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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30 JA N UA RY / F E B RUA RY 2 0 1 8 Ton of options to fit your needs Commercial choice Focus on the clamps A new commercial ballasted rooftop solution, Aerocompact is optimized for less ballasting than other systems, quick to install and, according to Brinton, includes excellent design software for project reports and calculations. "There are many excellent choices when it comes to com- mercial racking solutions. However, Aerocompact excels when it comes to shipping quality components, while packing the most kW in a truck/container," Brinton explains. "As we all know, this can be a large expense when pennies dictate win- ning or losing a project. This is the best price value available." "We've seen a lot of customers start to use Aerocompact's low profile, one-high in landscape ground mount," Leon adds. "This is essentially the same system design as their ballasted roof mount, and it is elevated 1 foot off the ground creating a low profile appearance. It can be attached with either ballast blocks or ground screws, and the turnkey cost is lower than most ground-mount solutions." Several Unirac systems were mentioned by the distributors we polled. For rail systems, Brinton says Unirac Solarmount PRO is a complete solution with revolutionary universal mid and end clamps, FLASHKIT PRO flashing, full system UL 2703 certification and a 25-year warranty. "The new con- cealed end clamp is universal and comes with a rail end cap for better aesthetics," he says. If you're looking for rail-less, check out the Microrail. Brinton also likes Unirac's GFT. "GFT includes an easy-to-generate bill of materials, rail layouts, pre-assembled brace kits, lightweight foundations for pile-driven or cast-in-place design options and punched holes for guaranteed non-slip connections. This was designed to set the industry standard for utility-scale quality — now available for any project size." McShea from Civic says "Unirac RM10 has very few SKUs and a good cost." Each distributor noted the trend of rail-less racking. All are noticing an increase in interest, but some are unsure if enough installers are focused on training a new strategy. "We have noticed an increase in rail-less systems recently. However, we are strong supporters of installers getting properly trained before moving to this type of racking system," notes Brinton, from ECO Distributing. Overall, McShea from Civic summed up mounting and racking best: "Not much changes in racking. Installers either want one of three things: 1) fast/easy install, 2) quality with good penetration protection, 3) cheap. And there are options for all of these needs." Agreed. Here are some of those options. ASK A DISTRIBUTOR: Racking

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