string inverter mounting solution - centric

New Cantsink mounting solution helps protect and centralize string inverters

Cantsink, a solar product supplier since 2010, is introducing Centric, its latest solar innovation, to speed inverter installation and make monitoring easier.

By allowing location of string inverters at a central position among ground-mounted panels, Centric streamlines inverter placement during construction. In a traditional arrangement underneath the panels, inverters are mounted one-by-one in successive spots throughout the project. Centric offers a single, covered location for mounting multiple inverters.

string inverter mounting solution - centric

This not only speeds inverter placement, it also makes O&M easier by allowing inspection of multiple inverters at one location. Oversight of individual units takes minutes rather than hours. Streamlined monitoring, in conjunction with protection from the elements, means the solar project as a whole works better and lasts longer.

With more utility scale projects using trackers to maximize generation, string inverters mounted under panels are more exposed to sun, rain and storms. Centric allows string inverters to be sheltered, as well as making them more accessible for quick inspection.

Patrick Hutchinson, president of Cantsink, said the complexity of rapidly evolving solar technology calls for supporting innovation that will also make solar installations more efficient throughout construction and operation.

“Having grown with the solar industry over the past decade, the innovative team at Cantsink is aware of ongoing needs for better equipment and new methods for managing solar sites,” Hutchinson said. “Centric is the kind of cost-effective design that not only improves the initial installation process, but keeps the project running effectively throughout its life.”

helical piles facility Congressman Jody Hice visits cantsink

Cantsink Hosts Informational Site Visit from U.S. Congressman Jody Hice

U.S. Representative Jody Hice (R-10) honored Cantsink in April with a site visit to learn more about the company, its products and its role in the growing energy market.

  He met with us at our net-zero-energy manufacturing facility in Metro Atlanta. Cantsink President Patrick Hutchinson and Safety Director/Project Manager Sharon Lee spoke with Congressman Hice about renewable energy growth and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Cantsink has been a leader in providing effective products to serve evolving renewable energy technology, as well as products that support effective power grid operation.

  Read about it here in Congressman Hice’s newsletter:

Congressman Jody Hice visits cantsink helical piles facility pat hutchinson sharon lee

jewel homes helical piles case study

Cantsink Holds Foundations Steady Through Spring Rains, Cost-Effective Protection from Unexpected Sinking

April showers bring May flowers, but coming on the heels of the wettest winter on record they may also produce unexpected foundation issues.

  Changing weather patterns and extreme weather events are creating new issues for businesses and homeowners. But stormy weather is no cause for concern when foundations are supported by Cantsink’s patented helical piers. Cantsink offers an effective underground support system for new construction as well as a remedial solution for restoring alignment or increasing elevation.

  Experts are predicting unprecedented flooding in many parts of the East Coast during the next few months. The Midwest has already borne the brunt of snow melt, heavy rain and extreme storm activity. And coastal states are reconsidering their flood zone boundaries and building codes.

  Cantsink was called in to provide support for a Jacksonville, FL, home built to replace a razed structure damaged by extreme weather. Local government rezoned the lot because the storm activity had revealed its location to be more flood-prone than initially assumed. The rezoning required a building elevation three feet higher than the previous structure.

  Engineers working with Alexander Grace Consulting specified pier columns to elevate the house connected with a shallow concrete grade beam to help it withstand lateral stress. Cantsink helical piers were installed below ground to stabilize the new elevated design.

  Complicating the installation, geotechnical reports showed very inconsistent soils and a potential dense layer 38-55 feet below grade. Plus, site conditions required the installation to be accomplished without disturbing the nearby marshland, and a potential penalty of $10,000 for violation.

  This made installation of Cantsink helical piers the ideal solution because they avoided the need for heavy machinery that could have encroached on the marshland. Cantsink helical piers are installed with a skid steer, which is less expensive to mobilize and easier to maneuver on the site. Finally, work had to be coordinated with tidal flows, which intermittently interfered with visibility and work requirements in the pre-dug footings.

  Cantsink’s patented helical piers provided a perfect solution to the tight working conditions and soil-related challenges. Using helical piers helped the contractor stay on schedule with maximum installation efficiency. Cantsink crews also carefully coordinated their work schedule with weather forecasts for tidal ebb and flow to maximize installation accuracy and productivity. The installation was completed without any marshland disturbance.

  Whether working in coastal environments or challenging conditions anywhere, Cantsink helical piers provide cost-effective solutions that save time and money. The result is permanent stability in any type of soil or weather conditions.

