Solar Power Hardware Highlights

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by Ryan Mayfield & Joe Schwartz

For solar energy gearheads like us, nothing beats a few days on the Solar Power Conference exhibit floor. Inside, manufacturers from around the world debut new PV and solar thermal products, and share visions of equipment that's on the horizon. The excitement surrounding the product innovations on display is palpable, and you can't help but get the sense that big things are underway in renewable energy equipment research and development.

The equipment on the following pages is just some of the hardware that caught our eye at the show. Some of the included products will decrease installation time, others offer fixes to current equipment limitations, and some interesting trends are mentioned as well. The hardware listed spans the residential and commercial RE markets.

Note that some of the showcased products are not currently in production or available in the United States, and some haven't yet been listed by Underwriters Laboratories or an equivalent certification agency. But all of the gear that follows is promising, cutting-edge technology, and while not all of the products covered will result in dramatic changes in RE system design or installation, there are sure to be more than a few success stories here.

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