Featured IQ Installer: Derek Wadsworth of Solar Works
Installer Name: Derek Wadsworth, Owner at SolarWorks!
Company Name: SolarWorks! LLC
City/State/Country: Durango, CO, USA
We love talking to our Elite IQ Installers and asking them questions about their pioneering work in the renewable energy industry.
This week, we had a chance to catch up with Derek Wadsworth, Owner of Solar Works, and our featured Elite IQ Installer for February 2021! Derek shared his experience with successful home solar and storage installations, his favorite benefits of working with SimpliPhi batteries, and offers some tips and tricks for other installers.
1. How long have you been in business and what type of installations do you typically do?
SolarWorks has been serving Southwest Colorado and the Four Corners region for 15 years. We primarily install residential and small-medium commercial solar PV projects, and regularly install off-grid and hybrid grid-tied systems with battery back-up.
2. What are some of the most common installation needs for your customers that require energy storage?
We live in beautiful Durango, Colorado so many of our customers with energy storage needs are for off-grid homes & cabins in the surrounding mountains, and for some customers who just want to live free of utility reliance. More recently as our primary utility is managing hosting capacity issues, we have begun using solar plus energy storage for grid-tied, zero-export systems to help the utility better manage their load profile in rural areas.
3. What is your favorite project involving SimpliPhi Batteries?
One recent favorite project is a grid-tied, zero-export system we custom designed for a client in a unique situation. The utility first denied his solar application, but he was so eager to go solar so we worked with the utility to build a zero-export, grid-tied system. He will charge his brand new SimpliPhi battery bank during the day, power his home from the batteries at night, and may eventually be able to help the utility during high-peak hours by discharging batteries when it’s most beneficial to do so. This installation was so easy and quick – we were literally able to simplify our installation process because the SimpliPhi batteries play so nicely with the Sol-Ark inverters. The programming & monitoring capabilities of this equipment is a game changer for the role energy storage can play in grid management.
4. Share some interesting feedback you have gotten from customers regarding energy storage installations?
SolarWorks’ SimpliPhi customers love the size & look of the battery bank; it’s not a garage full of batteries that look like car batteries. Another interesting piece of feedback we receive from customers is how much they enjoy being able to interface with the batteries, inverter, and discharge profile in real time. There is an incredible amount of detail available in the monitoring applications, and it’s impressive to see how well they play together. One customer noted watching a cloud go over and simultaneously seeing the solar production drop for a moment, then come back in full as the cloud passed; it’s very interesting to see so clearly and helps engage customers with their energy consumption and generation. No maintenance lithium is always a big selling point too.
5. What are some tips and tricks you have for other SimpliPhi Elite IQ installers?
Find equipment that plays nice with each other. Pairing SimpliPhi with Sol-Ark smart-inverters seems to work the best for us, simple, easy and straightforward. And getting your eyes on your batteries & systems whenever possible is key.