  Using 100% U.S. steel, Cantsink fabricates a wide range of patented helical piers certified for performance by the International Code Council. The ICC is an independent, member-focused association dedicated to developing model codes and standards. Cantsink also offers engineering support and superior customer service.

  With its recently expanded manufacturing and storage capacity, Cantsink offers fast turnaround on orders. Two-day, hands-on certification training for installers is conducted quarterly at Cantsink headquarters in Metro Atlanta. The training is free and Cantsink provides ongoing support that includes marketing materials, prospect leads and consulting.

  Cantsink helical piers offer numerous advantages over other underground support methods. Installation requires no curing delay and can even be performed in standing water, so issues prompted by soaking rains in soft soil can be resolved before structural damage worsens. Construction schedules for new buildings stay on budget in almost any weather.

  Cantsink can handle everything from a whole-structure elevation project to a minimally invasive remediation for a sinking foundation. And starting new construction right with our patented helical piers keeps foundations solid from Day One.

  Contact Cantsink today to see what permanent stability can do to banish rainy-day worries.

jewel homes helical pile case study
jewel homes helical piers case study

Build it Right the First Time with Cantsink Helical Piers

The old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies as much to good construction as to good health.

With extreme weather events increasing in frequency and construction codes around the nation changing to meet the challenges these events create for many areas, Cantsink’s patented helical piers are proving to be the best choice for foundation support. Construction with the lasting support of Cantsink helical piers not only retains beauty and value through the years, it resists the effects of flooding, soil saturation and erosion.

Cantsink’s patented helix design not only provides top stabilization performance, installation is fast and cost-effective. Time is money in the construction business and Cantsink helical piers need no curing period. They can be installed through standing water on the site. Once installed, they provide permanent stability for any structure.

Storm and tidal surges, high winds, and soaking rains intensify natural climate conditions in water-adjacent localities, requiring sound foundation elements resistant to the effects of punishing conditions. After devastating property loss from powerful storms in recent years, some U.S. states are updating their building codes with the lessons learned from these events.

2018 set a national record for rainfall in the U.S. with particularly notable totals in many parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Hurricane Florence contributed significantly to a total of 102 inches of rainfall around the coastal city of Wilmington, NC. Flooding in that region caused as much as $50 billion in property damage. Flooding after heavy rains also created havoc in parts of Maryland last year, causing an estimated $22.4 million in property damage. Atlanta, GA, experienced its second-highest rainfall total in 2018 with over 71 inches through the year.

Many businesses and homeowners remain at risk for devastating losses if preventive structural elevations and adequate reinforcements are overlooked.

Helical piers can be used in restoration following flooding or extreme weather, or as a preventive measure for structures in a vulnerable location. They offer a cost-effective solution for lasting structural stability in harsh environments.

Cantsink helical piers are ideal for remedial work under foundations and other structures that are sinking or losing alignment. They can help property owners address new elevation requirements as building codes and flood zone maps change, as well as being instrumental in storm recovery. However, the best investment is construction that begins with proven protection.

With a newly expanded manufacturing facility and storage capability, Cantsink is poised to turn orders around quickly. Cantsink experts provide top quality customer service and our patented helical piers are tested and certified by the International Code Council.

The ICC is an independent, member-focused association dedicated to developing model codes and standards used to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. This means an independent organization has verified the quality and performance of specific Cantsink products.

Manufactured in Metro Atlanta from 100% U.S. steel, Cantsink helical piers are created in the company’s net-zero energy facility using solar. Cantsink’s mission – supporting innovation – has inspired the versatile applicability and evolving effectiveness of its products. Even though construction needs, materials and methods change, Cantsink helical piers continually demonstrate their ongoing durability and adaptability.

Whatever the structural needs of the project may be – foundations, retaining walls, pools, decks, patios, porches or decorative landscape features – start with the installation of Cantsink helical piers. It’s the effective way to ensure long-term stability, ongoing performance and lasting value for the finished product.

Contact Cantsink today and get started – right!

helical piles Freewill Baptist Church Davis NC

Cantsink Helical Piers Adapt Homes and Buildings to Extreme Weather Conditions

With the frequency of extreme weather making home elevation and foundation stability increasingly important, Cantsink will offer information on its cost-effective helical piers at the International Association of Structural Movers Convention, March 27-31 in the Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas – DFW Airport North.

