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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There are two schools of thought on the best approach to eBOS architecture and inverter technology on the market in 2018, both focused on your approach at the module level. Bailey and Blue Frog are big proponents of the micro- inverter. "Our installers are loving the APsystems microinvert- ers because they serve multiple PV modules, which means they also reduce the installation labor time, stock- ing/inventory costs. Even transporting them to the site and getting them up on the roof is easier. With so many installers looking for an edge to reduce their soft costs, win bids and become more profitable, multi-module microinverters just make a lot of sense." Civic Solar is a big proponent of pairing optimizers or Maxim module-embedded technology with string inverters. "Our installers love the optimization without the cost of microinverters," McShea says. "We are keeping our eyes on the Maxim-integrated modules at the moment and are curious how they can gain traction in the market," Dufrenne says. For more on the specifications behind such a solution, read our article on the SunSpec Alliance on page 16. Bottom line, on the rooftop in 2018, there is a lot to consider at the module level. On larger jobs, transfor- merless commercial string inverters are hugely impactful. They are helping bring down inverter costs on commer- cial jobs without the need for large combiners and sub- combiners. ASK A DISTRIBUTOR: Inverters Top microinverter out there We mentioned this in our recap from Solar Power International in our previous issue, but several distributors gave a shoutout to APsystems' YC600, a dual-module, utility-interactive microin- verter with reactive power control (RPC) technology and Rule 21 grid support functionality. It offers an unprecedented 300-VA peak output power per channel and works with 60- and 72-cell PV modules, offering dual, independent MPPT per panel. The unit operates within a wider MPPT voltage range than compet- ing brands for a greater energy harvest and boasts a durable, NEMA 6-rated, powder-coated aluminum enclosure, bucking today's trend of plastic casings. "The APsystems' new YC600 looks to be the next big thing. It beats the Enphase IQ6-PLUS hands down in peak output power, number of units on a string, communication speed and MPPT volt- age range," Bailey says. "They're calling it the most advanced solar microinverter in the world, and from what I've seen, they're right." Choose your own adventure

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