Quick Mount PV debuts QRail — a rooftop racking system to pair with its mounts

QRail Quick Mount

QRail!

Quick Mount PV is simplifying your supply chain, today announcing QRail, its new rooftop racking system featuring patented QClick and QSplice technologies that simplify and speed installation. QRail combines with Quick Mount PV’s waterproof mounts to create a complete, fully-integrated racking and mounting solution for installing solar PV modules on any roof.

“With QRail, we now have what our customers have been requesting: a comprehensive, cost-effective single-source solution for solar installation on all roof types,” said Quick Mount PV CEO Claudia Wentworth. “And because of the QClick and QSplice technologies, solar installers will find that QRail exceeds their expectations for quality and ease of installation.”

How it works

Quick Mount rail

The patented QClick technology enables module clamps to easily click into the rail channel and remain in an upright position, ready to accept the module.

Quick Mount Q Splice

QSplice

QRail’s QSplice is the fastest, most efficient splice in the industry—a tool free, bonded, fully-structural splice that installs in seconds with no tools or extra hardware required.

Electrical bonding is fully integrated into every system component. All electrical bonds are created when the components are installed and tightened down. QRail is fully code compliant, certified to UL 2703, and backed by a 25-year warranty.
QRail is designed and engineered for strength and versatility.

The aluminum QRails come in three sizes, Heavy, Standard and Light, to match all geographic locations. QRails are available in 168-inch and 208-inch lengths, and in both mill and black finish.

Quick Mount Universal End Clamp

For optimal versatility, the QRail system is compatible with virtually all PV modules and roof attachment systems. Modules can be mounted in portrait or landscape orientation in either standard or shared rail configurations.

QRail comes with QDesign, a free online design application that enables quick and easy design of solar arrays, producing a precise bill of materials and all necessary engineering reports.

RELATED: We Look at the Pros and Cons of Rail and Rail-less Racking Systems 

— Solar Builder magazine

Watch: How a single person can install Schletter’s G-Max fixed tilt racking

Steel solar mounting systems manufacturer Schletter kicked off its new blog last week with a quick tutorial on how to install its next generation racking system: G-Max. G-Max’s fixed-tilt construction is ideally suited for utility-scale installations, but here’s the wild part to us: The G-Max system’s fast and easy installation is so simple that a single person can install the girder, head adapter, and strut without assistance.

  1. Position the strut onto previously installed lower location bolt.
  2. Position head into upper location bolt.
  3. Install bolt at upper post.
  4. Tighten post bolts using 19 mm socket. The post will pull in tightly.
  5. Mark all the tightened bolts for quality control.

If you don’t believe it, check out the video above.

— Solar Builder magazine

SunLink reports 150 percent growth in total MW shipped in 2017

sunlink racking

SunLink Corp. surpassed more than two gigawatts (GW) of total installed solar projects by the end of 2017. With more than 150 percent year-over-year growth in total megawatts shipped, SunLink increased its fixed-tilt market share by over 4x amid an overall industry decline in the utility ground mount market. The company grew TechTrack, its most technologically advanced solution, by 5x.

“SunLink continued to demonstrate its engineering prowess by taking on some of the industry’s most challenging solar projects in 2017. Customers continued to depend on SunLink to deliver the industry’s most flexible and dependable fixed-tilt mounting solution backed by our deep engineering expertise,” said Michael Maulick, president and CEO of SunLink. “We are especially pleased with the continued traction we’re making in the tracker market. It’s clear that our most innovative customers are responding positively to our intelligent tracker for optimal power density, energy generation and measurable reductions in total project costs.”

During 2017, SunLink’s GeoPro showed significant gains in new geographic markets. SunLink recorded 2,400 percent growth in fixed-tilt projects installed in the Midwest, stimulated by large project deployments in high-growth solar states such as Minnesota. Projects in the Southeast region also grew by 142 percent with local utilities expanding their clean energy mix in states such as Florida and Georgia. The Southeast was particularly challenging last year due to numerous hurricanes, high winds and other environmental factors that made GeoPro the go-to solution.

SB Buzz Podcast: SunLink VP on tech, data, diversity and the path forward for solar

Engineered to withstand high wind speeds of more than 150 mph, SunLink’s GeoPro installations weathered the most challenging environmental conditions this past hurricane season in high impact areas such as Florida.

On the tracker front, SunLink’s TechTrack continued to make strides with a five-fold increase in installations over the previous year. In 2017, select sites had the capability to monitor and control tracker performance via Vertex, SunLink’s tracker intelligence platform, providing real-time smart data captured by IoT sensors. For the first time, SunLink was able to show geospatial tracker performance data at the granularity of an individual row.

What’s coming in 2018

In 2018, SunLink will continue to focus on implementing the latest cloud and IoT technologies to make increasingly more intelligent trackers. New features focused on providing additional data analytics as well as firmware improvements to enable data capture from various sources will provide customers with even greater ability to maximize energy production while lowering installation, O&M costs and return-on-investment.

— Solar Builder magazine

This is Certifiable: Ecolibrium Solar walks us through the UL 2703 testing process

ecolibrium solar

Look at all of these. Installers often change modules based on availability, so being able to test in-house is a big time savings.

Simplification is one of the key objectives of the solar industry, but the path to get there, ironically, is super detailed. Removing components to simplify a racking system, being compatible (and compliant) with a broad range of suppliers and just generally re-thinking what’s already been established is a deliberate and labor-intensive trial-and-error process.

