Last week we featured REFUsol super snazzy high efficiency solar transformerless inverters technology in our Commercial Solar PV Construction Mega Lab. Commercial solar is currently the fastest growing segment of the solar industry. To keep up with the current staffing demands of this expanding and rapidly transforming industry, we here at Boots work hard to keep our curriculum filled with the most current and high quality technology.

We are happy to be teaching our students on some of the best technology in the industry. REFUsol has been in the inverter industry since the 1960s, when they began building inverters for drive systems and energy converters for trains. They have now grown to become one of the top manufacturers in the world delivering 3-phase string and central PV inverters.

Students learning about REFUsol transformerless
inverter technology.

REFUsol is a post from: Boots On The Roof

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Vertical Jump Guide – Vertical Explosion Program – Com W/ Upsells, the Fall Protection Experts, Offer Tips For DIY Roofers: Smart Steps To Take Before Starting – From Personal Health to Fall Protection Equipment

Mc Farland, WI (Vocus) July 6, 2009

Recently, a fall protection company who serves companies and individuals needing fall protection equipment, has developed a tip sheet to provide help and knowledgeable support for DIY Roofers. There are many different types of DIYers out there and before undertaking DIY projects they must analyze their project to see if it’s something they want to attempt after considering their ability, safety, cost and scope of project. Taking a comprehensive look at everything – from personal health to fall protection equipment means less unpleasant surprises later which cost time and money.

There is quite a bit of conflicting advice for DIYers who are considering roofing their own home. Some naysayers try to frighten with their advice while others go the other extreme, saying it’s easy. One Midwestern Roofing business said that 99% of DIY roofs have incorrect application and should leave it to the professionals. While incorrect application can cause roofing problems, this extreme advice doesn’t take into account the different levels of DIYers. Rick Hudson, a DIY who successfully roofed his own home, found that a team of friends, proper research, and hard work saved him at least two thousand dollars. “Like with any DIY project, the key is not being afraid of asking questions, even multiple times. Asking experts from where I bought my supplies and asking experienced friends was very helpful.”

One of the first questions a potential DIY roofer should ask themselves is have they considered ALL the costs?

Consider these three questions:

Safety: Can the project be done safely? Roofing a ranch style house verse a three story Victorian house is very different in safety requirements. This is not to say more complicated homes can’t be done, but different safety investments must be considered.

Health: Roofing is not rocket science but it is back breaking work. Up and down ladders, tearing off previous layers, scrambling across a hot roof and carrying heavy equipment. One must decide if their body is up for the challenge before proceeding any further.

Cost: Break down ALL the costs of the job. After proper research, DIYers can find all the hidden costs. Team of friends helping out? Great! But also consider how much it will cost to feed (and hydrate!) the team.

Equipment: Rent, Buy or Borrow?

Obviously, one can buy equipment, but if it’s only going to be used once it makes sense to borrow or rent. Many home improvement stores will rent tools by the hour, day, week or even month. Some equipment it makes sense to buy since it can be used in other capacities. If one plans on being on the roof again for cleaning eaves, chimney or the like, it may make sense to install a permanent roof anchor that can connect with fall protection equipment. Personal protection equipment, like safety glasses, are a mainstay for DIYers safety protection in most projects. Other items, like air compressors, may be better to rent or borrow unless there is a long term plan for other DIY projects.

A list (some optional) to be considered depending on the situation:

Safety Equipment: safety glasses, fall protection equipment (bucket of safety- lifeline, anchor point & harness), gloves, knee pads.

Tools: sturdy ladder, nail gun, compressor, roofers hatchet, nail pouch, flat shovel (if scraping off old shingles) chalk line, tape measure, utility knife.

Consider a powered staple gun that enables one to double their speed.

Materials: shingles, asphalt paper, nails, tubes of chalking (Blackjack)

There are a wide variety of shingles available so research this topic well. Asphalt shingles range from basically 20 year life to 40 year life. Consider how labor intensive replacing a roof is and consider higher quality shingles, unless planning on selling soon. Higher life shingles are thicker and not only wear better, but have more protection against punctures.

Other expenses to consider: permit, dumpster rental (if one doesn’t want to haul on own), plywood for rotten areas, food supplies for team, How-To book or DVD, tarps.

The Basic Process:

1. Remove all shingles. Some experts allow for two layers of shingles before ripping off. Don’t do this if shingles are curling up. Realize that this might shorten the life of the roof. However, for some home owners, this is a temporary solution that they are willing to do, knowing that the life of the roof may be shorter.