Storm and tidal surges, high winds, and soaking rains intensify natural surroundings in water-adjacent localities, requiring sound foundation elements resistant to the effects of punishing conditions. In the wake of devastating property loss from powerful storms, some U.S. states are updating their building codes to reflect the lessons learned from catastrophic weather, including increased elevation requirements. Cantsink offers a wide range of ICC-certified products that keep foundations stable in all types of soils and climates, and can be key to success in raising existing structures.

Learn more about Cantsink’s products and their remarkable versatility at its exhibit in Dallas. Cantsink offers installer certification training at its Metro Atlanta headquarters for no fee, with ongoing sales and marketing support for its installer network.

“Code requirements in some states may change as intense, prolonged storms… establish new precedents for flood potential. With more than 30 years of experience in foundation stability, Cantsink, with its patented helical piers, can be a key component in durable construction and remediation.”


Whether for remedial work following flooding or extreme weather, or as a preventive measure for structures in vulnerable locations, helical piers offer a cost-effective solution for lasting structural stability in any environment. Cantsink’s patented helical piers, made in Metro Atlanta from 100% U.S. steel, were used for remedial foundation repair during the Build It Back program in the Mid-Atlantic region devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

2018 set a national record for rainfall in the U.S. with particularly notable totals in many parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Hurricane Florence contributed significantly to a total of 102 inches of rainfall in the area around the coastal city of Wilmington, NC. Flooding in that region caused as much as $50 billion in property damage. Flooding after heavy rains also created havoc in parts of Maryland last year, causing an estimated $22.4 million in property damage.

Atlanta, GA, experienced its second-highest rainfall total in 2018 with over 71 inches through the year. Hurricane Michael, which devastated the town of Mexico Beach, FL, also caused significant inland flooding with substantial damage across five states, including Georgia. Some Houston area businesses and homeowners took the preemptive step of elevating their structures ahead of Hurricane Harvey and subsequent new code requirements. These properties fared far better than their neighbors when Harvey dumped more than 60 inches of rain on coastal Texas in 2017.

After Harvey, many Houston area residents who formerly believed their properties were outside of storm threats and flood-prone areas have reconsidered their potential vulnerability. Code requirements in some states may change as intense, prolonged storms such as Harvey and Florence establish new precedents for flood potential. With more than 30 years of experience in foundation stability, Cantsink, with its patented helical piers, can be a key component in durable construction and remediation.

Find out more about the many structural applications Cantsink products provide. Visit the Cantsink exhibit in Dallas, March 27-31, or register for the event at the IASM website at

Cantsink Shows Its All-American Pride at World of Concrete 2019 & New Regional Representative joins team at 30-year-old company

Atlanta, GA – Founded in 1988 in Atlanta, GA, Cantsink will display its red, white and true-blue colors in Booth #S13306 at the World of Concrete in the Las Vegas Convention Center, January 21-25, 2019.

  Made in the USA from 100 percent U.S. steel, Cantsink products are available throughout the nation. With support from a team of regional sales representatives, Cantsink offers free training for installers and ongoing support to its network of certified installers.

  This year, Kevin Spellacy joins other regional representatives on the Cantsink team to support customers with patented products and unsurpassed customer service in the Indiana market. Andrew Carter leads Cantsink’s national sales from its Atlanta headquarters. He also works in concert with Dara Macias, covering Tennessee and hurricane recovery areas of the Northeast, and Rick Pashman, covering Florida.

  Cantsink has been in the business of underground stabilization for 30 years, and manufactures certified helical piers ranging in size from eight inches to 19 inches. Whatever the soil or climate conditions, Cantsink offers cost-effective products to meet every construction application. Cantsink remains focused on helping customers with patented product design and long-established expertise in the helical market.

  Cantsink Founder and CEO Patrick Hutchinson said the company’s patented design is only one part of what separates its products from the competition.

  “Cantsink offers permanent stability, expertise amassed over three decades, and peace of mind with a 40-year manufacturer’s warranty, one of the industry’s best,” he said. “Cantsink’s ICC-certified products provide documented performance quality attesting to their design and fabrication integrity. And Cantsink charges installers no franchise fees, directly selling products made in Cantsink’s net-zero-energy facility to end users. Cantsink’s energy savings and the special shape of its helix, which reduces waste, helps keep prices low.”

