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An Inside Look at Pink Energy’s Design Department

March 1st, 2022 | By Chad McComas

Editor’s note: One of the great values in choosing to go with Pink Energy is that we do nearly all of the behind-the-scenes paperwork in preparation for your installation. And then we install the panels too! To give you a full look at our process, we’re showcasing each of our departments that help get you to the point of installation. Today is our look at the Pink Energy Design Department.

Our solar panel designs are developed by Pink Energy’s team of experts, who push their creativity to the limits for a customer’s solar array. Abhiram Authipudi, our Assistant Director of Design and Engineering, broke down the responsibilities of the department and how the team makes their projects come to life right before a customer’s eyes. Read below to find out what it takes to be a part of the Design Department.

Behind the Solar Designs

Authipudi joined the solar movement with Pink Energy in early 2018 as a PV design engineer in the Mooresville, North Carolina headquarters location. His skills impressed his director so much that on the last day of that year, he was asked to take on additional responsibilities in the Troy, Michigan office. Authipudi took that chance and immediately began building a team from scratch.

“I continued as a PV design engineer here and in a span of six months, they promoted me to a senior PV design engineer,” Authipudi stated. “A year from then, I was promoted to the manager of the design and engineering department.”

In his current Assistant Director role, Authipudi and his team of subject matter experts not only design but also answer any questions related to technical designs.

A Closer Look at Design

The design team has a routine system in place where they fulfill their tasks. Authipudi breaks down the steps :

  1. Solar Proposal Tool: The cutting-edge proposal software used by our sales staff helps us model each customer’s existing roof to develop a visual representation of what our solar panels could look like on their home. However, if the home is new and there is no available aerial view of the roof to examine, or if the aerial view is blocked by tree cover, our sales representative snaps pictures of the roof that allow us to model the house in that way once the photos are uploaded into the system. That initial view serves as the starting point for our design team.
  2. Design and Engineering: The design team collaborates with the permitting, interconnections (ICR), and other internal departments to create a permit package document. Once a Field Energy Consultant (FEC) sells a deal, the team takes that proposal and creates documentation about how the solar panels will be laid out, how the electrical is laid out and the type of materials to be used in the project. Also included is a structural letter, which confirms a homeowner’s roof is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the solar panels. These materials are then sent to the local jurisdictions when applying for permits.
  3. Install Support: Once the system is designed, and all other pieces of the pre-installation phase are complete, our install team can proceed to the customer’s house for installation. The installers typically have little to no issues putting the panels in place. However, if they do run into any problems regarding panel fitting, the installer will reach out to the design department where they will then receive live assistance from a design team member. The design team member will then walk the installer through the different options to simulate the system.

“If something is not fitting in its place, we help the installer solve the puzzle so that they could go ahead and complete the install,” Authipudi stated.

Authipudi and his design team use AutoCAD to create their designs. This is their main bread and butter for the content they create but they also use other systems that cater specially to solar.

More in Store

Our Design Department’s goal is to make its process more efficient. It’s building more automation into their work which will make day-to-day responsibilities easier for the design engineers and other team members and also increase the number of designs they can handle as the business grows. In addition, Authipudi wants to limit the number of revisions his team produces, and he’s working with other departments to ensure that all necessary information is available upfront to make the process as smooth as possible.

The biggest plus for Authipudi and his team is the unity they share as a department. He is proud to know if a situation arises, his team is eager to find a solution and with their tight knit bond, they collectively solve the problem. After working on thousands of projects in 2021, it is evident that they are dedicated to producing great work for customers. In the future, Authipudi would love to see his team go out in the field to gain more practical exposure. He would love to have them view their projects in real life.

“It’s going to give them a much better perspective,” Authipudi said. “They will be able to become even more knowledgeable when it comes to their job.”

Being a member of the Design Department is a privilege Authipudi is more than aware of. He encourages customers to ask more questions so the team can create a system that best suits their needs. He is thankful for the opportunity Pink Energy has offered him and is excited to continue to grow with the company.

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