• Electric Vehicles and Solar Charging

    The EV Paradigm Shift? Electric vehicles from Big Auto first appeared 5 years ago, with the introduction of the Nissan Leaf, and the new Tesla. Now Telsa rivals GM for a spot as a top auto maker, and almost all automakers are following Nissan with 100% electric versions in their fleets. Canada had 30,000 plug in EVs sold by the end of 2016, with the growth curve looking similar to the growth of the solar installations!

    How does the transition to EVs effect the solar industry? Very positively so far. In Victoria a significant number of solar systems have been installed on home for EV buyers. Institutions are adding solar to EV charge stations to offset the new loads. And environmental consciousness is helping EV buyers account for the source of their energy.

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  • 10 Ways to Speed Residential Solar Installations

    10 Ways to Speed Residential Solar Installations

    Residential installations for $3/W? How can your company maintain profitability at these low prices? In Germany and the US mature installers can achieve these prices with lots of practice, careful planning and crew efficiency. Here’s some ideas how to reduce your costs and increase the speed of installations.

    1. Staging: Bring your tools and parts onto the roof with you. A tote is great to store everything you might need – not the truck. Avoid commuting up and down the roof, so bring everything up Continue reading


    Although we have titled this article the future for PV, the reality is that we have being implementing PV storage systems since the beginning of our industry. The systems were being deployed in what we call the 'off-grid' market, telecom, coast guard, cottages and RV. The big change that is coming will be the amount of PV storage connected to the grid. Continue reading

  • Solar + Volunteer Work - A Solar-Pro's Dream African Vacation

    I have just returned from my 5th trip to the Tumaini Children's Foundation, home to 50 kids in the town of Usa River, Tanzania. I was joined this year by Canadian Solar Professionals, Bob Waddell from Toronto, and Cameron Murdoch and his wife, Andrea, from Victoria. We had a fantastic 2 weeks of kid chasing, solar installing, safari-ing and acting as general handy people for Tumaini's move to a new, bigger home on the slopes of Mount Meru, Kilimanjaro's smaller sister.

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  • The 2017 Case for Residential Solar in Canada

    What is Solar Net Metering (Net Billing)?

    Residential and small commercial solar systems are connected to the load centre in a home or business. Solar generated electricity is used first, and utility power provides when solar cannot. If there is excess solar power generated, the power is exported back to the utility. Net Metering defines the process where a utility wheels your solar power to and from your system, essentially storing it for you. Sometimes this is a credit of kWh per kWh, or a monetary credit at a fixed rate per kWh (Net Billing). Net Metering programs enhance the value of solar to customers, and set the rules as to how solar may be interconnected with your utility.

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  • Alberta now accepting applications for Indigenous renewables

    From CanSIA:

    The Alberta Government launched two small-scale pilot programs for First Nations and Metis communities that invest in local renewable projects that create jobs, reduce emissions and lower utility costs.

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  • Catalytic Caps to Reduce Battery Watering

    About two months ago I did the overdue spring servicing of my cottage batteries. I have a 10 year old 24V bank of 2V cells with 20kWh of capacity. These are recharged by 800W of solar, and I added 1.5kW this spring just for the fun of it – solar panels are so cheap now.

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  • PV Module Recycling - A New Market Opportunity

    Not only have PV module recycling programs become a reality, they are also an opportunity. The report on the End-of-life management for solar modules prepared by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme (IEA-PVPS), demonstrates the recycling process while pointing out the future market opportunity.

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  • Roof Mounted PV must have Rapid Shutdown - CEC 2015

    There is a 2015 CE Code Rule in Canada that most Safety Authorities are already enforcing which requires roof mounted PV systems to have rapid shutdown.

    Specifically CE Code 2015 Section 64-218

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  • New Ontario ELECTRICAL SAFETY CODE Rule – All PV Connectors Must be the Same Brand

    There is a new ESA Rule in Ontario that all solar installers must be aware of. Effective May 1, 2016 all PV connectors in a solar installation must be the same brand. No longer can a Multi-Contact brand female connector be plugged into a male Amphenol connector, even though they were designed to fit perfectly.

    Specifically ESA Bulliten 50-4-4 States:

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