On the floor in picture form at Solar Power Northeast


The life of a solar power professional is varied; some of us sell spreadsheets, others of us put metal in the dirt. All of us however need to continue knowledge acquisition, shake hands with our partners, meet new partners, and see old friends – like Bob Montenaro of Yaskawa Solectria Solar in the above image who sold me my first commercial inverter.

One of the newer ideas that has come to our industry is integrating pollinator-friendly flowers and plants into our ground-mounted installations to support local bee populations. The next question becomes: how do I make it happen? On the East Coast of the United States you can call Ernst Pollinator Service. The most interesting thing the company’s representatives told me at their booth was that they choose plants that minimize the amount of general land upkeep needed, with it being suggested that after a year or two you won’t need to cut these plants. Win-win there: less O&M plus a healthier environment.

Ernst Pollinator Service


Our solar panels are getting so black to please our demanding residential customers, that’s its getting harder and harder to take pictures of them. It’s like looking into the void. Hanwha Q Cells is offering modules with black cells and a black backsheet, as well significantly minimized front side bus bars continue this trend. And then there are the Solaria modules…

Hanwha Q Cells

Alencon makes DC-DC optmizers (among other things). As this pv magazine author is a participant in the Massachusetts market with our new SMART program incentives pushing energy storage, it has become a question of how to oversize the DC side of the solar, while capturing the formerly clipped kilowatt hours. This hardware helps you do that.

Alencon Systems


Raptor Maps makes solar O&M easier. Infrared data teaches you what’s going on with inverters, combiner boxes, tilts on trackers, and site issues like vegetation, flooding, and security risk. All of this from afar, and with focus on every single individual solar module, so you can learn about detailed diode and cell level issues, and soiling. Plus you can take cool images of yourself.


KONG USA professional climbing gear: So we don’t fall off the roof and upset our significant others.


Chemlink’s E-Curb lets you easily seal things on your roof. And the aluminum tray below showed a neat property of the material – its able to be applied in wet conditions. First they cut a hole in the aluminum – then put it under water and spackled a bit of the material. With zero time for the material to set or dry, they then lifted the aluminum tray up – and no water leaked. Impressive.


And last – but definitely not least – giant ground screws from APA Solar Racking because how cool looking are these? And of course, how great is it to save on installation costs?

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