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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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Canadian Solar pledges to recycling solar panels

Many people worry that solar panels at the end of their life cycle, which is 30 to 50 years could cause an environmental problem when they need to be trashed. SolarWorld was the first company in the industry that created a recycling program for solar panels but recently a company called Canadian solar that manufacturers low cost solar panels in China has also pledged to recycle old solar panels. Canadian Solar became a member of PV Cycle, an organization that promotes the voluntary take back and recycling of end of life solar panels. This is good to see more companies create policies towards the problem of what’s going to happen when all these solar panels being installed today need to be thrown away 30 years from now. Do you think it’s important that solar panel manufacturers have a policy towards recycling solar...

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why do UMG solar panels have a lower cost per watt?

UMG (Upgraded Metallurgical Grade) Silicon based solar panels have been debated because they use a lower grade Silicon to reduce the cost per watt for solar power to the end customer. Canadian Solar Incorporated (CSI) is a company that has changed the game by introducing UMG Silicon solar panel on a large scale into the solar panel market. The primary reason solar power has not reached grid parity yet is because pure silicon prices very high and UMG silicon based solar panels are more competitive to coal based generation because of the lower cost. UMG Silicon is 95% pure compared to high grade silicon which is 99% pure. Solar cells only need a silicon purity of 95% to produce energy, therefore CSI blended UMG with pure silicon to create a lower cost solar panels. Although many people argue that these newer lower cost solar panels are unproven in the field, and it’s a point well taken. On the other hand, CSI is offering 25 year performance warranties on UMG based solar panels. What do you think about low cost solar panels that use UMG Silicon? Do you think they will be as reliable as solar panels that are pure...

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