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Enphase M215, meet the 3rd generation of solar micro inverters

The solar micro inverter from Enphase Energy has come along way since their first generation M175 micro inverter released back in 2008. The Enphase M175 was considered the first commercially successful micro inverter followed by a successor, the Enphase M190 which was introduced in 2009. Since Enphase Energy began selling the M175 to date they have shipped more than 500,000 micro inverters making their product one of the most highly sought after solar inverter by customers. Say hello to the third generation of the solar micro inverter by Enphase Energy, pictured above the Enphase M215 will be released in early June 2011 and will be a game changer in solar inverter market by not only delivering better performance and simplified installation but is now backed by a 25 year limited warranty! One of the key improvements with the new Enphase M215 micro inverter is its innovative cabling system, which offers the benefits of a 12AWG trunk cable which bumps up the number of micro inverters that can be on a single branch circuit up to 17. The Enphase M190 can only support 15 micro inverters per branch circuit. The Enphase M215 is rated at 215 AC Watts which will allow the new inverter to be compatible with high power output 60 cell solar panels such as 250 watt and 260 watt rated solar panels. Mechanically, the Enphase M215 offers faster mounting through its single-bolt design, unlike its predecessors the Enphase M190 and M175 required two bolts to fasten each micro inverter to the rail. check out the video below, what do you think about the new Enphase M215 micro inverter by Enphase Energy? Will micro inverters phase out central string inverters and be the new standard in the solar industry? what do you...

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installing solar panels on a spanish s-tile roof

Installing solar panels on Spanish S-Tile or Curved Tile can be one of the most difficult roof tops to install solar panels onto. See solar racking components for an s-tile roof → These types of tiles are very popular in California and the west coast in general and have a tendency to be very delicate. Many professionals compare getting around on a Spanish S-Tile roof to walking on egg shells because many curved roof tiles will break when you walk on them incorrectly. After you get around the challenges of properly walking on a curved tile roof to minimize tile damage, it’s imperative to have a roof flashing system designed specifically for this typf of roof style. We recommend the Quick Mount PV Curved Tile Flashing with Mounts Check out the video below of how the Quick Mount PV Curved Tile Flashing System in 8 easy steps will help you install solar panels minimizing the risk of developing a leaky roof in the future. What do you think about Quick Mount PV Curved Tile Flashing with...

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Samsung now offering solar panels

Samsung is now in the solar panel business, introducing the Samsung LPC Line of Solar Panels with 15% efficiency that narrows gap against premium solar panels on the market such as SANYO and SunPower. Samsung Electronics, a global leader in consumer electronics, semiconductor and display technologies, has been developing its solar cell production capabilities for several years and recently entered the marketplace. It has taken its manufacturing expertise in semiconductors and developed its own line of highly efficient monocrystalline solar cells and panels. The first Samsung solar module offered is the LPC241SM, It stands out in today’s marketplace with its 15% module level efficiency, higher than any other product in its class. Samsung solar panels set a new benchmark for price/performance and narrows the performance gap against premium priced panels. The Samsung name brand and superior PTC power density of the LPC241SM provides a higher value to end-users. The quality of Samsung modules is evidenced by a world class peak power tolerance rating of -0%/+2%, guaranteeing full...

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which solar power system would you install?

Similar to a computer which is made up of not only the processor but a keyboard, mouse, RAM, memory, monitor, speakers..etc, there’s a lot more to solar power than just the solar panels. An ordinary solar power system includes solar panels plus mounting hardware, inverters, wires, clips, clamps, standoffs, L-Feet, grounding lugs, connectors, wire management, disconnects combiner boxes and many nuts & bolts not the mention the tools required to get the system installed. For someone installing a solar power system for the first time, it’s an overwhelming process of figuring out all the parts required to make up the entire system. Many times even experienced installers make several trips to the hardware store for missing parts. Why does installing a solar power system have to be like putting together a complicated jig saw puzzle? thanks to the developments in the solar industry, installing a solar power system does not have to be as difficult with the Andalay Solar Panels by Westinghouse Solar. The system by Westinghouse Solar requires the least amount of parts, labor and tools to install compared to any other solar power system on the market. The Andalay Solar system is made up of black Suntech 175 watt solar panels with Enphase M190 Micro Inverters attached directly to the frame of the solar panel. The frame of the Andalay Solar Panels act as the rails and attach directly to the roof with the simple mounting hardware supplied with the system. This is the type of innovation and efficiencies we need to take solar power to the masses, it needs to be more user friendly. Westinghouse Solar is leading the industry in terms of offering a complete solar power solution that any contractor or savvy do it yourselfer can install with ease. Would you rather install an ordinary solar power system or Westinghouse Solar? What do you think of Andalay Solar by...

