SPW picks for the top solar product characteristics of 2016

This year, new consumer product features allow you to track your sleep, take a 3D deep sea dive in a shark cage and even toss digital confetti in birthday text messages. Likewise, new features of products are enhancing our lives in solar. Below, you’ll see products that incorporate cutting-edge technologies using chip integration, diamond-like materials,

Zeversolar: New app for cloud-based PV system monitoring

Zeversolar, a subsidiary company of leading inverter manufacturer SMA , has launched a new app for monitoring PV systems via smartphone. The app accesses cloud-based monitoring portal ZeverCloud, and versions for both Android and iOS are available. No matter where they are, PV system operators can use it to access current and historical yield data

Software companies Power Factors and Ekhosoft team up

Power Factors, LLC, an industry-leading software provider for monitoring, managing and optimizing renewable energy assets, announced today that it has acquired Ekhosoft Inc., a leader in intelligent operational management software solutions, from Bay4 Energy Services, a leading solar and energy storage asset management company. “For the past 15 years, Ekhosoft has built powerful event driven

Solar tech flies high as drones aid in site assessment

As in all industries, the best technology emerges as improved ways of doing tried-and-true processes. Trackers allow panels to follow the sun and generate more power. Microinverters boost system performance and pinpoint problems. These technologies have pushed the solar industry into the future. Now solar software is getting in on the action by providing a

Software lets installers assess solar glare for sensitive areas

Solar glare assessments are needed for solar power plants, when drivers or pilots of cars, planes or the railroad are in danger of being distracted by solar reflections. Neighbors, too, have a right to be protected from unreasonable glint and glare. New software for Solar Glare Assessment now allow a detailed simulation in three-dimensional space.

What happens when an east-west solar array isn’t perfectly east-west?

By Paul Grana, co-founder, Folsom Labs East-west arrays are an increasingly popular configuration in the commercial solar market. With low module prices, it makes sense to trade a slight decrease in module productivity for greater overall system power production. By placing modules back-to-back, designers can avoid clearances for module shading, and can fit many more

What kind of software do solar contractors need?

By Pamela Cargill, Principal at Chaolysti An update to last year’s software usage article “Will Software Eat the Solar Industry?” The primary functionality of many solar-specific software offerings has been to automate routine tasks required to develop customer proposals. This was coupled with innovative financial service offerings that drove the rapid rise in third-party ownership

Shade and solar arrays: How 10% shade tolerance is re-shaping project design

By Paul Grana, co-founder, Folsom Labs Solar engineers and developers are always thinking about shading that could encumber their solar arrays. After all, when your goal is to turn sunlight into money, anything that reduces that sunlight is bad. “Avoid shade” is one of those rules that is easy to say but complicated to deliver.

How can today’s solar software help residential installers?

Solar software helps solar installers accelerate and streamline their sales and design processes. In fact, with modern solar software, an installer can easily pre-design projects and develop a sales proposal before they even meet a homeowner. They can know ahead of time where the modules will go on a roof and how much money a

Modernize launches ModSun solar cost calculator for homeowners nationwide

Modernize, the online service that connects homeowners with contractors specializing in energy-efficient home improvement projects, today announced the launch of ModSun, an easy-to-use residential solar panel cost calculator focused on providing a transparent, human-centered approach to going solar. Powered by the only solar resource with nationwide Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) data, ModSun accurately maps