2. Make repairs on roof if necessary (e.g. replace bad wood with plywood)

3. Install ice dam protector

4. Put down asphalt paper

5. Apply chalk line at regular intervals to ensure a straight application of shingles

6. Apply Shingles – start at eaves and work up

7.Apply flashing

8. Seal flashing with caulking

9. Install ridge vent

Consider all resources. Friends who have equipment or experience with roofing. The public library is another free resource to try. Amazon has reviewed books and DVDs that deal with DIY Roofing.

As long as help and equipment are already present for roofing, some DIYers also decide to replace older, heavier, and smaller eaves and downspouts with newer, lighter, and larger eaves.

There is a wide spectrum of skills, abilities, resources and experiences for DIYers. DIYers should not attempt a roofing job until all costs are properly factored in and one knows if they can successfully accomplish the job.


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Austin 360 Roofing Now Offering Spray-On Radiant Heat Barrier to Significantly Reduce Energy Costs for Central Texas Homes and Businesses

Austin, TX (PRWEB) July 9, 2009

Austin 360 Roofing, a leading, Texas-based roofing company, has extended its energy efficiency product and service offerings to central Texas customers by supplying a spray-on radiant heat barrier. The company has partnered with STS Coatings to immediately begin delivering HeatBloc Ultra.

“Radiant heat barriers are a proven solution for lowering energy costs, especially for homes in warm climates like Central Texas,” said Eric Trybala, president of Austin 360 Roofing. “And with its ability to be sprayed on to the underside of the roof, HeatBloc Ultra can be easily and safely applied in enclosed areas like attics. HeatBloc Ultra is an industry leading radiant heat barrier, and a great addition to Austin 360 Roofing’s service offerings.”

Radiant barriers are reflective materials that block heat transfer and reduce solar energy from penetrating roofs and increasing the temperature in homes and businesses. They are normally installed on the underside of a roof and reflect most solar heat upwards. This means that very little radiant heat is emitted down into the structure, essentially keeping a building shaded from the sun.

Austin 360 Roofing is offering HeatBloc Ultra as its radiant heat barrier of choice because it adds the benefit of being able to be sprayed on to the underside of roof decks, rafters, ridge and gable ends. By applying a thin, even coat to these surfaces, up to 75 percent of the potential radiant energy transfer into the attic can be blocked, significantly reducing air conditioning costs.

HeatBloc Ultra also does not degrade over time, like traditional foil-based radiant heat barriers which can tear and can accumulate dust, diminishing effectiveness. Also unlike foil-based barriers, it does not block cell phone, antennae, or dish signals. HeatBloc Ultra is permeable to water, and does not trap water vapor within roof decks or sidewalls, an important consideration in warm attic conditions where water damage can be particularly detrimental.

“STS Coatings has a long history of supplying high-quality radiant heat barriers and other roofing materials to Central Texas residents,” said Cayce Kovacs, President of STS Coatings. “We are proud to be working with quality applicators such as Austin 360 Roofing.”

About Austin 360 Roofing

Austin 360 Roofing is a leading roofing company in Central Texas, specializing in houses, apartment complexes, office buildings, and industrial parks. The company provides expert craftsmanship in asphalt shingles, tile roofs, metal roofs, flat roofs, and green roofing solutions. Additionally, Austin 360 Roofing manages all aspects of insurance assessments and negotiations for roof repair due to hail, rain, lightning, wind, and fire damage. The company is locally owned and operated in Austin, TX, but serves the entire Central Texas area. For more information see

About STS Coatings

STS Coatings, Inc. is headquartered near San Antonio, TX. In addition to HeatBloc Ultra, the company offers several other related businesses and products including Roof Guardian Technologies, Wall Guardian

Solar Industry Has Jobs!

Unemployment and underemployment are higher than we have seen them in decades. Jobs growth throughout the U.S. is continuing at a much lower rate than many had hoped, with just 80,000 jobs being added in the last month. However, there is one industry that has continually stayed strong throughout the crisis, and now expects as much as a 26% growth in workforce over the coming year. That industry is solar power. The solar industry is booming and, as a result, hiring.

The main reason solar power has managed to grow even in this bad economy is because the public wants to save money and are continually looking for alternative sources of energy. For years people have wanted solar panels on their roofs. With more cost effective developments being made in the area of solar power on a daily basis more people can afford to install solar panels than ever before. As a result many people are choosing to do so even in this bad economy because the price is right and it will save them money in the long term.

Perhaps even more importantly, people have seen, in the last few years, how dangerous and unaccountable large energy companies that rely on gas, nuclear, and oil can be. We had the BP spill, the Fukushima disaster, and many smaller headline disasters that not everyone heard about. Due to this growing skepticism with the conventional ways of producing electricity, solar panel use has increased and gained large amounts of public support.

