Solar Builder

MAR-APR 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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SOLARBUILDERMAG.COM | 37 PVSketch with PVCAD PVSketch is used by hundreds of solar companies big and small to visualize solar designs, accurately model energy production, choose equip- ment, calculate customer energy savings with a detailed database of rate schedules and plop it all into a proposal. What's cool about it? PVSketch is a one-stop-shop for solar project design. The hook for PVSketch is that it requires no training time and is designed for sales teams. PVSketch designs solar projects between 2 kW and 3 MW in size with accuracy in design, energy production and avoided costs calculations. Its functionality on mobile devices allows you to adjust designs on-site in real time with a customer. PVSketch has a database of racking systems to help installers generate a bill of materials with their favorite racking hardware, modules and inverters, then move quickly on a closed sale by ordering the per- mit plan set or engineering diagrams delivered to their inbox. PVSketch also has a database of utility rates and tariffs for all 52 states for accurate savings calculations. In addition, PVSketch can export project data to PVCAD. With PVCAD, engineers and drafters can build detailed permit plan sets including layouts, electrical drawings and bills of materials and quotes for projects of any size, whether rooftop, ground mount or util- ity scale. PVCAD quickly creates detailed drawing sets including array layouts, structural calculations, single line diagrams and every- thing else you need to obtain a permit and bid on any project — from a single-family home up to a multi-megawatt solar farm. Having a CAD software with a database of racking equipment allows you to generate layouts, bills of materials and wind zone calculations specific to your favorite racking manufacturer. eGauge multi-circuit monitor The eGauge multi-circuit energy monitor combines a meter, data logger and server all into one. This powerful combination lets you record data for the life- time of the device and analyze it with a graphical interface for free online. eGauge meters are built to be efficient, reliable and accurate and are made in the United States. What's cool about it? Monitor everything: Measure up to 30 points of energy and power, includ- ing solar inverters, generators, battery backup systems and EV chargers. Record electricity with bi-directional current transformers to see which circuits are using or producing power. Track AC and DC power systems simultaneously. Get analytical: The eGauge user interface displays graphical and numerical data for everything you measure on a web browser. You can access the interface with or without an internet connection (if you're on the local network). Export data to spreadsheets, view custom time-frame summaries, see energy costs for each monitoring point. If you're a true data junkie, there's even an oscilloscope that shows voltage and amperage waveforms in real-time. Promote your brand: The eGauge user interface has space on the home screen for a custom installer logo, which lets users advertise their installer's brand every time they show off their solar production. Stay informed: Send text or email alerts which trigger at user-defined thresholds. Alerts are particularly useful when offering perfor- mance guarantee contracts because they allow installers to proactively address problem systems.

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