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Lighthouse Solar wins this year’s APsystems Solar Project of the Year Award in the Residential category

It’s not unusual these days for homebuilders to offer solar as a “buyer option,” a splashy add-on that the purchaser may or may not decide is worth the extra cost.

Yet others across the industry see a renewable energy system on a new home as simply one more element of design, as intrinsic as windows and doors, plumbing and lights.

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“Solar as standard” could be the mantra for Lighthouse Solar. Partnering with real estate developer PSW, the Austin, Texas-based installer is powering new planned solar communities throughout the region in which PV on the roof is expected as the roof itself.

Prototypical is the 330 Clay Street project, a new 32-home development in San Antonio’s stylish arts district, where every home will be powered by APsystems microinverter systems.

2016-iconFor its leadership at 330 Clay and in the greater regional market, Lighthouse Solar wins this year’s APsystems Solar Project of the Year Award in the Residential category.

“Lighthouse and its partners are showing the way forward for solar in new construction,” said Jason Higginson, senior director of marketing for APsystems USA. “Making new homes energy self-sufficient should be a given, and the APsystems module-level solution makes it both achievable and affordable.”

Now celebrating its tenth year of operations in the fast-growing Texas market (the company’s New York unit is under separate ownership), Lighthouse sees planned solar communities as the next frontier.

At Clay Street, PV comes standard with every home as part of a larger sustainability package. The typical array is around 3kW, and the systems are designed to offset up to 50 percent of projected household usage.

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Some homeowners manage their consumption such that the systems offset up to 80 percent, according to Stan Pipkin, Lighthouse Solar vice president and managing director.

Lighthouse began using APsystems microinverters last year after consultation with The Power Store, a regional distributor. Lighthouse installer teams found the integration to be “simple, as advertised,” Pipkin says.

“We were looking at a distributed solution that can scale effectively with the smaller systems at the planned community,” he says. “The systems are also designed to be able to scale as people move into the homes and get used to living with their solar system. The module-level performance offers a design flexibility to ensure parity among all the homeowners in the community.”

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It’s a template that Lighthouse and its partners are carrying forward into the new year. More than 200 new solar-standard homes are slated to come online in several other new PSW planned communities.

“We thank APsystems for the honor and acknowledgement,” Pipkin says. “We look forward to more innovative and performative projects that APsystems technology is enabling.”

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APsystems micros and expanded array boost art museum to LEED Gold rating

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art near Seattle has earned the vaunted LEED Gold environmental certification, making it the first new art museum in Washington state to achieve the Gold rating.

The certification is thanks to a newly expanded solar array using APsystems YC500 dual-module microinverters.

This past fall the museum nearly doubled its array to 100 modules. The 28kW system caps a host of advanced sustainability features that extend from the roof down into the earth beneath the museum itself.

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“What’s thrilling about this achievement is that it affirms how deeply Bainbridge Island and the museum itself care about all aspects of community vitality and wellbeing,” said Sheila Hughes, BIMA Executive Director. “We live, work, visit and raise families in a place that invests equally and deeply in cultural enrichment and in sustainability.

“It’s wonderful to see BIMA’s LEED Gold status, made possible through the generosity of its local donors, as a leading example of both.”

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification – for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is a progressive code that rates new buildings for sustainability and promotes eco-friendly construction techniques.

Designed by Bainbridge architect Matthew Coates, of Coates Design Architects, BIMA earned high marks for innovation in design, indoor environmental quality, water efficiency, and site sustainability.

“Art museums are inherently energy-intensive, making LEED Gold designation an extremely challenging goal,” Coates said. “We’re proud to demonstrate that architects, builders and clients can work together to create beautiful buildings for our environment and for our planet.”

General contractor PHC Construction worked with the museum staff to secure LEED Gold certification. The expanded PV array provided the final “points” required under the LEED scoring system.

The array uses APsystems YC500 microinverters provided by Blue Frog Solar, and iTek Energy 240W and 280W modules.

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The inverters were provided free of charge by Blue Frog Solar, Northwest distributor for APsytems USA.

“When the art museum came to us with their solar proposal a few years ago, we could tell it would be a special building in every way,” said Tim Bailey, Blue Frog Solar co-founder. “It’s been an honor to contribute to both phases of their solar project, and support such a great institution.”

Several other private donors stepped in so that the solar project had no effect on the non-profit art museum’s budget.

Installer was Puget Sound Solar of Seattle.

