• Solar on a Strata - Two Years Now

    Note: This is another entry in the 'Solar on a Strata' blog series < It chronicles the planning, installation, and ongoing experience with a 60-module solar PV installation on Central Park Strata, a 63-unit condominium in downtown Victoria. HES-PV supplied the hardware such as Fronius Inverters and Solar Panels in June 2015. I was the Strata President and led the project to install them, and continue as a volunteer adviser to the Strata Council.

    Bottom line: There isn't much to report in the last year and a half. The system continues to produce electricity every day, without maintenance. I asked the current Strata President if they would like me to come to their next AGM to answer any questions, and her response was:

    We have asked around about the solar panels, and nobody really showed much interest in learning more about them. I think that overall, people are just happy that they will eventually pay for themselves and generate power, but that's the extent of their interest. Unfortunately, I think that by coming and doing a presentation would be a waste of your time.

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  • Solar Ground Mounts 101 - 2 to 200kW Made Easy

    Solar ground mounting is made easy with the new FastRack 2 Tier Ground Mounting system.
  • Expert's Corner: Quick Guide to Designing with SolarEdge

    "With just a few basic principles, you can easily design systems with SolarEdge. Just remember that we design to power, not voltage or current and you will be on your way to simplifying your PV designs."
    -  Jeff Laughy, Field Applications Engineer, SolarEdge


    Top 3 things to consider to design residential systems with SolarEdge

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  • Solar Systems for Canadian Cottages - A 2017 Update

    It's Canada's 150th birthday! For many Canadians, the July Long Weekend (and Canada's birthday) is also Cottage Time.

    So what has the Solar Industry brought Canadians to help their birthday bash be more enjoyable? Many wonderful things - here are five in no particular order.

    Cold Beer!

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  • 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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