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A Little Logistics Information Goes a Long Way Toward Smoother Commercial Deliveries

Any type of work at a construction site always requires careful planning, but a solar installation can present unique logistics challenges. Fortunately, there are steps that can help ensure everything turns out well.

“Solar usually comes toward the end of a commercial project,” notes Brandon Carrasco, Director of Customer Solutions at Unirac. “Everyone tends to be itchy to get finished, so the temptation to just assume it will go well is there and pushes the project forward. Even though it’s rare, things don’t always go perfectly.”

“Just about anything can happen in the delivery process,” says Chase Alford, Unirac’s Senior Customer Fulfillment Coordinator. “Truck drivers fall ill just like anybody else, so schedules get turned around at the last second. Also, customers may not deal with material like this too often, so pulling a 20-foot-long bundle of steel that weighs thousands of pounds off a truck might surprise you with what equipment it takes.”

Then there’s natural disasters. The Unirac team has seen floods that closed warehouses and dealt with warehouses that moved a few days before. That’s why we do our best to prepare customers to anticipate anything that might come up, while making sure our processes are in place to be able to handle it.Read More

Ground Screws Open Up More Sites for Ground Mount

Ground screws turn inaccessible or difficult sites into potential locations for ground mount solar installations. Already a leader in pile-driven, cast-in-place, and ballasted foundations, Unirac now offers these versatile new tools and 25-year warranties to go with them.

So, what is a ground screw, exactly?

Think of an ordinary wood screw—the long, tapered, pointy kind with threads—but imagine it a lot bigger (four feet or longer) and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what a ground screw looks like. It’s a type of foundation (atop which are connected the structural beams and module hardware of a system) that has a continuous helix wrapped around a round pipe. They are generally hollow, unlike wood screws. If you’ve seen helical piles, ground screws are similar, but helical piles have a single helix or a helix at two or three points along the structure and are not continuous.Read More

Conduit Bending is a Superpower!

Seldom do you find an industry where individuals from diverse backgrounds can come together to work toward a common goal. I personally never imagined myself in the role I find myself in today. I went from a Broadcast Communication major as an undergraduate to a Theatrical Set Designer in graduate school to an early career working in independent theater and film to retail to marketing, finally landing my first job in solar about nine years ago. I’ve been hooked ever since. Many of you in the industry have similar stories and I am fascinated by them. Who are you, solar heroes? Where did you come from? How did you find your way to solar? What attracted you to the company you work for? What makes your solar career special? Why do you do what you do?Read More

How Soil Types Can Affect Solar Installations

From kilowatt backyard installations to megawatt projects, soils will have an impact on the type and cost of the foundation. A typical saying in geotechnical engineering is, “pay me now or pay me later”. By taking the time and effort to know your site before construction, you can optimize your foundations to save labor, time, material costs, and avoid headaches.

In this article, we will show you the basics of the soils you may encounter.

First, a designer or engineer should know that soils can consist of shallow bedrock, cobbles, and gravel, sand, or clay—each of which can have an impact on the foundations. Shallow bedrock or cobbles and gravel can cause issues with installing pneumatic hammer-driven piles (the upright posts that underpin the arrays) resulting in pile refusal and the need for concrete cast-in-place, ballasted designs, or groundscrew foundations. Sand soils can have low vertical or “pull-out” capacity, requiring deeper foundations. Soft clay can have a reduced lateral capacity, meaning piles can be pushed over, which can result in a need for deeper foundations and larger steel sections to remain stable.Read More

Stay Tuned – New Products Coming Soon

Shipping soon — the best attachment for every flat roof. With the fastest install in the industry and big hardware and labor savings, Unirac’s Flashloc™ RM is the new standard for solar attachments. Thanks to Unirac’s unique Flashloc™ technology, you’ll be able to install our new flat-roof attachment at speeds unmatched by any other, and because you won’t need to heat-weld membranes and can carry a single part for most rooftops, you’ll save on labor on top of the cost savings of the hardware itself. With a huge range of application possibilities and 6,600 lbs. of ultimate uplift offset, you’ll want to make sure Flashloc™ RM is on your radar. Orders being taken now.