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attaching solar panels to a metal roof

The electrical side of installing a solar electric system is a pretty straight forward process although when it comes to the mechanical aspect of attaching solar panels there can be a lot of variances based on the type of roof. One of our customers was involved with a new home construction project that had a standing seam metal roof. He called us and asked us to design and provide him with a complete solar electric system that would attach to the metal roof. The 4.1 kilowatt grid tie solar electric system consisted of 18 Canadian Solar CS6P 230 watt solar panels with an Enphase M190 Micro-inverter behind each solar panel converting the DC power generated by the solar panels into grid compliant AC power. Attaching the solar panels to the metal roof was easy by combining the UniRac SolarMount Rails with S-5-U Clamps made by S-5!. S-5! clamps attach to the seam of a metal roofing by the tightening of two “bullet-nosed” stainless steel setscrews against the seam material. The round point setscrews compress the seam material against the opposite wall of the clamp. The clamps will “dimple” the seam material, but will not penetrate it. Threaded holes in the clamp enable the easy attachment of the UniRac SolarMount Rails to the clamps. The customer was able to attach the solar panels to the metal roof by taking advantage of the S-5! clamps. The picture above shows the installed solar panels, what do you think of the outcome of his...

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clean solar panels produce more power

Dirty solar panels before PowerBoost Every major solar panel manufacturer recommends solar electric system owners to wash their solar panels as needed to harvest maximum power. Soiling is a term used to describe particle build up on solar panels which includes dust, dirt, bird poop and other debris that solar panels encounter in the outdoors. Research conducted by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) suggests that solar panel power output can decrease up to 10% from the accumulation of dirt. Efficiencies of solar panels can drop up to 20% in areas where bird poop, air pollution or dust from farming operations are common. Cleaning your solar panels is easy! Since solar electric systems are solid state technology, meaning there are no moving parts in the system, the only maintenance that’s required is cleaning the solar panels. You can simply use soap and water to clean your solar panels although many people prefer PowerBoost, a biodegradable solar panel cleaning solution that connects to any garden hose and provides added benefits that household soap does not offer. With PowerBoost you’ll be cleaning your solar panels less frequently through out the year since it adds a protective layer on the solar panels that prevents the future accumulation of debris. Rinse first, then soap Cleaning solar panels is like washing your car, you have to first rinse the solar panels using a garden hose with a pressure nozzle. The objective would be to loosen up the debris before you apply PowerBoost. After your rinse with water flip the switch on the PowerBoost and the special formulated PowerBoost cleaning solution will be sprayed onto the solar array. Let PowerBoost do it’s magic After PowerBoost solar panel cleaning solution has been applied to the solar panels, let the solution sit on the solar panels for a few minutes. For best results I would recommend putting some elbow grease into the job by using a brush with a long handle to scrub down the solar panels before rinsing off the PowerBoost cleaning solution. So fresh, so clean By the end of the process your solar panels should look this clean. There should be no particle build up left on the solar panels, maximum sunlight will now be able to penetrate into the solar cells thus providing you maximum energy harvest yields. Now we have our solar panels installed on a ground mounted system which makes it easier to clean our solar panels. Many times solar panels are installed on top of roofs which can make it a little more challenging to clean. What do you think about the maintenance related with a solar electric...

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