  Contractors and construction professionals can receive free installation certification training at its Atlanta location. Client success is central to the company’s mission, which is why Cantsink provides ongoing lead generation, marketing support and in-depth industry knowledge. With the recent expansion of Cantsink’s manufacturing and storage facilities, the company is perfectly positioned to provide fast turn-around on orders, because customers’ project schedules are top priority. Supporting innovation for 30 years, these are the reasons Cantsink remains a structural stability leader.

  While learning more about Cantsink quality, innovation and customer service at Booth #13306, register for the drawing that will give away a portable Bluetooth speaker, or sign up online at .

Brilliant Rack Proven to Stand Up to the Brunt of Any Storm

Four sites in the direct path of Hurricane Michael unscathed in storm’s aftermath

Atlanta, GA – In the aftermath of one of the worst storms to hit the Gulf Coast of Florida and South Georgia in decades, inspections of four solar generation sites using Brilliant Rack racking systems showed no damage.

  Despite devastated pecan tree groves and croplands throughout the area where the solar farms stood, the Brilliant Rack sites sustained no significant damage and resumed generating normally as soon as the hurricane’s cloud cover cleared. Property damage along much of Hurricane Michael’s path was estimated at more than $8 billion.

  For solar developers, installers and investors, maximizing long-term generation and minimizing interruptions is money well-spent. That’s why the hurricane-tested strength of Brilliant Rack design makes it the right choice for any climate where storms and severe weather are common.

  Brilliant Rack’s design features through-bolt construction and high-quality fabrication that kept the hurricane-tested sites standing sturdy through 155-mph winds, returning right away to ongoing performance.

  The quality of Brilliant Rack design conforms to recent recommendations from a study of solar racking performed by the Rocky Mountain Institute, as detailed in PV Magazine.

  It notes that “there were some similarities between failed systems – including module clamp failures, undersized racks, undersized and under-torqued bolts, a lack of bolt locking solutions, and a lack of lateral racking support. The engineers also observed that surviving systems had the modules through-bolted (no clamps), and featured bolts with locking solutions and lateral racking supports.”

  Although hurricanes are coastal events, the Midwest has its own weather challenges, including tornadoes and blizzards.

  “When you’re building a solar project to last for 30 years, choosing a racking solution that stands up to even the fiercest storm is an investment in long-term success,” said Pat Hutchinson, president of Brilliant Rack.

  For maximum ongoing generation in even the worst weather events, start with a racking system proven to withstand the fiercest fury of Mother Nature.

  For more information on Brilliant Rack design and performance, visit the Brilliant Rack display at the MNSEIA Gateway to Solar Conference, November 12-13, at the Airport/Mall of America Hilton near the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport. Or click on the website, .


Cantsink Debuts New Website to Showcase Products, Training, Applications, and Case Studies

Cantsink Debuts New Website to Showcase Products, Training, Applications, and Case Studies | User-friendly site highlights 30th Anniversary and expanded manufacturing capacity

Atlanta, GA – The new Cantsink website is now available online with updated product descriptions, training opportunities and testimonials.

The company recently celebrated its 30th year in business and completed its expansion of manufacturing and warehouse facilities to better serve its customers. The new website reflects Cantsink’s ongoing commitment to top quality products, innovative design, conscientious customer service, and cost-effective product performance.

Cantsink now offers a wide variety of products tested and certified by the International Code Council, an independent, member-focused association dedicated to developing model codes and standards for safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. The company has been a net-zero energy manufacturing facility since 2010 and uses 100% American-made steel to produce its patented products.

Patrick Hutchinson, president of Cantsink, said the new website extends his company’s dedication to continuous improvement.

“As we celebrate our 30th Anniversary, we recognize the importance of effective communication with our customers about what we do and how we do it,” Hutchinson said. “Our new website is intended to engage engineers, architects, builders, and installers in creating cost-effective, long-term structural stability.”

Cantsink helical piers offer guaranteed stability for foundations, retaining walls and other structures in a wide range of soil and weather conditions. Cantsink products are ideal for new construction as well as remedial stabilization. With its experience in structural support for energy equipment, Cantsink offers products and expertise suited to the needs of grid infrastructure and alternative energy.

The special design of Cantsink helical piers gives them 50% greater helix capacity than other steel piers on the market. Cantsink’s installation process is also faster and less disruptive than other stabilization methods.

Leveraging decades of experience in foundation support, Cantsink’s wide range of products provides cost-effective stability for nearly any soil type or climate. Cantsink enjoys a well-established reputation as an accomplished provider of high quality workmanship and a leading structural innovator for foundation stabilization and repair.

Visit the new website with its user-friendly information on Cantsink products and services at .


