APsystems helps Extend the Day bring solar to kids in developing nations

c6a4d851-f6f6-448d-9efe-989852f7f33fAPsystems is teaming up with the nonprofit Extend the Day to bring portable solar-powered lights to students in developing nations.

APsystems engineers assisted in the design of small, personal-sized lights, now being distributed to kids and families in remote villages in Kenya, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Myanmar and Namibia.

The lights allow students to study in the evening, dramatically changing their educational experience and opportunities.

Seattle-based Extend the Day was founded by Andrew Lonseth, APsystems President for USA Operations, and his daughter Jo, who saw the opportunity to improve lives through personal-scale solar during their global travels.

The clean-energy lights have a secondary benefit of eliminating the health hazards associated with noxious kerosene-burning lamps in homes.

“My eyes don’t burn anymore when I read,” a Kenyan student told Jo Lonseth recently. The youth now hopes to become an electrical engineer.

“Here he was in the middle of nowhere, and the light has changed his path,” Jo told Bainbridge Island Magazine.

Read the whole story here.

Click here for more information about Extend the Day.

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Buy 5, Get 1 FREE: Fantastic A+ Rewards continues ONLY for New Zealand!

Dear Valued New Zealand Installer,

The unbelievable A+ Rewards program from APsystems continues ONLY for New Zealand! We’re proud to offer this incredible promotion to our New Zealand installers.

apsystems-nz-aplus-dec16-promoFor every 5 YC500 microinverters purchased from an APsystems participating distribution partner in New Zealand, you will receive one YC500 microinverter absolutely free!
That’s right: Now through December 23 2016, that’s one industry-leading YC500 microinverter FREE when you buy 5. The free units will be sent with your order.

Please refer to the full terms and conditions (below) of this A+ Rewards Program. Units sold during this promotion as well as complimentary units are not eligible for return and exchange(except in the case of standard RMA requirements such as manufacturer defect, malfunction or other issues as outlined in the APsystems YC500 warranty.)

Place your order with an APsystems participating distributor today for prompt fulfillment!

– APsystems Team

________________

TERMS & CONDITIONS:

Eligibility

The A+ Rewards Program is valid from October 14 to Dec 23, 2016. The offer is open to installers in New Zealand who purchase APsystems YC500 microinverters through participating distribution partners with which an A+ Rewards Program Distributor Participation Agreement is in place, and who purchase APsystems YC500 microinverters (YC250 microinverters are not eligible for this promotion). Purchases and complimentary products cannot be returned or exchanged. Participating Distributor partners who are also installers do not qualify to receive rebates under this program.

Specification
Once you place an order for 5 or more YC500 microinverters, you can request one free YC500 microinverters from the distributor. The distributor will send you the free YC500 microinverters with your order.

The minimum order for this program is 5 YC500 microinverters, and 5 microinverters are considered as a unit to calculate the number of free microinverters under the rebate. For example, an order of 9 microinverters would only qualify for one free YC500 microinverters; an order of 10 microinverters would qualify for two free microinverters.

The number of free YC500 microinverters under the rebate is based on each individual order, and the purchase quantities of different orders cannot be cumulative. For example, 2 separate orders of 4 YC500 microinverters would not qualify for free YC500 microinverter; but 1 order of 8 microinverters would qualify for one free microinverters.

Any questions on the promotion policy should be directed to your participating APsystems distributor.

APsystems Reservation of Rights
All rights reserved. APsystems reserves the rights to disqualify participants at any time and at its sole discretion. By participating in the offer, installers agree to be bound by these terms and conditions and the decisions of APsystems, which are final and binding, including any decisions concerning any violation or non-satisfaction of these terms and conditions. The installer shall have no right to receive free microinverter under this promotion unless the installer first fulfills all requirements of this promotion.

©2016 APsystems APAC. APsystems and the APsystems logo are trademarks of APsystems.