BIMA opened in June 2013 to showcase contemporary Northwest art and has been an unqualified success, recently welcoming its 250,000th visitor.

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Building a sustainable museum

Architect Matthew Coates designed the museum to embody forward thinking in both aesthetics and sustainable materials and systems in a facility-scale building.

That commitment started below ground. A geo-exchange system uses 14 bores beneath the foundation to reduce the energy used for heating and cooling the building.

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Drilled 400 feet, the bores act as a heat sink and source at a constant ground temperature of approximately 50 degrees. The system is designed to reduce heating and cooling energy by 90 percent, and to cut peak heating and cooling loads in half.

Thanks to the musuem’s sunny southern exposure, nearly all of the publicly occupied spaces enjoy generous natural light to further reduce energy usage for lighting.

A sophisticated louver system across the two-story glass façade tracks solar angles to reduce heat gain and glare inside.

Low-flow water fixtures inside and Northwest climate-appropriate landscaping reduce water demand.

During construction, 95 percent of construction waste was recycled, while more than 20 percent of new materials came from recycled sources.  All paints, sealants and materials were selected to be non-toxic.

The site itself, on a prominent corner near the ferry terminal that connects the island with downtown Seattle, was reclaimed from a former automotive business.

During site preparation, numerous scrap automobiles and many hundreds of spent tires were excavated from the property and recycled.

BIMA now is an educational institution whose mission is “to engage a diverse population with the art and craft of our region and our time.”

The art museum exhibits, interprets, preserves, collects and promotes works of proven cultural value as well as new those by emerging artists and craftspeople.

Information: www.biartmuseum.org.

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See APsystems at Solar Power Northeast, Feb. 13-14 in Boston

APsystems brings its advanced microinverter line to Solar Power Northeast, Feb. 13-14 in Boston.

Featured at booth 408 will be the powerful YC500i with EnergyMax™, designed for today’s high-output PV modules, the YC1000 true 3-phase, 4-module unit, and the ArrayApp mobile installer tool.

Installers are invited to see these and other products firsthand, find out about the reliability and value of the APsystems line, and get hands-on training with both residential and commercial microinverter units.

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

Solar Power Northeast (formerly PV America) 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: www.events.solar.

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APsystems establishes new sales, service office in Guadalajara

APsystems has established a new office in Guadalajara, Mexico, to support regional sales, distribution and service.

The new office address is AV. Lazaro Cardenas 2850-5º Piso, Colonia Jardines del Bosque C.P. 44520, Guadalajara, Jalisco.

APsystems marked the expanded regional presence with a user conference for solar professionals, as participants discussed the Mexico market and expectations for 2017.

APsystems earned praise from regional distributors and installers for microinverter performance, technical training, order fulfillment and after-sales service.

Three vendors were honored with “Golden Distributor” and “Silver Distributor” awards during the conference.

The firms STI, Greenergy and Sunnergy were honored by Wesley Tong, APsystems vice president, for their success in expanding the Latin America solar market.

Tong thanked the Golden and Silver distributors for their partnership in making APsystems a global leader in microinverter technology, and their passion for solar power and advancing a clean, renewable energy future.

APsystems entered the Mexico market in early 2013 with a specially configured version of the top-selling YC500 microinverter.

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What are the Advantages of Microinverters Going Into 2017

Start early, work late – low-light production at either end of the day is just one more advantage of solar microinverters over conventional string systems.

Learn about the many others in “What Are the Advantages of Microinverters Going Into 2017,” a feature in Solar Power World’s 2017 Renewable Energy Handbook.

Read it here.

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APsystems joins Sungage Financial approved vendor list

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SEATTLE – APsystems microinverters have joined the popular Sungage solar financing approved vendor list.

The partnership brings the APsystems advanced microinverter line to a powerful residential solar lending platform, in response to requests from leading national solar installers.

sungage_logo“Sungage has really made a name for itself offering fast, no-nonsense solar financing, and we’re very pleased to join their vendor group,” said Jason Higginson, APsystems Senior Director of Marketing. “Support from solar installers made this partnership a smart move for both companies, and our customers nationwide will benefit.”

Sungage Financial provides homeowners with easy, online access to low-cost financing for solar equipment. Headquartered in Boston, Mass., Sungage Financial partners with leading solar installers and institutional investors to help homeowners save money on energy. For more information, visit www.sungage.com.

