Solar Switch Industry Gets a Boost

President Joe Biden gave the American solar industry a boost on Monday by authorizing the Defense Production Act to help speed up domestic manufacturing of solar panel components and suspending tariffs on solar panels for two years. The impact was immediate, with U.S. solar stocks increasing between three and 18 percent on Monday.

That’s good news for the switch industry. The increased funding and availability of solar panels will spur residential and commercial solar installation that has slowed since a probe launched by the Commerce Department in March started investigating whether solar panels manufactured in Southeast Asia include Chinese parts subject to U.S. tariffs. While that investigation hasn’t concluded, the executive orders enacted by Biden will waive those tariffs for the next two years.

Expect the increased supply of solar panels to meet increased demand for clean energy, especially given the megadrought literally evaporating hydropower production in the Western U.S. this year. Residential and commercial solar installation will undoubtedly increase due to the executive orders Biden announced on Monday. Solar energy inverter and control panel production will increase, all requiring electromechanical switches.

The TL6190 Series tactile switch is a convenient option for solar control panels and inverters because it’s process sealed to protect against dust and moisture, operates in temperatures ranging from -40 to 105°C, and has a life expectancy of 100,000 cycles. It’s right angle, through hole mounting design makes it ideal for compact designs.

We can’t forget about the devices measuring the energy produced by solar arrays, either. That’s how the energy company determines how much money to send you for the solar energy you produce each year. The TL3301 Series surface mountable tactile switch is a favorite for electricity analyzers and other solar instrumentation given its life expectancy of 100,000 cycles and operating temperature ranging from -20 to 70°C. And with 10 options for actuator heights, multiple caps available, and two termination options, the TL3301 Series is customizable for a multitude of designs.

Also essential to the installation of residential and commercial solar arrays are the tools required to complete that installation, and no tool is more valuable to an electrician than a voltage meter. The TL3305 Series ultraminiature tactile switch is the perfect size for that application, and with an operating life expectancy of up to 500,000 cycles, it’ll help your voltage meter the test of time. Multiple actuator lengths are also available to meet your design needs.

Residential and commercial solar installation isn’t the only part of the solar industry being boosted. Electric vehicle (EV) sales are also surging in response to high fuel prices. U.S. sales of EVs are expected to total about 670,000 this year, according to an AutoPacific forecast – a 37 percent increase over 2021.

Much of that demand is due to increased production of different electric vehicle designs. New electric pickups have been rolled out by Rivian, GMC, and Ford, and crossovers by Kia, Hyundai, and Audi have the market seeing exponential growth.

With that growth comes higher demand for electromechanical switches, which are performing more and more functions on and in EVs these days. One of our switches, the PA4 Series illuminated, power pushbutton switch, is being used to open doors on an electric vehicle. The PA4 Series is so customizable, however, it could be used for just about anything. With six terminal options, high power ratings, eight actuator marking options, and multiple body, actuator, and lens colors, the PA4 Series is well-suited for the boosted solar energy industry.

With more electric vehicles on the road, we’ll obviously need more public EV charging stations, and the anti-vandal switch series from E-switch is sure to be popular for that application. To highlight one, the ULV8 Series is IP67 rated for protection from dust and moisture, has a certified power rating of three amps for 125 or 250 volts of alternating current, and a mechanical life of up to a million cycles. It’s also easy to work with since it’s now available with wire leads.

Whether its residential or commercial solar installation tools, inverter or control panel production, electric vehicle design, or EV charging stations, E-switch has the solar switch industry covered.

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