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.

New ICC Certification Makes Cantsink the Sole Source for Widest Helix Products

Testing shows products meet all international standards for helical piers

Atlanta, GA – Cantsink Manufacturing is now the only maker of helical piers at 16-inch and 19-inch diameters that offer certification from the International Code Council.

The ICC is an independent, member-focused association dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Through its AC358 specifications, the ICC tests helical piers for their compliance with a set of industry quality standards for these foundation products.

At the World of Concrete in Las Vegas January 23-26, Cantsink will be in Booth S13550 to provide information on its full range of helical piers.

Cantsink’s 2 7/8” HSS and its 1.5” RCS have received ICC certification after 20 months of testing, inspection and published reporting. This new ICC-certified product line offers a wider range of options for tie back anchors, vertical and compression piles and micropiles. Results can be found online under ESR-1559.

Patrick Hutchinson, president of Cantsink, helped the ICC develop its standards for helical piles. He said Cantsink and its staff are proud to uphold the highest quality standards for product performance.

“As we celebrate our 30th anniversary year, we are more committed than ever to offering the widest range of helical products on the market,” Hutchinson said. “We are proud to have received the ICC’s official certification after extensive testing and independent scrutiny.”

Made in Georgia from 100% U.S. steel, Cantsink helical piers offer guaranteed stability for foundations, retaining walls and other structures under a wide range of soil and weather conditions. Cantsink products are ideal for new construction as well as remedial stabilization.

Cantsink’s special design makes its helical piers 50% stronger than any other steel piers on the market. Its installation process is also shorter and less disruptive than other stabilization methods.

Leveraging decades of experience in foundation support and repair, Cantsink experts analyze the specific conditions of every job, recommend the right approach, and provide the cost-effective products to fit the requirements. Cantsink has proudly established its long reputation as an accomplished provider of high quality workmanship and a leading structural innovator in the foundation installation and repair business.

For more information on Cantsink products and services, visit .

Cantsink Celebrates 30 Years of Foundation Expertise and Innovation

Atlanta, GA –  Cantsink is celebrating its 30th year in 2018 as a trusted partner for foundation support in the construction industry by expanding its Metro Atlanta manufacturing facility.

Since its founding in 1988, Cantsink has supplied the construction industry with foundation stability products, expertise and service. Built on its firm reputation for cost-effective quality and customer satisfaction, Cantsink created and has continuously enhanced its line of patented helical piles. For delivery of quality installation techniques for foundation repair, excellent customer service, and lasting stability, Cantsink’s reputation is unsurpassed.

With a team of professionals that includes general contractors and engineers, Cantsink has installed almost three million feet of helical piers. That’s enough to stretch from its Atlanta, GA, headquarters to Indianapolis, IN, laid end-to-end. Cantsink professionals have combined experience of more than 100 years in foundation repair and stabilization to apply to every site.

Now, Cantsink is poised to speed delivery of its high-quality products resulting from expanded production capacity. The newly expanded facility, completed in March, adds 60,000 square feet and new manufacturing equipment to Cantsink’s manufacturing and storage capability.

Cantsink Founder Patrick Hutchinson continues to lead the company as it grows to keep up with new applications for its products and maintain its record for quick turnaround on orders.

“I’m proud of the talented, dedicated team around me and thankful for the niche we’ve created in the construction industry for the products we’ve designed, patented and certified over the years,” Hutchinson said. “Our ongoing relationships with builders close to our Metro Atlanta home and far beyond reflect Cantsink’s commitment to excellence in every project.”

Over three decades, Cantsink has become an industry leader with the widest variety of helical piles on the market certified by the International Code Council. The ICC, an independent, member-focused association dedicated to developing model codes and standards, tests and verifies building products to ensure they meet the highest standards for performance.

Cantsink’s innovative design means its line of helical piles, made from 100% U.S.-made steel, includes the largest certified helix sizes in the market. Plus, Cantsink’s commitment to value doesn’t stop with the best products, expertise and customer service in the foundation industry. The Cantsink operation has been net-zero energy since 2010 and the patented design of Cantsink products creates less waste while producing a stronger helix.

