Meet Megan Parker, National Account Manager

Business Unit and Job Title

Testing & Balancing (T&B) National Account Manager

What does your job entail?

I “quarterback” and work with a team of five individuals supporting the T&B needs of national accounts including retail chains and restaurant groups.

What is your personal philosophy?

Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.

What did you do before coming to Melink?

I worked for a global IT recruiting organization as a Network Infrastructure Recruiter for three years.

What is your favorite aspect of working at Melink?

I love the fast-paced environment and the project management aspect of my role. Overall, I really enjoy working for a smaller organization that values their employees.

What do you like to do in your time off?

Bargain shopping and house DIY projects.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.

I went to middle school with Jennifer Lawrence. She was a grade above me, but we’re still in the same yearbook!

What are you most proud of?

Paying off my student loans.

What are your hopes for our industry?

I want my children, when the day comes,  to grow up in a world where incorporating discussions and actions of environmental sustainability have become the norm in every industry and aspect of life.

Re-Deployable Commercial Solar Systems

There are many barriers for property owners who are considering adding commercial solar capabilities to their buildings. Barriers may include installation cost, installation time, debt financing, and structural integrity of the roof. To help combat these obstacles, solar installation providers are trying to find the best ways to reduce hurdles and make commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) more appealing.

For instance, a few companies around the globe are rolling out re-deployable solar “pods,” modular systems that can be set up in a fraction of the time compared to traditional solar installs.

One such company is Scatec Solar, a Norwegian developer specializing in emerging markets. Scatec has designed a 200-kilowatt (kW) containerized solar PV system. Crews can install about one megawatt (MW) per week in this fashion. According to Scatec, the most cost-effective lease contract would have a power-purchase agreement period around 10 years. However, for higher rates, this could be shortened to as little as two years. Once the period is up, the panels can be removed and deployed elsewhere.

Another example involves the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which has announced funding for an Australian startup, Solpod. As part of their re-deployable solar strategy, Solpod will run a trial of re-deployable systems at 25 sites for a total of 2.5 MW. Additionally, Solpod’s racking system is fixed to the roof with an industrial-strength adhesive, eliminating the need to make rooftop penetrations or to install heavy ballast blocks on the roof.

Re-deployable commercial solar system on business rooftop
Re-Deployable Commercial Solar System on Rooftop
Photo Credit: Solpod

Potentially, this design could sway a concerned building owner’s perspective, especially if the roof needs replaced in a few years or if they plan to move locations. Solpod’s product can even be chartered for a period to match a business’ lease, if renting their space.

So what does this mean for the future of solar? Simply put, these modular, re-deployable solar systems could be a groundbreaking install method for commercial properties everywhere.


Solar Industry News Updates: November 2019

Quickly catch up on the latest solar industry news…

Bifacial Solar Panels:

In January 2018, the Trump Administration introduced new trade tariffs targeted against China. The tariffs started at 30% and are set to step down by 5% every year until they expire in 2022. In June, the U.S. removed the 25% tariff on bifacial solar panels, as there is no major U.S. manufacturer producing them; therefore, there is no industry to protect. Four months later, the Trump Administration announced that effective October 28, 2018, the exemption would be rescinded.

In the latest twist, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has successfully won a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the withdrawal of the Section 201 import tariffs exemption on the importation of bifacial solar modules. The TRO is effective for 14 days through Nov. 21 unless the court rules on the matter earlier.

Bifacial modules offer the potential for lower LCOE (Levelized Cost of Electricity), due to higher module output with both sides of the solar panel generating electricity. Learn more about bifacial modules and Melink’s testing.


SunPower:

SunPower announced on November 11 that it plans to spin off its manufacturing business with a nearly $300 million investment by China’s Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor. The move would effectively split the company into two: one part focused on overseas solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing, the other focused on distributing and installing solar panels and energy storage.

Ultimately, the partnership with Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor to manufacture modules will form a new company, Maxeon Solar, that will be headquartered in Singapore. You can read more about this development here.


PV Patent Infringement:

Hanwha Q Cells attempted to shut competitors out of the U.S. market by filing a complaint in March that Longi Solar, Jinko Solar, and REC Group were all infringing on a patent filed in 2008. It now appears that all three companies will emerge victorious, as the case is now stayed with a judgment of non-infringement expected in the coming weeks, according to a filing from the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Hanwha does have a few avenues to challenge the outcome, and the company stated in an email that it plans to “immediately appeal” the determination to commissioners once possible.

Using Data to Evaluate Building Health

What is the most valuable resource in the world? If you said time, I can’t argue with that… However, if you said a commodity like gold, coal, or even oil, you may be shocked to learn that not even these precious natural resources compare to the inherent value of a certain intangible object. I’m talking about data — more specifically, the data that allows us to make mission-critical decisions about building health.

We live in a period known as “The Digital Revolution,” where the once groundbreaking mechanical inventions of the 20th century have been enhanced by the digitization of computer software and automated control systems. Bookkeeping now consists of populating Microsoft Excel worksheets, medical records are now analyzed by computers, and checks can now be deposited with a smartphone camera. These advances in technology have, without a doubt, made our lives easier. However, many of us are overlooking the most valuable byproduct of using these machines, which is the collected data itself.

The practice of interrelating computing devices for the sake of transferring data over a digital network is known as the Internet of Things (IoT). This shared system of information allows us to collect data using multiple machines to ultimately assist humans in making better decisions.

Melink Corporation has always strived to be ahead of the curve when it comes to modernizing its products for better data acquisition.

For instance, our Intelli-Hood® kitchen ventilation system was the first of its kind back in the early 1990s. Our engineers have since continued to evolve its firmware to better integrate with building automation systems so that building owners can more closely monitor energy consumption. Users can log in to a cloud-based portal to extract real-time data to better manage their utilities. Thirty years after its inception, Melink continues to lead the industry by advancing green energy building solutions.   

In February 2019, Melink Corporation pushed the envelope for how building owners keep their workspaces healthy by launching a new product that is the first of its kind. Much like how a smartwatch can closely monitor your physical health, PositiV™ is a device that monitors your building’s health.

Components of building health
Melink Corporation’s PositiV™ system helps monitor building health.

About the size of a thermostat, PositiV ™ houses a variety of sensors to detect temperature, relative humidity, CO2 levels, and building pressure. This data is collected and transferred to our online portal where users can view the live data and trend it over time. For facilities managers who operate a network of buildings across multiple cities and states, PositiV™ allows them access critical data that can both justify costly HVAC improvements and warn against sick building syndrome. How is this possible? Melink’s software developers have implemented machine-learning algorithms and data visualization tools to harness the full potential of this invaluable building health data. After all, data means almost nothing if it’s not thoroughly analyzed and effectively interpreted.

Similar to how doctors check blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body temperature to diagnose a patient, PositiV™ can connect seemingly unrelated data sets to draw conclusions about building health.

Building owners, feel more empowered to make the critical decisions you need to keep your occupants comfortable.  Calculate how PositiV™ can help you save money and improve building health.