More than 2,200 solar modules … 673kW of power … and only one microinverter that could handle the job – the APsystems YC1000.
Congratulations to Cleaveland/Price for completing this impressive commercial array at their Pennsylvania switch manufacturing plant, using the industry’s leading true 3-phase microinverter.
Read full project installation story here.
Extend the Day hopes to provide 10,000 handheld solar lamps for refugee families and children now living without electricity or other basic services. With these simple, inexpensive devices, we can help people in crisis benefit from clean, renewable solar power to improve their day-to-day lives.
APsystems is proud to support Extend the Day in its mission to bring the gift of solar lighting to this outstanding organization. One dollar from the purchase of every APsystems microinverter goes to Extend the Day to provide these small but powerful solar lamps.
During this holiday season and on this #givingtuesday, please consider a donation to Extend the Day through its online fundraising campaign to provide 10,000 solar lights to Rohingya refugees.
During this season of thanksgiving, may you and yours harvest more than just energy, but peace, love and joy as well.
When your customers are electrical utilities, you tend to think of power on a grand scale.
So no surprise the new solar array at Pennsylvania’s Cleaveland/Price switch manufacturing plant will take its place as one of the larger solar arrays on the local grid: 673kW.
“We knew that the project would take a lot of manpower and planning. However, we also knew that Cleaveland/Price could engineer a system that was efficient enough to be energy friendly while saving costs on a regular basis. Our long-term goal is to produce 100 percent of our electrical energy consumption, using solar power at a substantially lower cost,” said Trish Conboy, Cleaveland/Price marketing director. “We will see success in being energy independent, while being environmentally friendly. Cleaveland/Price will be capable of manufacturing with substantially lower energy costs. This will result in sustained company growth and lower product costs to customers.”
Cleaveland/Price manufactures a range of high-voltage switch products for power utilities nationwide. The company’s sprawling manufacturing complex sits in a glade off forested Route 993 in Trafford, Penn., east of Pittsburgh.
The idea for solar came less than a year ago, Conboy said, when Cleaveland/Price realized solar power costs less than purchased power, regardless of Pittsburgh’s cloudy conditions.
“Most people in the Pittsburgh area assume that solar will not work,” she said. “The fact is, solar does work in Pittsburgh and can cost less than what utilities charge for power.”
The first step was construction of a new standing-seam roof, covering most of the plant’s eight-building layout and providing the ideal platform for an expansive array.
Cleaveland/Price engineers designed the 2,245-module array themselves, and will handle the final electrical hookup. Local contractor Don Miller, Inc., was hired to complete the installation of modules and microinverters, which began in late September and should be completed by mid-autumn.
The array features Neo Solar Power 360W, 72-cell monocrystalline modules.
APsystems YC1000 microinverters were chosen for their true 3-phase power handling and multi-module design. Each unit will handle three modules, simplifying the installation.
Steve Cleaveland, company principal, said the APsystems units also offer low-voltage startup, an advantage over string systems and boosting solar harvest.
“It only takes 22V to start up the microinverter to produce AC, so it is ideal for Pittsburgh’s cloudy and low-light days,” he said.
Cleaveland/Price’s engineering expertise also led to an innovative racking solution, with a combination of off-the-shelf and custom-fabricated parts.
Microinverters are installed on “bridge” brackets between two Power Wide Clamps, with modules connected using a power bolt in combination with a power clamp, both from Solar Connections International. Cleaveland/Price’s own CNC team fabricated the 748 connecting “bridge” brackets in-house.
When completed, the array’s first phase will power about 30 percent of the facility’s demand. The second phase will power the remaining demand, while the final phase will power the warehouse.
Thanks to Pennsylvania’s net-metering allowance, the array should allow Cleaveland/Price to “bank” power on weekends and evenings when the facility is closed.
“We designed or purchased all equipment,” Conboy said. “This resulted in a low-cost solar array, with a less than four-year return on investment. This includes the 30 percent first-year federal tax credit on renewable energy.”
LEADER IN HIGH-VOLTAGE SWITCHES
Cleaveland/Price has been serving the power utility industry since 1975, when founder Chuck Cleaveland started supplying parts for switches that had been discontinued by electrical giant Westinghouse.
