Solar Builder

JUL-AUG 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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Page 43 of 47

44 J U LY / AU G U S T 2 0 1 8 (1) Reduce installation labor costs by 50 percent by assembling systems on the ground, and then lifting completely assembled carports by crane. The cost of the crane is only about 5 percent of the traditional cost of labor, so the crane pays off by a lot. (2) Use standard pre-engineered array sizes and configurations. This optimizes and reduces foundation count so that half the number of foundations are needed versus traditional systems of comparable size. Not only does this reduce the overall cost of foundations, but it also reduces the overall project variabil- ity costs caused by uncertain soil conditions. (3) Leverage local labor crews to reduce installation costs. When customers manage the project labor or provide their own crews, they gain two big advantages. First, they eliminate markup from construction. Second, they use a skilled local crew that can install a standard system over and over and become more efficient over time. (4) Increase project size by covering parking spaces and drive aisles. This enables a system to deliver up to twice as many watts as a T-canopy. Quest customers can install more watts on a project allowing them to spread fixed costs across more watt- age which improves profit margins. Design & Labor Large-scale projects are made or broken based on turn- times. To eliminate inefficiencies in the field, SunLink recently introduced new tracker feature enhancements that will reduce labor and installation costs. "We improved our pivot design to provide enough room in the stabilizer stroke so that the system no longer needs to be rotated to complete installation. Instead, the stabilizer mount position can be set from a measurement, saving sub- stantial installation time," says Kate Trono, senior vice president of Product. "The pivot and bearing arrive onsite pre-assembled, enabling immediate installation, saving valuable time in avoiding additional assembly of multiple parts in the field." An additional design benefit of the improved pivot is the drop-in torque tubes feature, which eliminates the require- ment for specialized jack equipment or a larger crew to hold the tubes in place. According to Trono, with improved durability of the pivot and bearing, the tracker components can also better withstand the rigors of construction crew handling on a project site. Solar industry veterans Jeff Spies and Deep Patel have teamed up to start a new business providing engineering plan sets for residential solar contractors. Planet Plan Sets LLC offers engineering plan sets, professional engineering stamped drawings and calculations, system placards and interconnection application services to solar contractors across the country. "For too long, many solar contractors struggled to find a third-party plan set provider that is reliable, responsive and produces quality plan sets at a reasonable cost," says co-founder Spies. "We believe solar power is a better way to power our future and know that PV succeeds when solar power costs less than other forms of power genera- tion. Streamlining the design and permitting process is key to lowering the soft costs associated with installing a PV system, and Planet Plan Sets is committed to helping contractors lower operational costs and complexities, allowing them to concentrate on what they do best — install PV systems." Plan Sets FOR HIRE 4 WAYS To Improve Carports From Quest Renewables

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