To request more information, please click here.


Available soon – SOLOBOX is the only junction box you need for attic runs and rail-mounted applications. Featuring Flashloc Technology, SOLOBOX saves you time and labor on the roof by limiting shingle cutting and prying nails on attic runs. Just secure the box and inject the sealant. For rail-mounted applications, SOLOBOX mounts quickly to Unirac’s J-Box Mounting Bracket and has a low profile design to sit under the panels (where permitted). The box itself can support 2 attic pass throughs and features a hinging lid, a single captive screw, pre-drilled weep holes, and an option for a pre-assembled din rail. Lastly, SOLOBOX is NEMA 3R rated, UL1741 certified and backed by Unirac’s 25 year warranty. Start saving time and labor with the only junction box you’ll ever need – click here for more information.

BETTER SOLAR STARTS HERE WITH YOU

I hope all of you are staying healthy and remain in good spirits. We find ourselves in the middle of Q2 and what may be the peak of the COVID-19 impact on businesses. Many states have successfully slowed the spread of infections and are on a gradual path to opening their economies up again. While health concerns are still paramount and much uncertainty remains around the pandemic and the pace of economic recovery, I am confident that companies will be stepping up. In fact, many of you are already stepping up and finding innovative and creative ways to make solar happen even in these challenging conditions! We are inspired by our resilience, passion and relentless pursuit of a better future. To thank and celebrate all of you Solar Heroes, we are compiling a video and photo gallery. Email your installation photos to us at customer.success@unirac.com and we’ll post them. Together, we will emerge stronger. Better Solar Starts Here with you!

 

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WIRE MANAGEMENT BEST PRACTICES

Wire Management is a vital part of every residential solar photovoltaic (PV) Installation. It is the foundation of efficiency, good production, and safe operation of the array. PV systems are complex, the environment is harsh, and installation can be difficult. As a result, getting wire management right is not always easy, but with quality equipment and best practices you can ensure your wire management will last as long as the rest of the array.Read More

INSTALLER TIPS: SOLARTRAY IS REVOLUTIONIZING PV WIRE MANAGEMENT

Unlike traditional wire management which leaves spans of unsupported wire between attachments, SolarTray supports the entire length of the wire. This continuous support system eliminates the risk of sagging wires that cause failed inspections, expensive service calls and equipment damage. Plus, SolarTray installs faster and costs the same as typical wire clips.Read More

PROMOTE YOUR EXPERTISE WITH UNIRAC’S CERTIFIED INSTALLER PROGRAM

Elevate your brand

During these difficult times, partnerships have never been so important. Unirac is here to offer support. We recognize that solar companies of all sizes are the solar heroes on the front line making solar happen every day. They are out there as essential businesses helping homeowners go solar during this crisis.

Better Solar Starts Here is the perfect way to explain why we launched our Certified Installer Program earlier this year. It is designed to be an asset to our installation partners. Our program focuses on appreciating our partners and helping them amplify their brand through enhanced installer training, specialized marketing, and sales assets that can help boost consumer confidence in the market. The 2019 EnergySage Installer Survey revealed that half of the installers surveyed find customer acquisition to be the largest barrier to growth and 42 percent of installers cite the lack of trained labor as the second-highest barrier. The survey revealed that one in five installers points to the importance of online customer ratings and professional certifications for increasing business. As it turns out, Unirac’s Certified Installer Program is designed to address all these concerns.Read More

SEAMLESS COMMERCIAL SUPPORT DURING COVID PANDEMIC

Continuing to develop and design projects during this pandemic is fraught with challenges. Other partner companies in your value chain furlough portions of staff, slowing their response. Your own team may have even been forced to reduce staff, making things even more difficult. Meanwhile, access to capital and customer preferences drive system design changes.

Delays seem to be coming from all directions. The universal cry of the solar designer and project manager is, “No added friction, please!”

We want you to know that we get it: You win when your project stays on schedule; we are committed to help you meet your schedule. That’s what Better Solar Starts Here means – having the right resources in place to ensure that your project stays on track.Read More