Building a US company to manufacture solar PV mounting systems

by John Humphrey

Institution: KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Year: 2015
Keywords: solar; energy; mounting; manufacturing; plastic; roof; photovoltaics; Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering; Energy Engineering; Teknik och teknologier; Maskinteknik; Energiteknik; Teknologie masterexamen - HÃ¥llbar energiteknik; Master of Science - Sustainable Energy Engineering; Energy Technology; Energiteknik
Record ID: 1338753
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-160512


This paper describes the process of developing a product for the solar industry. It is the story of starting a business in the solar market by designing a product, manufacturing the product and growing sales to over $1 million USD in 2011 and 2012. The author is describing the actual details of a manufacturing company that produces solar racking systems in the USA. The author founded the company in 2009 and left the company at the end of 2012. The document describes the changing landscape of the racking sector of the US PV market, and makes the case for industry standards in solar module dimensions. The range of current sizes of solar modules is described. The inconsistency in sizes creates additional overhead for manufacturers to accommodate different sized parts to hold the different solar panels. A uniform standard size would result in cost reductions for the end customers.