Being engineers, the Cleaveland/Price team began improving on the original designs and manufacturing its own product line. Over time that led to a full portfolio of custom switches and components rated up to 345kV, for a variety of utility applications.
Their reputation for reliability has been a major factor fueling their growth. No matter where you live in the United States, you may well drive past a Cleaveland/Price product at some point during your day.
The Cleaveland/Price solar field will be among the larger grid-tied arrays on the local West Penn Power system. It will join other high-profile commercial solar arrays in a growing regional market.
A 1.9MW solar field developed by Crayola powers that company’s crayon factory in Easton, Penn., while Lincoln Financial Field, home to the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, boasts an 11,000-module, 3MW array. Among utility-scale projects, Community Energy’s 6MW Keystone installation in Lancaster County provides clean power for an estimated 950 homes.
As a state, Pennsylvania has climbed five places to No. 19 in total solar capacity nationwide, thanks to the completion of 38.8MW worth of new projects in 2016, the Solar Energy Industries Association says. An estimated 568MW will be developed in Pennsylvania over the next five years, SEIA projects.
Cleaveland/Price manufacturing plant
Location: Trafford, Penn.
Modules: Neo Solar Power 360W, 72-cell monocrystalline
Number of modules: 2,245
Microinverters: APsystems YC1000 true 3-phase
No. of microinverters: 748
System designer: Cleaveland/Price
Installer: Don Miller, Inc.
A complete 6.93kW solar installation in under 5 minutes? That’s right … thanks to the magic of video editing, and APystems microinverters!
Our friends at NextGen Energy have posted a great new video that compresses a whole 24-module rooftop project into an exciting short feature. And with their multi-module, plug-n-power design, APsystems YC500 microinverters helped the NextGen team get the job done fast.
Sure, it took a little longer than 5 minutes in real time … but the APsystems microinverter installation was fast and efficient. Less time on the job site means big savings for installers and customers alike … and that’s a wrap!
APsystems 3-phase microinverters now power the northernmost grid-tied solar installation in the Americas – the Community Hall at Pond Inlet, Nunavut, latitude 72N.
Vancouver Renewable Energy (VREC) powered up the 590kW system in Canada’s newest and northernmost province in September.
The 9.3kW community system features 32 SolarWorld 290-watt mono-crystalline modules and eight APsystems YC1000 true 3-phase microinverters.
In just three weeks the PV system had produced 590kWh of power, saving hundreds of dollars on the municipal power bill for the remote, 1,500-person hamlet. The community otherwise relies on a diesel “tank farm” and generator plant for its power needs – an expensive proposition now helped by clean, renewable solar and APsystems microinverter technology.
The new array will be paired with a mural celebrating light, both from the sun and from qulliqs, traditional Inuit lamps that use animal fat for fuel, according to the Vancouver Renewable Energy blog.
Read the whole story here.
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APsystems and UMA Solar are offering 2 in-depth installation and setup training classes for CA solar installers. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to simplify PV system installation and save money with the industry-leading APsystems microinverter line.
You’ll also earn 2 NABCEP recurring education hours for attending a class! Free lunch provided. Fill out the form below to register.
Both classes are invited to Lunch & Learn with Neurio!
Date: November 8th
9:30 – 11:30 (this class is now full)
1:30 – 3:30 (Available)
Address: 236 N. Hale Ave., Escondido, CA 92029
WHAT YOU’ll LEARN:
- APsystems microinverter technology and system design
- Hands-on training with our dual-module microinverters
- How to save thousands of $$ in BOS costs
- Microinverter installation tools of the trade and best practices
Microinverters are a popular choice for residential and commercial solar installations. They inherently meet NEC 2017 requirements for module-level shutdown, increase system efficiency and performance, and help with shading issues. Learn more about how microinverters convert DC to AC power right at the panel level in this video.
APsystems offers advanced, powerful solar microinverter technology for residential and commercial systems. The APsystems solar solution combines highly efficient power inversion with a user-friendly monitoring interface to bring you reliable, intelligent energy. Our proprietary system architecture increases solar harvest and ensures maximum output for solar arrays, and we continue to develop new technologies and products for the marketplace.
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