Installer Interview: Bob Smith, SolarCraft

May 19, 2011

Installer Interview: Bob Smith, SolarCraft

Bob Smith from SolarCraft tells us about installing Enphase on the Police Department in Sonoma, California. If you want to learn more about SolarCraft’s services, visit

Enphase: Tell us about yourself and your company.

Bob: I’m the VP of Sales & Marketing for SolarCraft. We’ve been in the solar commercial and residential business for 27 years with over 4500 installs. We offer PV, solar hot water and solar pool heat and design, installation and service contracts all with our own crews. We love the enthusiasm of our customers and are excited to be helping make the world a better place.

Enphase: What’s your experience been like working with Enphase?

Bob: You’ve got great products! We’ve been using Enphase for about 2 years now for a total of 40 different installations. Enphase microinverters aren’t just a shade solution but also allow much greater flexibility in system design for aesthetics, energy harvest and monitoring. We‘ve definitely modified our design and sales approach to include the Enphase value proposition and this has made us more competitive in the commercial and residential markets.

Enphase: Can you tell us about your most recent Enphase installation?

Bob: The municipality had requested an RFP for putting solar on its police department. They wanted to maximize roof space in order to offset power purchase from the public utility as well as make a “green” statement.

Enphase: Was there anything unique or challenging about the installation?

Bob: Their entire roof area available was subject to the sundial-like shading effect of an 18-inch diameter communications tower. It turned out that traditional shade analysis didn’t recognize the true impact of the shading effect caused by the tower on conventional multi-string inverters. That communications tower would shadow every string in the array at some point during the day.

Enphase: What made Enphase a good solution for this project?

Bob: Enphase was really the only solution that would work. It was the design element that got us the job. In fact, we were surprised to find that Enphase has actually exceeded production projections by 7-10%.

Enphase: How did the municipality like the final product?

Bob: The customer is extremely pleased and even had us do another of the city’s buildings with Enphase. The KWh output is one aspect of that, but they also installed a monitoring display in the public lobby and the shadow of the communications tower rolling across it was very effective.

Enphase: Any other benefits that the customer is receiving from their Enphase system?

Bob: They have energy production above expectations, distributed points of potential failure (versus a single conventional inverter), improved aesthetics, maximized roof space and no DC disconnect (meaning improved safety).

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Thanks for being our first featured installer on our new blog, Bob!


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