The Building and Construction Industries

Wall of Shame

for Unacceptable Solar Installations.

  

Rules for a Good Solar Design:

Before we get started, lets identify what a good solar installation looks like...

  • -Clean design.
  • -No exposed pipes.
  • -Pipes not going over the peak of the roof to access another array.
  • -No exposed junction boxes.
  • -Inverter located inside or hidden from the front.
  • -Railing under the panels cut flush with the side of the array.

Installer Notes:  Did we mention UGLY?  This one violates almost all of our good solar design rules.  Pipes everywhere.  Junction boxes exposed.  Pipes going over the peak of the roof.  Instead of coordinating the move of the satellite dish, the designers skipped a panel.  The sad part is that the salesman upsold the homeowner on the purchase of a "skirt" (shown on the top array) which blocks street view of the solar racking underneath the panels.  OK but what about blocking the view of all the rest?

The Background: 

When the national companies (Solar City, Vivint, Direct Energy, Sunrun, NRG, Sunedison, Sungevity, etc...) arrive in any new region, they change the face of local solar and with it, the quality of installations rapidly declines.  Why?  Because they are all about speed.  When local companies take the time to install correctly with a 3-4 man crew for a day, the national companies install the same system in 4 hours.  By the way, many of these national companies have closed their doors during 2017.  Perhaps there is a correlation between cheap, fast and UGLY installs and a non-sustainable business model....

Installer Notes: 

Another pipe right above the front door of this home.  Note another salesman upsell of the "skirt" to block the view under the panels...  Who cares about under the panels if you have to look at that pipe every day when returning from work!!!

Installer Notes:

The Solar install aside, did the installer forget to do a shade analysis?

Installer Notes:

None of that piping in necessary.  Spend the extra time and hide the wire under the solar panels and in the attic space inside the house.  The conduit around the gutter could have easily been rerouted  thru the soffit. 

 Installer Notes: 

Lazy installers at its finest!  Inverters on the front of the house.  Piping and junction box visible from the curb.  Piping wrapping around the gutter.  Piping over the top of the roof to another array.  And yes, another salesman upsell of the "skirt" to block the view under the panels from the side yard.

Need help selecting a credible solar company?  Download your free solar company checklist via the link on the right.  Its in Microsoft Word format so you cvan easily edit the file for your own needs....

Installer Notes: 

Piping should have been hidden given the attick space available.  Also, they didnt have to pipe around the gutter.  Junction box on top of the three panels.  Very sloppy work!

Installer Notes: 

Piping gone wild.  Not 1 but 2 pipes run down the side roof.  I knocked on the door and asked the homeowner if they had a vaulted ceiling in the second floor.  Of course, the answer was no.  This house is on a corner lot so everyone sees this double pipe run.

Installer Notes: 

The top row of panels is beyond the edge of the ridge between the front and side roofs.  How did this pass the building inspector?

Installer Notes: 

Piping across the back of the house.  From the side roof vent, we can see that this house has attic space that could have been used to hide the piping but it takes extra work.  Also, note the blue tarp over the right array...must be a leak.

Installer Notes: 

Piping exposed on this small 1 story ranch home.

Installer Notes: 

Piping over the gutter, over the top ridge of the roof and even in front of the panels closest to the street directly above the front door of the house.  UUGGHH!!!