In fact, the solar industry is doing so well that the major problem they are facing is a lack of expertise in their job applicant pool. The industry is expanding at such a rate that they can no longer hire people with previous experience in the field because there are none. Now, when hiring technicians for installs and other jobs within the industry they must look to similar fields which can have crossover skills.

So, what lesson do we take from all this? The solar industry is booming and if you have solar training in the field you will be far more likely to find a job.

Solar Industry Has Jobs! is a post from: Boots On The Roof

Link: Solar Industry Has Jobs!

New ‘Artificial Leaf’ is a Real Gamechanger

Green solar technology that’s shaped to imitate nature has been a somewhat common thing over the last few years. However, instead of constructing a set of buildings meant to blend in and look like trees, as people did at the start of the nature building trend. Now scientists are beginning to look at natural, highly beneficial processes – in this case photosynthesis – and attempting to replicate nature’s solar successes.

Substantial progress has been made in this area. Recently researchers at MIT announced that due to a major breakthrough this year they have finally made the solar ‘artificial leaf’ a reality. The leaf is able to split apart the oxygen and hydrogen that make up water. It does this by opposing catalytic bonds on different sides of the leaf to draw the elements apart. It all sounds very complicated; mostly because it is, but it is an astonishing breakthrough whether its one we can fully understand the science behind or not. Once the two elements have been separated they can then be used as a source of energy.

The successful creation of the artificial leaf has reignited people’s imaginations. What we can do using technology grows with each new day. A worldwide group of scientists have looked at the groundbreaking artificial leaf and speculated that the technology can be used to create even more effective photosynthesis like reactions generating even more solar power. A leaf in nature can separate and efficiently process a large amount of different types of energy. The artificial leaf is the first major step to taking advantage of all the different types of energy the sun has to offer and replicating the already safe and clean solar reactions in nature.

This ‘artificial leaf’ development lead one professor, James Barber, who is unconnected with the project to comment, “there is no doubt that their achievement is a major breakthrough which will have a significant impact on the work of others dedicated to constructing light-driven catalytic systems to produce hydrogen and other solar fuels from water.”

It’s pretty much unanimous that the artificial leaf represents a major development and one that has even more amazing potential for growth and innovation. Stay tuned for more groundbreaking developments in solar power potential because they are everywhere.

New ‘Artificial Leaf’ is a Real Gamechanger is a post from: Boots On The Roof

The rest is here: New ‘Artificial Leaf’ is a Real Gamechanger

Boots receives a great new CreoTecc racking system

We like it because once the fames are up, the panels drop into place with no tools needed!

 We’re excited to have Creotecc in our new Commercial Construction Lab!

What’s Creotecc?  It’s a very innovative solar racking system, where standard solar panels just “drop in” to the frame with no tools needed.  You need to hold the panel in your hand and place it in the frame yourself to really get how cool this system is.  We need to thank our friends at Session Solar for hooking us up with Creotecc.  Session Solar works with their parent company in Germany to bring these innovative products to the US solar market, and we are delighted to add this racking system to our lab environment.

This is exactly the kind of innovative, UL listed solutions that Boots seeks out for our Commercial Solar classes.

Want a chance to get “hands on” with Creotecc, and other innovative solar racking systems? 

We’ve created Commercial Solar PV Construction – MegaLab to give PV Construction Professionals an opportunity to work with Creotecc, and other innovative commercial racking systems.

If you are planning to expand into Commercial Rooftop Solar in 2012, we’d like to talk with you about how our new courses may support your plans.

 BTW – need to put a smile in your day? – check out the video for Session Solar’s cool new song!

Boots receives a great new CreoTecc racking system is a post from: Boots On The Roof

The rest is here: Boots receives a great new CreoTecc racking system

Paul Heyman Craves The Hustle, Blogs On Brock Lesnar

New York, New York (PRWEB) July 10, 2009

Paul Heyman’s digital program The Heyman Hustle has been picked up by the CraveOnline network. The controversial writer/producer has kicked things off with a blog about UFC 100 main eventer Brock Lesnar, with whom Heyman worked in World Wrestling Entertainment.

In the blog ( Heyman states:

“Brock Lesnar broke my neck.

I’m not kidding. In January, 2003, WWE Smackdown ran an event at the world famous Cow Palace in San Francisco, California. The main event was Brock Lesnar against The Big Show, with Brock’s former “agent” (that would be me) in the Big Show’s corner. Brock’s coup de grace was to pick up his opponent, place said human being squarely on Brock’s shoulders, and then spin them in mid-air as both performers went crashing to the canvas. Now while pro wrestling is based on the cooperation between the two men in the ring with each other, performing this move on the 500 pound ‘Big Show’ was no small task.

