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Project History and Resources

Welcome to the resources page. This section offers additional information on our team members as well as links to internal and external resources (reports, multimedia, and blogs) related to our Simple BoS work. Contact us at simple@rmi.org if you have any questions.


Project History: 

In late 2011 with a project goal to reduce Balance of System racking and labor costs by 50% in residential, commercial, and utility scale photovoltaic applications, Georgia Tech faculty and students went to the drawing board with a full set of objectives and comprehensive input from a multidisciplinary team including solar installers, manufacturers, and Rocky Mountain Institute. This initiative, the Simple Balance of System project, funded in part by the Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, has evolved into a multi-year collaboration between Rocky Mountain Institute and the Georgia Tech Research Institute. The project initially focused on establishing design criteria, identifying opportunities for integrative design in the PV solar racking space, and fabricating initial proof of concept designs to help drive down the installed costs of solar. In addition to this design work, the second year of the Simple BoS project is working to better understand and learn from the solar PV installation labor cost disparity between Germany and U.S.

Team Members:

The Simple BoS project team is a partnership between Rocky Mountain Institute and Georgia Technology Research Institute (GTRI). Industry supporters include Radiance Solar, Intertek, and the numerous solar installers in the U.S. and in Germany who continue to provide data, insights, and hands-on PV site visits.


RMI LogoRocky Mountain Institute (RMI): A 30-year-old energy think-and-do tank, RMI has been at the forefront of transitioning the U.S. from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and renewables. With funding from private donors, industry partners, and the Department of Energy, RMI has been involved in accelerating solar adoption through the U.S. For more information on RMI's solar market transformation programs, click here. Core project team members include Jesse Morris (jmorris@rmi.org), Albert Chan (achan@rmi.org), Greg Rucks (grucks@rmi.org), and Leia Guccione (lguccione@rmi.org).


GA Tech RI LogoGeorgia Technology Research Institute (GTRI): A non-profit research institution that is closely associated with Georgia Institute of Technology, GTRI has been developing engineering solutions for complex technical problems since 1934. Within the Simple BOS project, GTRI has partnered with industry to develop innovative solar balance of system designs that would reduce hardware costs by as much as 50%. With input from Georgia Tech's College of Architecture, School of Mechanical Engineering, and Center for Biologically Inspired Design, GTRI has already produced 16 invention disclosures to date. Core project team members include Joseph Goodman (joseph.goodman@gtri.gatech.edu) and Matthew Wren (matthew.wren@gtri.gatech.edu).

Additional Resources: Project materials and reports will be posted below as they are released. If you have any questions, please send them to simplebos@rmi.org.

Why Are Residential PV Prices in Germany So Much Lower Than in the United States? A Scoping Analysis

Achieving Low-Cost Solar PV

Simple BoS Flyer

Woodlawn Associates Management Consulting: Extract of Solar Installation Effectiveness

Teamwork picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com.

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