter, offering flexible mix-and-match compatibility on the same circuit to enhance site design capability and maximize circuit capacity. Both microinverters utilize the same gateways; installers can choose from the ECU-R, for single or multi-residential installations, or the ECU-C, for applications requiring consumption monitoring and advanced contact/relay features.

QS1-Banner-english-shipThe QS1 builds on the successful APsystems line of multi-module microinverters, simplifying installation while reducing installer costs and time on the job site.

QS1 features include:

  • Four-module microinverter with independent MPPT
  • 300% faster installation than conventional microinverters
  • 300VA peak output per channel
  • Accommodates modules up to 375W
  • Wide MPPT voltage range (22V-45V)
  • Meets NEC 2014/2017 690.12 Rapid Shutdown requirements
  • Ultra-fast 2.4 GHz ZigBee communications & Free Monitoring

Contact your local distributor or sales.usa@APsystems.com to bring the QS1 to your customers today.

APsystems brings the groundbreaking QS1 4-in-1 microinverter to Solar Power Northeast, Feb. 5 in Boston

The first of its kind, the QS1 is designed to accommodate today’s high output PV panels up to 375W, offering 300W AC output per channel, the highest among microinverters. The QS1 offers up to 3X faster data transmission speed than PLC and a wider MPPT voltage range means a greater energy harvest for homeowners. The unit significantly reduces installation time and costs, taking the place of four conventional microinverters per each QS1 installed while providing independent MPPT for each module.

The QS1 shares common AC trunk cabling with APsystems’ popular dual-module YC600 microinverter, offering flexible mix-and-match compatibility on the same circuit to enhance site design capability and maximize circuit capacity.

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The QS1 builds on the successful APsystems line of multi-module microinverters, simplifying installation while reducing installation costs and time on the job site. See the QS1 at booth No. 414.

Contact sales.usa@APsystems.com to set up a meeting during the convention, or just come by the booth and meet the APsystems team.

Solar Power Northeast is designed to serve and advance the PV solar market, by bringing together PV industry leaders, professionals, manufacturers, and service providers to explore business solutions, new technologies, policy initiatives, and other market factors.

Information: https://events.solar/northeast/

Editor picks for the Top Solar Products of 2018

Four high-output modules on a single microinverter? Believe it. The new QS1 residential quad microinverter from APsystems earns an Editor’s Pick as one of the top solar products of 2018.

Built for large-scale systems and demanding environments, the QS1 handles modules up to 375W, with wider MPPT range for greater solar harvest in low-light conditions.

Read the Solar Power World Editor’s Picks feature

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2018 North America Project of the Year Competition – $500 Award

Dear APsystems installer,

It’s been another great year for APsystems and we have you, our solar partners, to thank for it. You’ve put our advanced microinverter technology to work for customers in markets across the country.

Now it’s time once again to look back on the great solar successes of the past year and share your very best stories with the industry and the world.

Tell us about your very best project – what set it apart in terms of scale, design, power output, challenging conditions, or your creative application of APsystems microinverter technology.

We’d like you to submit the project details here, including a brief write-up about your best installation, or more – enter all the projects you like. Remember to include some high-res photographs and any close-ups showing our microinverters in action.  Your project can be completed or still in process. Entries will be judged by our APsystems team.

We’ll be honoring top North America projects in both Residential and Commercial categories.

And we’ll announce the APsystems Solar Project of the Year Award winners early in the new year through announcements and promotions that will highlight your project and your company. APsystems is committed to helping you grow your solar business even as we grow ours, so this is a cross-promotion opportunity you’ll definitely want to take advantage of.

The winner in each category will receive $500.

Our contest last year generated great interest from installers and brought out some fantastic projects; you can see the winners here.

Now we’re excited to present this competition, highlighting the very best APsystems microinverter installations of 2018.

Submit your project entries here by January 11th 2019. Please read the terms and conditions before entering.

If you have any questions, please contact our marketing coordinator.

Thank you for partnership and support, and for a great 2018 for our company and yours.
Your friends at APsystems USA

Thanks to all of our solar partners across the U.S.

APs-thanksgiving-2017-AWith the national day of gratitude upon us, the APsystems team would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of our solar partners across the U.S. We have a lot to be thankful for. The support and enthusiasm from our partner distributors, installers and end-users alike have helped make APsystems the #2 microinverter provider in the solar industry. We’re here because of you – thank you!

Our latest groundbreaking microinverter product will roll out after the New Year, so be watching for details. For now, as we pause to acknowledge the bounties that we enjoy and share, please accept our heartfelt appreciation for your support of APsystems.

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In inverter manufacturing, only the forward-thinking survive

More is being demanded of solar inverters than ever before. Creating a brilliant, cutting-edge piece of equipment at a competitively mandated low price point is an incredible challenge. It’s not for the faint of heart, yet companies like APsystems are thriving in this complicated, demanding crucible of a niche. So how are they doing it? And how does APsystems continue to push the envelope on inverter advancements? Senior Director of Marketing Jason Higginson gives us a peek behind the curtain.

Read article here.

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APsystems Launches QS1 Four-Module 1200W AC Microinverter

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

ANAHEIM – September 24th, 2018 – APsystems unveils the QS1, a four-module, single phase microinverter for residential applications at the Solar Power International trade show in Anaheim. A new design for APsystems, the QS1 offers 75% faster installation time, while offering the highest peak output power and up to 3X faster data transmission speed than PLC. A wider MPPT voltage range will result in a greater energy harvest for homeowners.

The first of its kind, the QS1 is designed to accommodate today’s high output PV panels up to 375W, offering 300W AC output per channel, the highest among microinverters. The unit also significantly reduces installation time and costs, taking the place of four conventional microinverters per each QS1 installed while still providing four independent MPPT.

The QS1 utilizes a common AC trunk cabling with the dual-module YC600, offering flexible mix-and-match compatibility on the same circuit to enhance site design capability and maximize circuit capacity. Both microinverters also utilize the same gateways; installers can choose from the ECU-R, for single or multi-residential installations, or the ECU-C, for applications requiring consumption monitoring and advanced contact/relay features.

“Compatibility with the existing YC600 microinverter system gives the QS1 an unprecedented advantage,” said APsystems Chief Technology Officer Dr. Yuhao Luo. “Mixing dual and quad microinverters in the same system adds design flexibility while offering a strong inventory and installation labor advantage over conventional microinverters.”

Today’s solar systems require a more robust communication architecture to manage significantly more data points and in-field software updates. A 2.4GHz wireless Zigbee mesh network offers enhanced data transmissions speed, up to three times faster than conventional powerline communication (PLC).

The QS1 builds on the successful APsystems line of multi-module microinverters, offering reduced logistics costs, integrated communication and connection features, and a wider MPPT voltage range for greater energy harvest during low light conditions.

The new microinverter will be on display at the APsystems booth #2838 at Solar Power International.

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