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LAST UPDATED: February 12th, 2020

Launched in 2008, Solar FlexRack (SFR) offers solar trackers, racking, and solar installation support services. SFR is a division of Northern States Metals (NSM), which has been in operation since 1972. 

Based in Youngstown, Ohio, this firm works with large commercial and utility-scale solar clients, on both domestic and international projects. The Solar FlexRack product was developed in 2009 by NSM, and it helped to reduce installation time by an estimated 75 percent. It offers ad hoc or turnkey solutions, including custom-designed solar mount and racking systems and offers lots of options. 

In addition to solar racking products for commercial and utility-scale energy projects, SFR also offers the following services to make your project run more smoothly: 

  • Engineering
  • Racking design
  • Geotechnical eval
  • On-site pull testing
  • Foundation design
  • On-site training
  • Project management
  • Field support
  • Layout design
  • Install support

Solar FlexRack has contributed to more than two GW of solar projects in 40 states and five countries.

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The Good

  • Solar Racking Specialties
  • Solar Project Support and Expertise
  • Project Manager
  • Cost-Reducing Innovation
  • Preferred Installer Program
  • Climate Expertise

Solar Racking Specialties

Solar FlexRack's process includes planning, design, parts manufactured to unique specifications to allow for quick assembly. Modules slide easily into place with several rack and mounting options, including fixed tilt racking, ground mount, and single axis. 

Trackers: 

  • TDP Turnkey Tracker
  • TDP 2.0 with BalanceTrac

Fixed Tilt

  • G3-X
  • G3L

Ballasted

  • Cast in place (CIP)
  • Pre-cast

Solar Project Support and Expertise

Since 2012, SFR has added expert services to its original racking system expertise. The company's staff of designers, engineers, and technical staff were experts at designing the racking systems, but they also have lots of experience and expertise in installing solar projects. This led SFR to offer value-added services, including geotechnical reporting, pull/pull testing, and field services. 

To make sure everything is being installed properly, SFR offers an on-site field tech, at no extra cost to clients. 

FlexRack also offers ongoing safety testing for multiple purposes, including the following: 

  • electrical bonding
  • life cycle
  • structural load
  • wind tunnel

Project Manager

Each client is assigned a project manager as a point of contact during the planning and installation process. Your project manager will keep you informed, hold weekly meetings during installation, and provide detailed product delivery information. 

The aim is to make the process go smoothly and stay on schedule. SFR can even provide additional equipment to make installation faster and cut down on labor costs. 

Cost-Reducing Innovation

Solar FlexRack products are designed pre-assembled for easy installation and trouble-free projects. Customization comes with the configuration, terrain, and climate adaptation. Racks are lightweight and made from recyclable material. They require minimal to no secondary on-site machining to install. Racks work with frames and thin-film modules.

It also uses a fine-tuned supply chain that aims for the most effective delivery possible, with the fewest trucks and the least amount of handling possible. This helps cut costs while providing a high-quality product. 

Preferred Installer Program

SFR connects customers with a network of preferred solar installers in the United States and Canada. These are teams that are familiar with the company's products, trained by Solar FlexRack staff, and have already successfully installed the company's products. 

This ensures that the solar panel install team doesn't have to spend extra time (on your dime) learning how to install the solar panels into SFR's racking system. It boosts the efficiency of solar installations. 

Climate Expertise

Not only has the Solar FlexRack team designed solar foundations in the Carribean, but it has also done the same in Alaska. The team has special strategic knowledge when frost is a factor. 

It uses methodical methods to determine exactly what you need with factors including soil, site conditions, and geography.

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The Bad

  • Not for Home Energy Projects

Not for Home Projects

Solar FlexRack is a large scale solar power specialist. It works on commercial, utility, and community solar projects. They aren't going to help with the installation of home solar systems. For that, you need to look into other solar companies.

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The Bottom Line

Solar FlexRack is one of the leading manufacturers of racking solutions for large-scale clean energy projects. It offers engineering, mounting technology, and project support for utility and commercial clients. SFR's offers innovative racking products, with a variety of solutions, as well as advisory services to customize to your specific solar farm install. 

The company's holistic view of each client's energy project looks at not just the best, easiest, most cost-effective and labor-reducing rack install, but offers turnkey services to plan and engineer in the best ways on your site. SFR also offers ongoing maintenance and safety testing services to care for your solar projected after the install. 

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