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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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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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Solar Cabana on The Price is Right

We got our 15 seconds of fame on National TV on Earth Day 2010 last month. Our Solar Cabana was given away as a prize on the longest running TV game show in history The Price is Right produced by CBS. check out the video! The unique aspect of the Solar Cabana is it offers an affordable method for homeowners and businesses to get started with solar power without a huge upfront investment typically associated with rooftop solar. Additionally, in many cases the roof is not the best place to install solar panels due to shading, improper orientation or age of roof. The Solar Cabana provides customers a solution to take solar panels “off the roof” while providing an elegant structure that not only holds the solar panels but provides shade and comfort for people. With the Solar Cabana as an alternative option in the marketplace, solar panels don’t have to be “those ugly things on the roof” anymore. The Solar Cabana works by connecting to your electrical service panel, when your building is consuming less energy than being produced by the Solar Cabana, you’re electric meter will spin backwards, thus offsetting your highest cost of electricity you buy from the utility company. Each solar panel on the Solar Cabana has an Enphase Micro-Inverter behind it that converts the DC power generated by the solar panels into clean, grid compliant AC power. The conduit runs alongside one of the four support legs of the Solar Cabana and connects inside the electrical service panel via a 2 pole, 15 amp ganged breaker. The Solar Cabana is compatible with either a 240VAC or 208VAC electric service. Since the Solar Cabana is a grid interactive solar electric system, it doesn’t require batteries to store the energy. What do you think about the Solar Cabana? Would you install one of these in your...

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Interviewed by SolarDave

We’re working on a unique solar panel project called, Battle of the Solar Panel Brands. A solar panel competition that makes various solar panel brands compete head to head against each other to determine which solar panel will generate the most kWh (kilowatt-hours) in our local area. A few weeks ago, our project caught the attention of SolarDave, a respectable solar blogger. SolarDave thought it would be interesting to his audience to have a conversation with me about the process of installing solar panels on his very first podcast. The purpose of SolarDave’s blog is to take people along for the ride as he is doing lots of research since hes going to install solar panels on his own home in Colorado. I feel there is a lack of information out there for people considering solar panels for their own lifestyles and SolarDave is doing a great job sharing information on his blog with written, video and audio content. SolarDave’s podcast covers the following topics: comparison test with different panels with solar production data collection. Problems with the permitting process. overcoming challenges of digging and trenching installing Enphase micro-inverters Make sure to check out SolarDave’s blog, download the podcast or follow him on twitter hes a great resource for information about solar...

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