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Tech Help

Got a question? Take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of other CivicSolar members. Have a special skill or tip to pass on? Consider posting an article and adding to the depth of the CivicSolar knowledge base.

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  1. How much of a load does a solar array add to a roof?

    Added by Onur Turna on 02/15/2012

    Evaluating the ability of a roof to support solar panels requires assessing the condition and construction of th


  2. What are the major roof types for installing solar?

    Added by Onur Turna on 01/03/2012

    As long as there is enough space and enough access to the sun, solar panels can be installed on just about any roof.

    Article – 5 comments

  3. How to find rafters on a roof for a solar installation

    Added by Onur Turna on 01/02/2012

    Safety Note:  Whenever working on a roof, use adequate fall protection.  An essential part of installing PV racking

    Article – 1 comment

  4. Electrical Noise Emissions from a Solar PV Inverter / Charger

    Added by Damian Waco on 01/02/2012

    Electrical interference is a problem that might be encountered with solar power system electronics.

    Article – 1 comment

  5. How do you space a ground-mounted array?

    Added by Phil Green on 12/19/2011

    Here are some  pointers for a well designed ground-mounted array.

    Article – 1 comment

  6. Can an inverter be installed outdoors?

    Added by Damian Waco on 12/13/2011

    There are many inverters for PV systems that can be installed outdoors.


  7. Solar Powered Water Pumping

    Added by Damian Waco on 12/05/2011

    Any renewable energy source can make the electricity needed to power various appliances, including pumps.

    Article – 2 comments

  8. String Inverter or microinverter, which is the right way to go?

    Added by Damian Waco on 11/29/2011

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  9. How Heat Affects Solar Panel Efficiency

    Added by Damian Waco on 11/08/2011

    Normal.dotm 0 0 1 120 684 5 1 840 12.0

    Article – 5 comments

  10. How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

    Added by Damian Waco on 11/01/2011

    The number most often referenced for the lifetime of a Silicon (Si) based solar panel is about 25 years.  Solar panels are an expensive up

    Article – 2 comments

  11. Solar Power for Charging The Electric Car

    Added by Phil Green on 10/21/2011

    Many people forget that most electric cars are recharged by plugging into an electric grid which is customarily fueled by coal, nukes or o

    Article – 2 comments

  12. Sizing the DC Disconnect for Solar PV Systems

    Added by Stuart Fox on 10/20/2011

    A solar PV system typically has two safety disconnects. The first is the PV disconnect (or Array DC Disconnect).

    Article – 6 comments

  13. Balance of System (BOS) for Solar PV

    Added by Guest on 10/10/2011

    A Solar PV Balance-of-System or BOS refers to the components and equipment that move DC energy produced by solar panels through the conver

    Article – 1 comment

  14. Microinverter Application for Off-Grid PV Systems

    Added by Guest on 10/06/2011

    Approximately 5%-30% of collected energy is lost or wasted while an inverter converts DC power from solar PV to AC power. Inverter efficie

    Article – 5 comments

  15. Transformerless Inverters for Solar PV

    Added by Guest on 09/26/2011

    What is a transformerless (TL) inverter?

    Article – 4 comments

  16. Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) Certification

    Added by New Contact on 09/22/2011

    NRTL certification means your solar panels and solar modules conform to safety, health, and environmental standards as required by: NEC

    Article – 3 comments

  17. How To Choose An Electrical Circuit Breaker

    Added by Romain Mirouse on 08/19/2011

    What is a circuit breaker?


  18. Pure Sine vs. Modified Sine Wave Inverters

    Added by Onur Turna on 08/04/2011

    Both photovoltaic modules and batteries use direct current (DC) power.


  19. Solar Panel Cleaning

    Added by Kevin Tai on 07/29/2011

    When it comes to keeping your solar panels clean, the most asked questions are why, how, and how often?  Why keep solar panels clean?

    Article – 9 comments

  20. Enphase M215 - Next Generation Microinverter

    Added by Levent Bas on 06/02/2011

    Enphase Energy has just launched their next generation microinverter.

    Article – 4 comments

  21. Fuse Ratings and Choosing the Correct Fuse

    Added by Levent Bas on 05/23/2011

    One of the most important aspects of electrical wiring of photovoltaic systems is fusing.

    Article – 2 comments

  22. NEMA Rating and IP Code for Enclosure Types

    Added by Levent Bas on 04/14/2011

    NEMA stands for National Electrical Manufacturer Association.


  23. Mounting Grounding Lugs and Grounding Clips

    Added by Levent Bas on 04/11/2011

    Grounding lugs and clips rank among the most important parts of photovoltaic systems.

    Article – 2 comments

  24. Technical Support Contacts of Solar Manufacturers

    Added by Levent Bas on 03/29/2011

    Below is a list of direct technical support contact telephone numbers of the solar panel, inverter, charge controller, battery and racking

    Article – 2 comments

  25. Buy American (ARRA) Compliant Solar Panels

    Added by Levent Bas on 03/28/2011

    A detailed desciption on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the Buy American provision can be found in the recent artic

    Article – 4 comments