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Hey, turns out shingles exist

No new announcements from manufacturers, but I think I’m now finally caught up with existing listings! Added inverters from Solis, Delta, and Growatt, as well as shingle systems from GAF Energy and Certainteed, along with a new “eBOS” category for MidNite Solar products.

I’ll put the short-n-sweet outline of new and changed things first, but stick around for some commentary afterward, because there’s some interesting implications with these updates.


  • Added tooltips to the website! If you see a colored, underlined word, you can hover over it with your mouse to understand how I’m defining those terms.
  • NEW – Solar shingle products
  • New inverters
  • NEW – eBOS category
  • NEW – Solar Structure category
    • This is a catch-all term for flush mount and ballast racking, as well as solar shingle systems. Basically anything that involves attaching or securing solar modules to a roof
  • Fixed – A bunch of inverters weren’t showing up for the Chiko CK-AR railing page
  • Improved – Cleaned up formatting for racking and inverter pages to make things more uniform and readable. More to do here, but it’s a start.
  • Change – Inverter and Racking Manufacturer pages in the sidebar are now just one page named “All Manufacturers”, that breaks out into Solar Structure, Inverter, and eBOS manufacturer categories

What’s important?

When I discovered there are solar shingle systems with UL 3741 listings, it was a bit of a wild moment for me, because I never once gave a thought to how they were complying with the code. I assumed they had some method of rapid shutdown for each module. But as I thought about it, of COURSE they’d be extremely motivated to get UL 3741 listings; as a result, they’ve been innovating behind the scenes, out of the line of sight of the “mainstream” solar industry.

When Ironridge released their listing with the Tesla inverter/Powerwalls/MCI, the idea of a string-level rapid shutdown felt brand new, since the entire industry just puts inverters right next to the array in a ballast mount setting, to fulfill the voltage cutoff within a foot of the modules. At that time, I couldn’t find anyone else who was making a string-level interrupter; most everything out there is single or dual-module only, for the purposes of 2017 module-level shutdown. I was just looking in the wrong place.

GAF Energy and Certainteed both have UL 3741 solutions in place with string-level shutdown. GAF exclusively lists a series of Delta inverters, and two rapid shutdown devices that can handle up to 600v, the MCI and the Smart RSS, which seem to only work with Delta inverters. Certainteed has multiple inverters listed, but uses an entirely third party string-level shutdown from MidNite Solar, via a SunSpec-enabled rapid shutdown combiner. Theoretically this would physically work with any SunSpec-enabled inverter, but the listing requires MidNite’s SunSpec transmitter (that’s just a fun artifact of how listing things works).

I’ve had companies ask me if I knew of anyone else that made string-level shutdown devices, and I had to shrug my shoulders, point at Tesla, and say “Eh, maybe they’ll license that?” It’s just nice to know there’s already existing options like MidNite Solar’s solution that could easily be adapted to any inverter.

Btw, big shoutout to Duncan Cleminshaw of GAF Energy, who helped me through understanding how solar shingles comply with the code, as well as sending over some datasheets I couldn’t find. You da man! 🤙🏻


As a result of throwing solar shingles in the mix, along with more of what I’ve been calling “ALPEs”, or Array-Level Power Electronics, I needed to rethink some categorizations. It didn’t feel right to add “shingles” or “BIPV” as yet another top-level category, and now that I had more “ALPEs” in the mix, I wanted to find a category that was somewhat recognizable by the industry.

“Solar Structure” is the term I’ve landed on to encompass “racking” and “shingles”. While it still feels awkward to me, it seems like the least wordy way to collate those two categories, while still being adequately descriptive.

“eBOS” is the term I decided to use instead of my home-grown “ALPE” term, meaning “electrical balance of system”. BOS is pretty common in the industry, and feels fairly understandable.

However, since those are both terms that I don’t hear being widely used, I added tooltips throughout the website! On certain terms that I feel may not be immediately understandable, you’ll see the words colored green and underlined by dots. Hover over them and you’ll get the site definition for them so there’s no confusion.

Eventually, I’ll probably completely redo my terminology to adopt more standard industry terms via Orange Button, but I just haven’t had the time for that yet.

What’s next?

While I’ve done some reformatting to structure and inverter product pages, I feel like I still have work to do there. I’d like to have more quickly readable information on each page, such as specifically noting that an inverter is single or 3-phase, DC and AC voltage ranges, etc. I’m open to suggestions about what information you’d find helpful!

Like I noted above, I want to adopt open standards for the taxonomy of this site, but that’s gonna be a lengthy process to figure out and will likely take some time. But I’m all about promoting industry standards that will make all our lives much easier.

I’ll probably add some more pages that are complete lists of various categories on the site. I did, actually, redo the Inverter Manufacturers and Racking Manufacturers pages in the sidebar to be just one manufacturers’ page, but I’d like to do some more of those for people who just want to see huge lists of things to get a sense of what’s out there.

I mean, there’s always gonna be stuff to tweak. If you want to stay up to date on the latest, feel free to subscribe to the RSS feed, or subscribe to the newsletter!

And, as always, if you’ve read this far, consider tossing a coin to your witcher! I’m very happy to provide this website for free, and it’s truly wonderful to me that so many people are finding this to be useful, but it’s just li’l ol’ me doing hosting/design/upkeep. You can buy me a coffee (or 4) if you’d like, and thank you in advance!

solarly yours,
derek the solarboi

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