This installation tip was provided by Jason Higginson, senior director of marketing at APsystems
While customizing solar projects may please customers, combining disparate components can cause headaches. The equipment doesn’t always play along, and the additional time required to integrate systems and purchase extra hardware can increase frustration levels and budgets.
To alleviate issues, choose equipment that can reduce or eliminate labor and equipment costs. For example, using integrated equipment for cable management, such as pre-cabled microinverters, can eliminate the need for a trunk cable and create a simple plug-and-play job. Likewise, racking equipment with built-in cable management, pre-assembled parts and an adaptable design will save install and alteration time on the roof.
Mobile apps can also save time when it comes to inverter installations. Most inverter manufacturers offer an app for setting up, commissioning and connecting site equipment to the system owner’s Wi-Fi. Many inverter systems can also be pre-configured before heading to the job so installers can further reduce time on-site.
To prevent returns to the site, installers should ensure the gateway or web server is connected via Ethernet cable, because even the best of Wi-Fi-enabled devices may disconnect or can cease to function if the site owner changes routers, ISPs or passwords. A wired connection will always be the most reliable. Also, the manufacturer’s tech support department should be contacted first if there are potential problems with a part or panel. Problems can be analyzed remotely, and quite often fixed, right from the tech’s computer without an installer having to roll out a truck.
Choosing products that manage as much installation hassle as possible will save time and money. By coupling mobile technology with pre-integrated equipment and plug-and-play features, some installers can complete two or more residential solar arrays in a single day with the same crew.