Solar MLPE hacks for the installer edge

APsystems-Fresno-roof1Time is money. We’ve all heard the age-old adage, but if you’re a solar installation company, it absolutely rings true: time is your worst enemy. Labor is expensive, so the longer a project takes, the more it costs an installer to put in a solar system, and it comes right out of their bottom line. Non-hardware costs such as installation labor, permitting fees and interconnection costs are referred to as “soft costs.” According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these soft or “plug-in” costs of solar account for as much as 64% of the total cost of a new solar system, and labor is one of the largest culprits. It’s no surprise that solar installers are looking for ways to reduce these costs, and any tool or trick they can employ to speed a project along may just give them the edge they need to not only survive in this highly competitive industry, but to thrive.

One challenge in this effort to reduce labor costs, is the growth in utilization of module-level power electronics (MLPEs) such as microinverters and DC optimizers. Unlike string inverters which, for residential applications, typically mean a single string inverter is serving all the PV modules on the roof, each MLPE is typically serving a single module. Although an MLPE solar system is often more expensive in initial capital costs and more labor-intensive to install compared with string inverters, it also has a better levelized cost of energy (LCOE) over string inverters as MLPE systems produce more energy over the life of system. It makes sense, then, why MLPE systems comprised 62% of the U.S. residential solar market in 2015, according to GTM Research, and the market isn’t done there as MLPE is predicted to be the fastest-growing product segment over the next five years.

Installers are feeling the time crunch and the challenge today is even greater to take a high-demand yet labor-intensive product and still perform a profitable installation. Let’s take a look at a few ways to streamline the MLPE installation process with some serious solar hacks.

 

APsystems-YC1000-4panels-side-sm-1030x928TIME-SAVING PRODUCTS
Microinverters which serve multiple modules exist today and with 2-to-1 and even 4-to-1 module to microinverter options available, homeowners can still get the benefits of an MLPE systems with independent MPPT per module, while installers cleverly reduce the amount of units they’re having to put on the roof by 50% to 75%.

 

MLPE ARCHITECTURE
Most MLPE systems utilize a trunk bus cable to which installers then attach every microinverter. Not only are trunk cables an expensive part of the system, but placing it on the roof and securing the cable to the racking takes time. Products, such as the APsystems YC500A, utilize a daisy-chain method of cabling and do away with the trunk cable. What’s more, the daisy chain is pre-integrated into the unit so it comes completely pre-cabled and ready to go.

 

APsystems demo-thumbFREE TRAINING
Most solar equipment manufacturers offer free training webinars and videos on their products anymore so absolutely take advantage of this. Don’t miss out on the time (and money) saving tips you can pick up in a short training course or online video series.

 

GATEWAY SET-UP
The gateway communication unit for microinverter installations can be a breeze if installers follow a few simple tips for commissioning the system. Connect the gateway to the internet via a standard Ethernet cable so it can download the most current firmware before you begin to commission the system. Ideally, you’ll want to do this after the inverter installation but before module installation so the unit can update while your team puts panels on the roof so you don’t lose time. Be sure to connect cables in the right order as some gateways may take longer if power is applied before the network cable (unless the system will be connected via Wi-Fi). Obtaining the homeowner’s Wi-Fi network information and password before hitting the jobsite will also save you time in connecting the gateway.

FFHRDG Closeup of mobile phone taking picture of blue solar panels

TIME-SAVING APPS
There are some amazing apps out there for solar installers that can help installers streamline system setup. ArrayApp by APsystems, for example, allows installers to create the homeowner account for online monitoring, scan units directly without having to wait for up to 30 minutes for auto-detection of the inverters and create the array site map all from their mobile phone or tablet. Simply search for ArrayApp on your iPhone App Store or Google Play for Android devices.

Taking advantage of these time-saving measures can save an installer money but also help them get more installations completed in a single day. As the solar industry continues to lean heavily toward MLPE systems, finding ways to install faster and more effectively can mean the difference between a profitable operation and one that struggles to be competitive. Be sure to do your research, training, find out what other installers are doing and build your own list of valuable solar installation hacks.