Solar Builder

JAN 2018

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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26 JA N UA RY / F E B RUA RY 2 0 1 8 ASK A DISTRIBUTOR: Modules Consistency is key Important note for those unfamiliar: Upsolar works with selected manufacturing partners to assemble its own Upsolar modules. "We test the components, procure the [bill of material] ourselves and deliver it to the manufacturing partner. It then uses our material and specifications to assemble an Upsolar module." To make sure the manufacturing partner builds it as planned, a team of Upsolar QC employees are on site with the manufacturing partner to supervise production. Right now the Upsolar mono 60-cell is trending: PERC, black frames, white back-sheet 300 watt and tariff-free (because it's not beholden to any one manufacturer). Upsolar can combine the modules in a complete kit (APsystem microinverters, string inverter or SolarEdge, plus a full racking system with attachments) and financing for homeowners. Its C&I solution is a mono 72-cell version in the 355 to 360 W range. The 72-cell polycrystalline and mono- crystalline solar modules of the AXIpower and AXIpremium series are the specialties among the Axitec solar modules. These high-performance solar modules with effi- ciencies of up to 17.83 percent and excellent low light performance, guarantees a higher output. Years of experience in development, production and distribution of solar mod- ules enable Axitec to provide above-average guarantees. Whether it's positive tolerances, a 12-year guarantee or linear performance guarantee, the customer always receives an added value of quality and performance. "Axitec is another module to watch for its highly reliable and consistently available 72-cell modules," Kyler says. T he elephant in the room is the effect of tariffs on the module market, so naturally distributors we chatted with in November were most concerned about that. "If possible, secure and stock modules now before any potential tariffs," Leone notes. "If that is not possible, be upfront with customers about the tariff situation now and let them know any prices quoted now are subject and likely to change." But two more general trends to watch for are high-efficiency modules (these are being universally recommended lately) and also module manufacturers who are implementing string-level optimi- zation. The latter are designed in such a way that module-level electronics might be a thing of the past. Choose stable brands that have the best value, and be open to alternative options to cover yourself as costs increase; allow room for improvising and be ready to accept adaptation. Complete kit Spoiler alert: Tariffs are causing problems

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