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Residential Installations

Dovetail typically designs residential systems using  American-made solar modules manufactured by either SolarWorld or Suniva. These firms make some of the highest quality modules on the planet, and back them up with comprehensive 25 year warranties. Based on our 21 years experience, we have found that although their modules aren't necessarily the cheapest, these companies provide excellent value. They provide great energy production, and are very reliable. They are available with either silver aluminum frames and white backsheets, or for a small premium, with black frames and black backsheets. We typically recommend black framed modules for systems located on the front or highly visible area of a home.
To convert the DC power produced by the solar modules to household AC electricity, we typically utilize SolarEdge Power Optimizers and SolarEdge Inverters. The SolarEdge technology is state-of-the-art, and provides very high efficiency, while also minimizing the impact of partial array shading. Experience has shown that SolarEdge technology is a better performing solution than microinverters or string inverters for most residential applications. The SolarEdge Power Optimizers come with a 25 year warranty. The SolarEdge Inverters come with a standard 12 year warranty that can be easily upgraded to 25 years.
The following are a small sample of the over 250 solar electric systems that have been installed by Dovetail on residential homes sites. They show some of the types of systems and mounting options available.

We designed and installed a 7.7 kW solar system for this home in the Deer Creek subdivision near Toledo. It was utilizes 28 Suniva 275 watt black framed solar modules and SolarEdge Power Optimizers and a SolarEdge SE7600A inverter. The modules are mounted on the roof using QuickMount QuickRack racking. The home was built by DeckerHomes - one of the leading high-efficiency builders in Ohio & Michigan.

We installed an 8.3 kW system on this home. It shows the black framed modules we typically use for residential installations. In this case, they are black framed polycrystalline Sharp 198 watt modules.

We used 38 SolarWorld 270 watt modules to construct this 10.26 kW system. Since the array is on the back of the house, the homeowner elected to go with the lower cost silver-framed modules.

This home has a 8.25 kW system using 33 black framed 250 watt modules with black backsheets. This provides a more uniform look where the individual solar cells are not readily distinguished.

Because of his significant electrical load, this homeowner wanted a solar system larger than would fit only his roof. So we added a 2nd ground mounted array for a total of 13.68 kW. It utilizes 48 SolarWorld 285 watt modules.


This home features Sharp Residential black framed modules, and SRS mounting system. These modules match beautifully with the lines of the roof.


This close-up shows the combination of rectangle and triangle modules used to layout a hip roof. There are 11 Sharp 142 watt rectangular modules, and 6 Sharp 72 watt triangular modules for a total of 1,994 watts in this array section.

This home utilizes Sharp Residential black framed modules, and SRS mounting system. These modules match beautifully with the lines of the hip roof. There are 40 Sharp 142 watt modules and 8 Sharp 72 watt modules for a total of 6,256 watts. They are connected to PVP4800 and PVP2500 inverters. The system provides nearly all the electricity used by this energy efficient home in a year making it a net-zero home!

The home was built by Decker Homes to have one of the highest Energy Star ratings in the state. Because it is so energy efficient, the solar array provides as much electricity as the home uses in a year, making it a net-zero home. Read the home owner's story.

This home owner did not have a good south facing roof area available, so we designed a ground mounted solar system to fit neatly beside their house.

This ground mounted array was located in back of the owner's property.

This family wanted to create a storage area in conjunction with their solar system so a more elaborate ground structure was erected that includes a metal roof under the array. And, of course, a rain barrel to capture the water run-off!

And this home owner wanted some shade over his back deck, so we spaced solar modules in rows to provide cool, but still bright area to enjoy the sun making a significant part of his electricity.


This home features a 2,720 watt Grid-Interactive Solar PV system with Battery Backup. It utilizes building integrated solar shingles that are installed in place of traditional asphalt shingles on the south facing roof.

We installed 160 Uni-Solar 17 watt solar shingles wired to a SMA Sunny Boy 3300U inverter with net metering. We also installed a SMA Sunny Island 4248 grid-interactive inverter & charge controller and a battery bank to provide backup power when the electric grid is down. It enables the family to continue to operate essential loads such as the well pump, sump pump and lighting. It produces approximately 3,225 kWh per year of usable electricity to offset the home's electric bill.

The system was featured in a June 12, 2007 article in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Click here to learn about Uni-Solar's Thin-Film Solar products

This home in has both a Solar Photovoltaic system to produce electricity, and a Solar Thermal system to produce hot water. The PV system uses 18 Sharp 198 watt black framed residential modules feeding a Fronius inverter. The Solar Thermal system uses 2 Heliodyne 408 collectors and a 120 gallon solar storage tank.


This home in Alliance, Ohio has both a Solar Photovoltaic system to produce electricity, and a Solar Thermal system to produce hot water.

The 3,060 watt Grid-Tie Solar PV system on the left features 18 Sharp 170 watt modules wired to a PVP2800 inverter with net metering. It provides an average of 290 kWh per month (about 3,400 kWh per year).

The Solar Thermal system utilizes the two Heliodyne Gobi 408 collectors on the right. They are each 4 ft by 8 ft, and combined provide up to 74,000 BTUs of heat energy on a clear day. They are plumbed in an active, closed loop system. Heat energy is transferred via a double-walled heat exchanger to domestic hot water that is kept in a 119 gallon solar storage tank in the basement .

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