Through this commitment, Cantsink has developed a strong presence in the growing market for solar energy. Not only are Cantsink’s support products ideal for maintaining the long-term stability of ground-mounted solar arrays, but Cantsink now manufactures racking systems, too. Solar racking from Cantsink is sold through its Brilliant Rack brand.

Whatever the stability or anchoring need, Cantsink makes a perfect product for the purpose and site conditions.  Cantsink’s dedication to high-quality products, excellent customer service, and ongoing innovation continues as the company looks forward to its next 30 years of service to the construction industry.

For more information or to talk to a Cantsink expert, visit


Sharon Lee, Marketing Director


Cantsink Named #1 U.S. Manufacturer Installer in Solar Power World Rankings

Metro Atlanta company also named #1 GA Solar Contractor and #16 on 2018 national Top Contractor list.

Atlanta, GA – Metro Atlanta-based Cantsink has been named by Solar Power World as the #1 Manufacturer Installer on the magazine’s annual ranking of U.S. solar companies.

In addition to being named #1 Manufacturer Installer in the nation, Cantsink also topped the ranking of Georgia Solar Contractors at #1 and was ranked #16 nationally on the Utility Contractors list and the overall Top Contractors list. Cantsink first appeared on the annual Solar Power World Top Contractors list in 2013.

Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractor’s list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets, ranking contractors by kilowatts installed in the previous year.

Solar Power World is very excited about the 2018 class of Top Solar Contractors,” said Kelly Pickerel, the magazine’s editor in chief. “Our 2017 list showed impressive installation numbers after 2016’s huge rush to meet ITC requirements, and many companies were hesitant to show unavoidable installation dips after last year’s high. We’re happy to feature a strong group of thriving U.S. solar installers on the 2018 Top Solar Contractors list. These companies truly are at the top of their markets.”

In 2017, the non-residential solar market grew 28% year-over-year, the fourth straight year of annual growth for commercial, industrial and community solar. Last year, 30% of all new electric generating capacity brought online in the United States came from solar, second only to new natural gas capacity.

The first quarter of 2018 showed 13% growth over the first quarter of 2017, and Cantsink is a recognized contributor to that increase.

Cantsink, which manufactures and installs piling systems that secure ground-mounted solar installation equipment and solar racking systems (branded through its Brilliant Rack division), is a net-zero-energy operation powered with solar energy. The company is celebrating its 30th year in business and just completed a significant expansion.

Patrick Hutchinson, CEO of Cantsink, said he is delighted to see the Cantsink team honored with recognition by Solar Power World as one of the nation’s Top Solar Contractors and Georgia’s #1 Solar Contractor.

“I am proud of the excellent work our Cantsink solar division does and honored that our work is recognized among the nation’s most sought-after solar companies. Being named #1 Manufacturer Installer is a dream come true,” Hutchinson said. “From our first day in business 30 years ago, we have focused on quality, expertise and customer service in every aspect of our work. To be engaged in this emerging solar market is exciting and we remain committed to its ongoing growth and vitality.”

Sharon Lee

About Cantsink

Cantsink is a piling manufacturing company trusted throughout the nation to supply innovative, strong and cost-effective helical piles. Now celebrating 30 years in business, we have been in the helical pile industry since 1988 innovating piles for a wide variety of structures. Building on our pioneering experience in solar as a net-zero-energy facility, Cantsink leveraged that expertise to become a recognized national leader in the fast-growing solar industry. In 2013, Cantsink began manufacturing racking systems for ground-mounted solar and formed its branded racking system, Brilliant Rack, in 2014. Expertise and innovation have made Cantsink a trusted provider of helical piles for 30 years and a leader in the growing solar industry. For more information, visit


About Solar Power World

Solar Power World is the leading online and print resource for news and information regarding solar installation, development and technology. Since 2011, SPW has helped U.S. solar contractors – including installers, developers and EPC’s in all markets – grow their businesses and do their jobs better.


Solar Power World

Kelly Pickerel, editor in chief