BGWrapper - Renewable Energy World
The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Latest Updates
Check boxes on left to make selections



UnThink Solar Category

Articles You May Like

Unable to retrieve RSS feed contents

UnThink Solar
a div of Impress Labs
811 Sansome St
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States

No. of Employees: 33
Phone: 415-395-0941

Psst! Solar Fred Marketing Tip: Film Your Solar Projects in Time Lapse

I have no idea why people love time-lapse videos. Our eyes are certainly attracted to things that move quickly, and for some reason it’s fun to see people in hardhats and machines building a solar project from nothing, condensing days or weeks into minutes.

Below are two recent time-lapse solar videos that I saw on Twitter. Both are large commercial projects, but I think this video technique works for every sector, from residential to utility scale solar.

The first time-lapse video is from GreenFuel Technologies in Phoenix, Arizona. The company installed a 450-kW solar parking structure in Phoenix with Suntech panels and 3 KACO Newenergy inverters.

The time-lapse formula isn’t too complicated or expensive. Using very common video/camera technology, a tripod, instrumental music, and a lot of patience, the company condensed a 30-day project into a fun, short (1 minute, 32 seconds) solar promo.



The second video is from a SunPower utility project, which naturally used its own panels and T20 Tracker system. No inverter is mentioned or visible, but I have a feeling…SunPower. Isn’t it nice to be vertical? In any case, like GreenFuel, SunPower used the time-lapse technique, and also mixed it with stills, regular motion video, slow-mo, and instrumental music. The gliding aerial shots are a nice touch too, but that’s only for companies that can afford fly-overs for their photographers. 

There’s a dynamic quality to both of these videos, and that’s what makes them so watchable for a brief (under 3 minutes) time. The right music helps, and rolling skies in the background with a sunrise or sunset make just about any desolate construction project look magical.

Other tips to keep in mind when doing these videos for your own residential or commercial solar projects:

  • Keep the videos brief. Said this above, but worth repeating: You don’t have to use all of your footage. This is what editing software is for. But do try to keep it in sequence. Think beginning, middle, and end.
  • Try to get as many cameras and angles as possible. Set the cameras up, and walk away. The more you mess with these, the more herky-jerky they look.
  • Use titles to educate. Although difficult to read here because of Greenfuel’s font choice, I like their descriptive titles. They describe what’s going on in each phase, and this is the point, no? These videos aren’t just entertaining distractions. They’re creatively educating potential customers about solar and what to expect during the building process.
  • Don’t forget to include visuals of your brand in there. I liked seeing GreenFuel’s trucks and vans zipping in and out. Couldn’t hurt to have people with branded shirts/caps coming into the frame once in a while. 
  • Add a human touch. Much of the filming is improvisational, but it would be fun to see a truck pull up to an empty space, a crew come out, and bam, you’re off. Then at the end, the crew can all come together in front of the finished product, all in fast motion and then ...freeze frame, fade out. Likewise, if someone waves to the camera, as long as they’re smiling and not giving a middle finger salute, keep it in there.  
  • Load it to Youtube for sharing. Like these two companies, when finished, post these videos on your website and social networks via YouTube, a platform that makes sharing videos easy, and it’s free.
  • Be sure to share/include your project partners. Share the video with partner vendors and their social networks, too. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t have seen GreenFuel’s video if I hadn’t seen KACO’s tweet on Twitter about their blog post. Likewise, it was because I tweeted that I loved time-lapse that a SunPower PR person tweeted to me about their time-lapse video. And here we are…

Time-lapse isn’t anything new, and it’s certainly gotten easier and inexpensive with today’s cameras. (You can buy a dedicated time-lapse camera for under a $100.00. Check Time-lapse video is just one more way to attract attention, build solar authority — and UnThink Solar.

Tor Valenza a.k.a. “Solar Fred” advises solar companies on marketing, communications, and public relations. Contact him through UnThink Solar or follow him on Twitter @SolarFred.


No comments have been added.
You must login or register to add a comment.