September 18, 2018


Sharon Lee



Helical Piles Help Keep Heavy Equipment Safely Supported On Large Solar Projects

While traditional foundations may settle with soil erosion, helical piles can provide a more reliable method for supporting solar inverters and other heavy equipment.

Heavy electrical equipment like central solar inverters is often installed on concrete foundations. But without additional support from below, the foundation can shift, causing equipment to rest unevenly. This puts stress on cables and can lead to diminished performance or even failures. Fixing the problem may require shutting down the entire solar array, and the resulting downtime reduces profits.

Helical piles (also referred to as piers or anchors) can provide a more stable foundation for heavy equipment. Piles are typically a slender metal shaft with a helix-shaped plate at one end.

Georgia-based Cantsink has been in business for 30 years and manufactures its own helical piles. The company discovered that the same piles used to stabilize home foundations and utility poles work just as effectively on solar projects.

Helical piles installed where an energy storage system will sit



“Helical piles are screwed into the ground, typically greater than 5 ft,” said Lester Salinas, an engineer at Cantsink. “At this point, the soil is so compact that the structure is not going to undergo settlement. That’s one of the primary reasons developers choose this method, to prevent that settlement.”

Before starting a solar project, developers commission geotechnical site studies to examine soil types and determine if the location is prone to flooding. Developers can come to Cantsink with this information, as well as the weight and dimensions of the heavy equipment—central inverter, switchgear, battery bank, transformer, etc.—and the company will determine the number of piles and depth needed to support it. Sharon Lee, marketing director of Cantsink, said the company is a one-stop-shop for manufacturing and installation.

“We’ve got engineers that can specify the design, but then we can also install,” she said. “People may not know exactly what they’re looking for, [but] they know they need to stabilize the equipment for the life of the PPA. We can pull in site and soil details and what you’re trying to do, and we can say ‘Here’s how to best accomplish this.’”

Salinas said that helical piles are self-verifying, meaning that by monitoring how much pressure it takes to install the pile, one can quantify the pile’s load capacity. The more pressure it takes to drive the pile into the ground, the more load it can support.

“If you are not doing helical piles, you just hope the soil compaction was done well, but there’s no guarantee,” he said. “You hope for the best. But with helical piles, you have some sort of warranty that what was done in the field is going to last a long time.”

An S&C system being positioned over helical pile foundations












Soil type determines how deep the piles must go. For example, sandy soil will require deeper piles. Flooding risk determines the elevation of the piles. If the site is in a flood zone, then piles are raised to the proper height to avoid water damage to electrical equipment.

Helical pile deep-foundation systems also ensure safety, remove easily and install quickly.

Quick installation was especially important to S&C Electric Company as it worked with a tight deadline for Ameren’s microgrid facility in Champaign, Illinois. Located at Ameren’s Technology Applications Center (TAC) near the University of Illinois campus, the Ameren microgrid provides multiple sources of distributed generation—solar, wind, natural gas and battery storage—to support the TAC and a 1-MW commercial and residential load.

“One of the hardest parts of the Ameren project was the schedule,” said Paul Pabst, assistant manager of engineering services at S&C Electric Company. “We had our kickoff meeting in June 2016 and the system had to be completed by the end of the year. We knew we had to use something that would save time primarily, but using helical piles would also save cost.”

The finished Ameren microgrid












Traditional heavy equipment foundations require hiring contractors to dig forms, or trenches, install rebar and pour in concrete. Then that concrete needs to cure. This can take days or weeks depending on weather conditions. Helical piles can be installed in a single day, and then a precast concrete or metal skid can be placed on top.

“We were able to quickly mount our control house, battery storage system and switchgear,” Pabst said. “It was a success story because we were able to meet our deadline while keeping costs down.”

Cantsink recommends installing helical piles at the start of a project, because retrofitting can be complicated and expensive. When retrofitting, the entire solar array must be shut down and getting the piles underneath a pad with existing wire and cabling can be cumbersome.

Lee said using helical piles has not yet reached common acceptance as a core strategy for long-term performance in solar installation development.

“More education is needed,” she said. “EPCs are completely cost-focused, and I understand that. There are not a lot of margins in a solar project. But I think that the way a firm should look at this is you’re trying to build a quality system for the life of the structure. This is the best way to protect the project’s long-term performance and make sure it’s going to be the best it can be.”

For more information on Cantsink products and services, visit .

To read the original article from Solar Power World, click here.