However, for Brock Lesnar, just performing that awe-inspiring move wasn’t enough. Brock started figuring ways to toss the 7 foot tall Big Show across the ring. You know, like a dwarf tossing contest. Except Brock was flinging a 7 foot tall, legit-500 pound giant. Just to amuse himself, Brock started flinging The Big Show not just for distance, but for accuracy.

The routine we did in every city was for Brock to defeat the Big Show with this move, which was called the F-5. Brock would then get his revenge on his dastardly agent (you see where this is going ,don’t you?), and the evil agent ‘Heyman’ would suffer the fate of the F-5 as well.

Brock used to hook me under the armpits, get this sinister grin on his face, throw me up into the air, and then catch me on his shoulders. Keep in mind, I’m no featherweight (again, I remind you, please reserve your comments). After milking the crowd’s desire to see Heyman take the F-5, Brock would spin me around and we’d go crashing to the mat.

On this particular night, however, something went wrong. Either Brock’s hand slipped an inch upward, or I was holding onto his shoulder too tightly, or just the manner in which we went towards the canvas was off by an inch, but instead of landing flat, I went head over heels down like a ferris wheel, and smashed into the canvas like a javelin. There was no doubt about it, I was hurt.

Brock, Big Show, and I were all making very good money at the time, and I didn’t want to take any time off. so I kept the severity of the situation hidden from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. When it finally came time to get an MRI, we discovered I had bulging discs in my neck and a herniated C-7.

Here’s the funny part. I still love Brock Lesnar. He’s the 800 pound gorilla who likes to play with you as he eats a banana. You just can’t be surprised when his inhuman strength is way too much for a mere normal human being (like you or me) to keep up with, or even to play with safely.

Brock Lesnar, even when he’s in a scripted situation with a person he considers his friend, is a very dangerous man.

This weekend, Frank Mir is in an unscripted situation with a person who considers him the enemy, and that person is a merciless 265 pound champion athlete who lives for the thrill of the kill.”


He was known as “The Mad Scientist,” based on his ability to build unique and identifiable characters in professional wrestling, but since his departure from World Wrestling Entertainment, Paul Heyman has been Hustlin’!

Heyman, who was named one of the world’s top 100 marketers by Advertising Age magazine for his marketing of Extreme “ECW” brand, launched “The Heyman Hustle” digital program in the UK last year, and the program shot through the roof with the London-based Sun (UK), and NewsCorp’s new SUN-TV broadband television network.

Partnering with Hi-def impresario Mitchell Stuart of the Park Avenue firm. HQ / Looking For Larry Productions, Heyman took to the streets of NYC and interviewed everyone from James Lipton to Jesse Ventura, from Ice-T and Coco to Aubrey O’Day, from The Naked Cowboy to Playboy’s Holly Madison.

Now, The Heyman Hustle comes to CraveOnline, and the opportunities are endless!

“I always hate press releases where everyone talks about how they look forward to the synergy between the two brands, how we’re a perfect fit, why this business marriage is taking place,” Heyman stated, “CraveOnline is an enormous platform, and their ad sales staff is outrageously successful. The rest of the hype will be have to be in the presentation of the product we deliver to our audience.”

To kick things off, the top 5 episodes from season one of the Hustle will be posted on Crave. The controversial episode with former Danity Kane lead singer Aubrey O’Day will kick things off, with brand new exclusive content of Aubrey in Las Vegas.

“We’re not looking to reinvent the wheel,” stated Stuart, who is the co-creator of the Hustle, “just redefine the digital medium. Why set your goals anywhere but sky high?!?”

The controversial Aubrey O’Day “Hustle” video, plus exclusive pics of Aubrey last night in her Vegas penthouse; a story on Mr. and Mrs. Rob Van Dam; and the blog on UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar … all can be found at:


300 megawatts of roof-top, commercial PV installations to be installed in North America in just this quarter!

The good people at Solarbuzz report that  Q4’11 installations will be about 800 Mega Watts  of PV capacity in North America.

Solarzuzz also reports:

In Q4’11, ground-mount installations are forecast to have 38% of the market, followed by building-mount, non-residential systems (>100 kW), which will have 37% of the market. The ground-mount segment benefited from demand from Ontario and from large-scale installations in California and Arizona geared toward meeting the state RPS requirements.

If our solar-powered calculator is correct – that means about 300 megawatts of roof-top, commercial PV installations in just this quarter!

Boots on the Roof is running not one, but THREE new courses to support the growing volume of commercial projects:

If you are planning to expand into Commercial Rooftop Solar in 2012, we’d like to talk with you about how our new courses may support your plans.