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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. 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

  5. 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.


  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC)

    Added by Camilla Jacks on 10/13/2011

    In a grid-tied Solar PV System unused energy can be sent back to the utility at the grid connection. Solar PV system owners receive utilit

    Article – 4 comments

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Solyndra’s Bankruptcy and the Future of US Solar Manufacturing

    Added by New Contact on 09/26/2011

    On August 31, 2011, American solar module manufacturer, Solyndra announced bankruptcy.

    Article – 1 comment

  13. Pros and Cons of Battery Backup PV Systems

    Added by Guest on 09/14/2011

    Since PV systems produce electricity directly from sunlight and maximize the efficiency of energy collection, it may seem like adding or c

    Article – 1 comment

  14. How To Choose An Electrical Circuit Breaker

    Added by Romain Mirouse on 08/19/2011

    What is a circuit breaker?


  15. The Advantages of a PV Monitoring System

    Added by Kevin Tai on 08/08/2011

    Other than the obvious soiling that occurs on the face of a module, how can a PV system owner know that they are producing their rated pow

    Article – 2 comments

  16. 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

  17. Standing Seam Metal Roof Application

    Added by Ken Crawley on 07/06/2011

    I rebuilt my roof for 150 MPH winds, or for the zombie-near miss tornado.  It is 22 gauge steel, white color with 85% reflectance.  The se

    Article – 9 comments

  18. Field Inspection Guidelines for PV Systems

    Added by Levent Bas on 06/23/2011

    We would like to introduce the  "Field Inspection Guidelines for PV Systems" (pdf) , a report by Brooks Engineering.


  19. Calculation of Array Tilt Angle based on Time Of Use (TOU)

    Added by Brian Hansen on 06/06/2011

    To determine the ideal tilt for your application, the following information is needed: whether you're optimizing your arra


  20. Solar Photovoltaic Expedited Permit Process

    Added by Levent Bas on 05/27/2011

    Bill Brooks from Brooks Engineering published a very helpful report that presents the Expedited Permit Process for small-scale photovoltai


  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. Galvanic Corrosion and Protection in Solar PV Installations

    Added by Levent Bas on 05/16/2011

    What is galvanic corrosion?


  23. Online Battery Sizing Tool

    Added by Levent Bas on 04/28/2011

    CivicSolar launched two off-grid solar calculators last week.


  24. NEMA Rating and IP Code for Enclosure Types

    Added by Levent Bas on 04/14/2011

    NEMA stands for National Electrical Manufacturer Association.


  25. 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