Quest Renewables does solar carports differently. The Department of Energy-funded QuadPod is a solar canopy that’s mostly assembled on the ground, then hoisted by crane onto posts.
Inverter installation is also done differently on this unique carport design. Solar Power World got the details from Will Arnold, SVP of products and sales at Quest Renewables.
Solar Power World: How are inverters mounted on Quest carports and why? Are they secured to the truss on the ground and then raised up with a crane like the rest of the carport structure?
Will Arnold: For each carport project, we work with the inverter manufacturers to design a custom bracket that enables their product to mount directly to our trusses.
Yes, the inverters are secured to the truss on the ground and then lifted with a crane with the rest of the carport structure.
SPW: How does this method compare to other carport inverter installation methods as far as cost and time savings?
WA: As with all construction, on-the-ground installation is safer and faster. Constructing on the ground eliminates the need to work on ladders or scissor lifts. Electricians are able to come behind the truss construction team and mount the home runs and conduit. The amount of work in the air is less than 20% of the total work done by the electricians.
“With the ability to safely mount hardware and wire the AC/DC connections from the ground, it simplifies the entire inverter installation process, ultimately reducing labor and time. In the age of tight margins and increased competition, these factors are increasingly important,” said Brad Fox, Paradise Energy Solutions branch manager and solar consultant.
SPW: How is maintenance performed on inverters in Quest carports? How does the 13’6″+ vehicle clearance you mentioned help with maintenance?
WA: Maintenance is performed using a-frame and extension ladders. The height of the inverters make it nearly impossible and very difficult to tamper with them. They are also protected from vehicle harm and human traffic. Since 13’6” is the standard clearance height for oversized vehicles like fire trucks, emergency vehicles and delivery trucks, there is room for them to park underneath without damaging the carport.
SPW: Are there any other factors that make Quest carport inverter installations different from other carports?
WA: The aesthetics are really different from the other carports on the market. They are structurally and visually very different with their three-dimensional truss design. This architectural design is usually seen at airports or train stations.