The California Solar Initiative's RD&D Program has now concluded after operating since 2008 through 2016. All solicitations and research projects are now complete.



 Program overview + Research briefs       

 [25 MB ]
 Program overview  [13 MB ]

 Research briefs  (high resolution)                     

 [44 MB ]

For more information on the research projects and resulting reports please review the section below. All completed final reports are also available separately for review and download. 

FINAL REPORTS for completed projects along with individual research briefs can be found here.


CSI RD&D Program - Program Evaluation 



 Report Summary       

 [277 KB ]
 Final Report  [3 MB ]


 [4 MB ]


Funded Projects

This is a database of projects funded by the CSI RD&D. The project summaries are listed alphabetically below. You may also choose a subset of projects by clicking a keyword, or using the search function.

Reducing California PV Balance of System Costs by Automating Array Design, Engineering and Component Delivery

Current Highlights:
  • Final Project Report. February 2103.  PDF (1.2 MB)

  • Final Project Presentation. Dec 18, 2012. PDF

  • Final Project Webinar slides with recording. Windows Media File. (75 MB)

Project Information

Solicitation: Solicitation 2
Target Area: Innovative Business Model
Awardee: Sunlink Corporation
CSI Funding: $996,269
Match Funding: $927,031
Start Date: January 2011
End Date: January 2013
Status: Complete

Contact Information

Principal Investigator Name: Mike Williams
Principal Investigator Email: mikewilliams @ sunlink.com
Principal Investigator Phone: 415-306-9836
Grant Manager Name: Smita Gupta
Grant Manager Email: smita.gupta @ itron.com
Grant Manager Phone: 509-891-3189

Project Summary

SunLink, one of the leading providers of PV mounting and Balance of System (BOS) components, took advantage of past research to enable automation of structural and array electrical design as well as automated preparation of documentation of project approval and installation. This new automation will help the industry to cost-effectively provide optimized designs for smaller PV systems down to 5 kW. This automation will also expand the range of contractors who can successfully install fully-engineered PV installations, including general and electrical contractors. The four objectives of the research were to 1) reduce the time for PV array design, 2) reduce the time required for project permitting, 3) enable fully optimized designs for smaller commercial roof-top systems, and 4) decrease 'on-roof' time through factory manufacturing of array harnesses and matching combiner boxes.

Deliverables and Documents


  • Final Project Report: Reducing California PV Balance of System Costs by Automating Array Design, Engineering, and Component Delivery. Williams, M. Sunlink, Corp. February 2103.  PDF (1.2 MB)


  • Final Project Presentation. Dec 18, 2012. PDF

  • Final Project Webinar slides with recording. Windows Media File. (75 MB)

  • Initial Project Presentation. Feb 10, 2011. PDF


  • U.C. Berkeleys PEER Center hosts shake test for alternative solar racking system. Mar 19, 2012. Carlsen, R. Engineering-News Record. ENR.com.

  • Sunlink studies seismic effects on solar. Mar 6, 2012. Riddell, L. San Francisco Business Times. Bay Area|BizTalk.

Project Activities

January 2011 Project started

Project Links

  • Solar Permitting Database: Developed by SunLink, the database is a deliverable under the grant project and was initially populated with over 15,000 records.