Anything that simplifies a step in solar installation can save installers money. Manufacturers know that and have worked to layout packaging in order of operations. That way, when installers open the box and reach in, the first item they pick up is the first one they need.
“From an industry perspective, the easier we make the entire process of designing and installing a solar system, the better it is for the industry in general,” said Richard Baldinger, head of marketing and inside sales support at Fronius. “Every little tweak, every little improvement that we as manufacturers can make in that process, I think is beneficial to the entire industry.”
Inverter manufacturer Fronius is gearing up to release its Primo GEN24 string inverter, and the new product is physically lighter and more compact than its predecessor, meaning more can fit on a shipping truck. But a lot of consideration was also given to how it’s packed.
With previous Fronius product lines, installers would open a box and find the inverter first, face up. They would then remove it and set it aside and reach in for the mounting bracket and other components. Fronius reversed that order, setting the Primo GEN24’s components upside down in its box, making the mounting bracket and inverter’s backplate the first thing an installer sees.
Since the mounting bracket is the first piece to be set up, it’s first in line, and each proceeding component in the packaging is what’s needed in the next step for installing the string inverter.
“The new packaging has been well-received so far because it not only speeds up the installation process, but you also don’t need to worry about where you put the power station for the inverter while you look for the mounting bracket outside of a home while installing an inverter,” Baldinger said. “I would expect that we would do that with future product lines as well.”
Pegasus Solar has taken a similar approach to arrange components in packaging as total kits for its composite shingle and tile replacement roof-mount solutions. Open the packaging, and the lag screws and one-piece flashings or replacement tiles are on the top layer, with the mounting attachments underneath. Installers won’t have to set components aside and risk them rolling off a rooftop.
“We needed new packaging,” Baldinger said. “We needed smaller boxes, less materials, these kinds of things. With redesigning the packaging, we thought, ‘How could we do it differently so that it’s more user-friendly to follow the procedure of the installer and not just putting it in the box like you would do instinctively?’”