The Ecolibrium Solar office in Boulder, Colo., is a monument to the relentless process of simplification, and maybe it’s just the immediate proximity of craft breweries and, um, agricultural entrepreneurs, but the Ecolibrium team seems cool with it. On its face, there is nothing remarkable to see here, just a standard office tucked in the back of an office park, (save all of the tables and cornhole boards made of PV), but located in the warehouse is its product development and testing facility that is a certified partner lab of TÜV Rheinland Group. This partnership is a boon for simplification. Ecolibrium is able to test and certify modules for UL 2703 compliance in seven days and make a priority of the modules that need immediate certification. Without in-house testing, a company must wait until a lab can test the module, which can take up to several weeks or more.

“It’s a big deal and enables us to be very responsive to our customers’ needs,” says Chris Berg, engineering manager. “Installers often change modules based on availability. Being able to test quickly means we can certify modules as needed. Our UL 2703 listings enable customers and plan reviewers to see if the module specified is approved with our products.” In just the last six or seven months alone, Ecolibrium added around 109 modules to its UL 2703 certification listings.

This is what I’m talking about: Being a certified lab for TÜV Rheinland and testing UL compliance is so much work. To maintain the partnership, Ecolibrium must submit reports that prove its testing tools are calibrated properly. These calibration certificates require cross checking and validation of every tool used — covering everything from torque wrenches to tape measures. Yes, even the tape measures must be independently measured to assure validity of results. I’m exhausted just writing about it. Let’s turn this into a series of pictures to make it simpler for an editor like me.

load test

Load Test: The Ecolibrium lab tests modules to this minimum and beyond — for 30 minutes each — checking for any amount of deformation or slippage. They do this with hundreds of pounds of sandbags, depending on target loads, taking photos of each component before and after each test.

Temperature Test

Temperature Test: There is a temperature test that sends the module through several hundred cycles of extreme temperature changes to see if drastic humidity, cold and heat and constant expansion and contraction will affect the bonding.

Grounding and Bonding Test

Grounding and Bonding Test: The electrical part of the grounding and bonding test had the promise of sparks and excitement — sending 5,000 amps into the panel and blowing a fuse to test the resistance between the clamp and the frame in the event of a worst case electrical fault — but the test is still mostly a checklist to prove the accuracy of the testing conditions and the safety of the testers. A panel must pass this twice in a row.

Got all that? In addition to UL testing, Ecolibrium employs an in-house machinist to streamline the development of new prototypes for its racking product portfolio. Once a prototype is ready, it is handed to Jonah Coles, product solutions manager, who was an installer for seven years before joining Ecolibrium, to test from the installer point of view. Again, the trial and error R&D process is labor intensive, but keeping it all in house truncates the timeline from idea to implementation.

“From a prototyping standpoint, we can move from idea generation, to prototype, to optimizing the design, to a finished product much faster,” Coles explains. “Since we’re focused on continual innovations that simplify and improve racking, the ability to machine and test in house makes a huge difference.”

The latest creation to emerge from this laboratory is the EcoFoot5D High Density Ballasted solution that decreases tilt from 10 degrees to 5 degrees and cuts inner row spacing in half, boosting power density on a roof by 18.4 percent, which is a big industry trend these days. Other simplifications nearing completion are reducing the skirt SKUs for EcoX Rail-less from four to two, while increasing the number of module frame thicknesses that are compatible.


Solar Builder Buzz: Rail-less installation

For a solar installer, a new system, however simple, is just another thing to learn. The old “don’t fix what ain’t broke” principle. But Jonah Coles, product solutions manager for Ecolibrium, believes once installers overcome the learning curve for rail-less installation, they won’t go back to using railed systems. That was just one point of discussion with Coles and Chris Berg, engineering manager at Ecolibrium, during episode three of our Solar Builder Buzz podcast. Head to www.blubrry.com/solar_builder_buzz to listen and subscribe.

— Solar Builder magazine

SnapNrack’s new RL System requires only four components

snapnrack rl mounting

SnapNrack announced late last year that it would be debuting its all new RL System, which was to further reduce solar installation times and lower installations costs for customers. Word is that this new RL System is now ready for purchase.

What’s new?

The RL System requires only 4 components for complete assembly with A Mounts, B Mounts, C Links, and Flash Tracks. Flash Tracks secure A Mounts and B Mounts to the roof using patented Umbrella Seal technology.

  • A Mounts align the front of the array with a sleek black finish and drop-in design for module insertion.
  • B Mounts secure the top side of modules and provide drop-in mounting for next row of modules.
  • C Links attach modules within a row and provide both a structural and electrical connection.

SnapNrack believes its RL system is the only one without rails that doesn’t require a skirt to look aesthetically pleasing.

RL provides top-notch wire management solutions for systems that don’t contain rails. New Smart Clips provides intuitive wire management at any point along the module and easily tucks wires away within the module envelope to avoid any unintended removal over time. Wire Savers provide the ability to secure loose wires post module install perfect for last minute wire management.

See it live

On Feb. 7, SnapNrack will host a live online webinar course, Benefits in Speed and Logistics Using the RL System. The course is also registered for one NACEP CE credit. The one hour course will discuss the features and benefits of the new system as well as how logistics are improved by removing rails from the system. Participants can register for online webinar by visiting SnapNrack’s Events Calendar.

— Solar Builder magazine