The company was founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Sara Ross, who was looking for an easy way to finance a solar energy system for her home. Ross, now Sungage CEO, built a business bridging the gap between homeowners, installers and financial institutions.

Sungage has continued to grow, focusing exclusively on delivering consumer-friendly financing options that make it simple for homeowners to go solar and save more money. The company has been profiled in leading journals including GreenTech Media, Bloomberg and the Boston Globe.

APsystems was founded in Silicon Valley in 2009, and was first to market with innovative solar products including the groundbreaking YC500, the first dual-module microinverter, and the YC1000 true 3-phase, four-module unit.

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APsystems is the second largest supplier of solar microinverters and the third-largest MLPE provider in the world. APsystems microinverters have about 30 percent fewer components than competing brands, leading to higher reliability and lower costs at every point in the production and distribution chain.

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About Sungage Financial:

Sungage Financial provides homeowners with easy, online access to low-cost financing for solar equipment. Headquartered in Boston, MA, Sungage partners with leading solar installers and institutional investors to help homeowners save money on energy. An innovator in solar finance, Sungage launched the nation’s first secured solar loan program in Connecticut in 2013. The company is committed to helping homeowners save more through ownership. For more information, please visit www.sungagefinancial.com.

 

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APsystems YC1000-3 microinverter certified for Los Angeles market

The APsystems YC1000-3 microinverter has been certified for use in commercial PV systems in the Los Angeles market.

apsystems_yc1000_4module_board_final_rgbsmGeneral Approval under the City of Los Angeles’ rigorous certification process was announced by the Department of Building and Safety, following testing by the Los Angeles City Electrical Testing Laboratory.

General Approval certifies compliance with Section 93.0303 of the Los Angeles City Electrical Code, “New Methods and Materials of Construction.”

The YC1000-3 is the industry’s first true 3-phase, four-module microinverter, specially designed and built for commercial PV applications. It is available in both 208V and 277/480V configurations.

“The YC1000 created the market for microinverter technology in the commercial PV segment,” said Andrew Nichols, APsystems Senior Vice President of Sales. “These challenging environments demand a rugged unit, and certification under the high standards of Los Angeles and other local jurisdictions show that it’s built for both safety and reliability.”

The City of Los Angeles previously certified the APsystems YC500i microinverter, a powerful dual-module, single-phase unit designed for today’s high-output modules.

Both the YC1000 and the YC500i microinverter are available for order through APsystems U.S. distribution channels.

YC500i LADWP Approval:
 
YC1000-3 LADWP Approval:

 

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Best wishes for a joyous holiday season!

Best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a very bright and happy New Year. – Your friends at APsystems

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APsystems upgrades EMA monitoring website with more data and improved interface

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SEATTLE, JIAXING, LYON– APsystems today announced the launch of a new, redesigned version of its Energy Monitoring & Analysis (EMA) website APsystemsEMA.com.

The web-based platform, available for free on any connected device, monitors and reports module-level energy production of solar arrays which utilize APsystems inverters and provides that information to homeowners and end users in a convenient and user-friendly format.

emaThe site also enables APsystems-registered solar installers and contractors to lower their maintenance costs by creating and managing their customers’ PV installation accounts remotely. Key features of the new EMA site include a more attractive design and a more engaging user experience with an enhanced system dashboard, system management tools and improved reporting functions.

The new EMA website is active and available now, the result of a seamless transition from the previous site to the new interface. The added functionality addresses the high demand for detailed data and enhanced capability in a more user-friendly experience for the growing and competitive solar industry.

“We are excited to re-launch our very popular EMA website.” said Wesley Tong, APsystems chief marketing officer. “The site already hosts tens of thousands of homeowners and end users all over the world who view their APsystems solar array performance online and through the APsystems EMA App. These new design improvements now give them an even more in-depth view of their system energy production, improved reporting and additional historical data in a clean, comprehensive and dynamic user interface.”

Users can view their solar array performance using the same URL and log-in information as before at APsystemsEMA.com, through the APsystems EMA App or by visiting the APsystems website at APsystems.com and clicking “EMA Login” at the top right portion of the homepage.

 

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2016 Project of the Year Competition – $1,000 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.

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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 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 $1,000.

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 2016.

Submit your project entries by January 6th 2017 using the form at right and high resolution photos sent via email to media@APsystems.com. Please read the terms and conditions below before entering.

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

Thank you for partnership and support, and for a great 2016 for our company and yours.
Your friends at APsystems USA