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Take the Direct Path to the Sun

Selling solar energy systems to your customers is great in theory, but it's not always so simple in execution; the need to make extensive (and expensive) modifications to the building, as well as the potential safety concerns, may have been a barrier for many of your clients. Now, there's something new under the sun: a method of collecting solar energy and feeding it directly into a rooftop HVAC unit, which is simpler to install and safer than traditional solar-energy solutions.

To reduce installation time on solar projects, choose a solar-ready rooftop unit (like the Energence® rooftop unit from Lennox with optional SunSource® Commercial Energy System) designed to accept simple-to-install, plug-and-play solar collection modules. Each module has its own microinverter that allows it to independently convert the energy it has collected and deliver it to the RTU. The SunSource system’s design allows it to be installed on roofs of virtually any shape or size, and requires 80% fewer parts than traditional systems.

Improving solar reliability

Sending converted energy directly into the rooftop unit avoids the reliability issues of traditional single-inverter systems. With traditional systems, if one solar module fails, all modules are affected and overall performance is reduced. With a microinverter in each solar panel, the failure of one module doesn’t affect the energy output of the entire system.

When the modules are connected to the solar-ready unit, they will supply needed energy directly into the HVAC system. If the rooftop unit cycles off, the converted solar energy is supplied to other devices in the building that consume electricity, such as light bulbs and computers. The system can even send surplus energy back to the grid to help your customers qualify for utility credits.

To create surplus energy, the newest solar technology is scalable, easily expanded at any time simply by adding more solar modules without a system redesign. This provides flexibility as building needs change or a business takes the next steps toward net-zero buildings. The SunSource system from Lennox – which works solely with solar-ready Energence rooftop units – allows the addition of up to 21 solar modules per rooftop unit.

Making safety and security high priority

Many traditional solar power systems use a high-DC-voltage line that can reach up to 600 volts. These lines run the length of the entire building with no easy way to disconnect the power from the main building panel in the event of a building fire or other emergency. Choosing a system that uses microinverters with a maximum peak voltage of 50V is a safer choice. In the event of a power outage, the microinverters will stop transmitting energy both to the rooftop unit and the main building panel.

Superior system control

With the new solar-energy systems, the available software provides a superior level of control over the solar-energy system and how it meets the organization's needs. For example, the SunSource system includes a program that monitors real-time system performance, energy production and environmental benefits. As peak hours for solar energy production correspond with peak energy demand, the feedback will be both impressive and invaluable to your customers concerned with demonstrating their environmental stewardship.

Finally, Lennox’ SunSource system also helps buildings meet the ASHRAE 189.1 requirement to be solar ready and the LEED® EAC2 credit for on-site renewable energy.

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