SolarPod is a solar installation and engineering company based in Burnsville Minnesota. SolarPod designs, manufactures and installs the patented Z-Rack and Z-Lite solar racking systems that allow solar panels to be installed on rooftops without drilling holes into them.
While they install themselves in the local Minnesota area, SolarPod also use installation partners all over the country that can install their patented roof racks. Their “Plug and Play” ground mounted systems arrive prefabricated and can also be self installed with minimal effort.
Solarpod was founded in 2009 by Mouli Vaidyanthan, PhD, PE, who has over 20 years of engineering experience. Originally called Mouli Engeneering, the company changed its name to SolarPod in 2011 to reflect the development of their patented installation systems.
SolarPod Services and Specifics
Solar Panels and Products
SolarPod manufacture their own solar panels and racks. They also offer ground mount and DIY solutions.
Solarpod offers the Z-Rack for sloped roof solar installations. The Z-Rack is a racking system that allows panels to be installed on gable and sloped roofs without the need to put holes. This is possible because of the counterbalance design that creates a downforce on the solar panels. This downforce presses them against the roof, similar to the action of a spoiler on a car. The Z-Rack system has been wind tunnel tested, and can withstand wind speeds of up to 130MPH.
The Z-Lite is designed for flat roofs. It is approximately 45% lighter than regular solar installation methods, and sits above the roof surface allowing for airflow. This keeps the building below cooler.
Solarpod offer both on grid and off grid DIY “Plug and Play” kits ranging from 1.3 to 4kw. You can purchase these kits both with, or without an inverter.
You can also find some of their ready made kits in retailers such as Lowes.
Installation Costs and Processes
Using SolarPod’s patented racks, there is a larger initial outlay for their product. As holes don’t need to be drilled in the roof, the SolarPod installation process is a lot quicker than regular solar installations, this reduces the labour cost of a solar install. These two things balance each other out, and installing a SolarPod Z-Lite or Z-Rack is comparable in price to a regular solar installation.
Customers report that the cost of installing a SolarPod rack and solar system is good value. As installation is so simple, the main cost of a SolarPod is for the hardware. Because of the quick installation time, customers find that the prices quoted to them before installation match up to their final costs.
SolarPod also offer financing through their Z-Plan, where only 50% of the cost is required upfront. You then buy down the rate of your electricity as you go. The Z-Plan lasts for 20 years, but you can buy out of it at any time. They also offer loan options if a customer prefers it.
Solarpod will also assist with any government rebate applications that you are entitled to.
SolarPod has been accredited by the BBB since 2018. They also hold a Minnesota Building Contractor Licence, as well as a Minnesota Electrical Contractor Licence. They are a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional.
Mouli Vaidyanthan, PhD, PE, the owner of SolarPod has over 20 years of engineering experience. He also holds the patents for his original hole-free solar racking systems.
SolarPod is a large company with many positive online reviews, and are very transparent and open with their procedures, and how to contact them. This leads us to feel that they are a legitimate and reliable company.
SolarPod Customers have reported to be very happy with their systems. With no complaints with the BBB, and 5 star ratings on multiple review sites. One customer got in contact with Mouli to increase their existing solar panel capacity. He was very happy with the outcome. The customer appreciated that the racking system allowed more panels to be easily added without all of the wring needing to be re-done.
SolarPod is a very responsive company. You can get in contact with them very easily when required, and they are very happy to answer any questions that you may have. They are a quality company that offers a unique solar option.
The SolarEmpower view
SolarPod is a solar installer and bespoke manufacturer of solar racking that have a great reputation. They deliver a quality product that prevents holes needing to be drilled into your roof, at a great price point.
As they work with many industry partners, SolarPod can be installed wherever you live, and their Owner Mouli is always happy to assist and advise in any way needed.