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Solar Racking Systems

The basics of Solar Racking installations

If you are considering installing a solar energy system at your home, business or other building, you should know the basics of solar racking systems.  These racking systems securely connect the solar panels to the roof or the ground. These systems are carefully engineered to suit the existing rooftop along with other structures.

Solar panels are considered Components & Cladding within the building code. This means the panels must be completely integrated into the structure of the building or the soil/ ground. In other words, solar panels cannot be simply nailed into the roof. Every component of the solar panel system must be capable of withstanding winds of hurricane-force. Solar panels must also be able to withstand heavy rain, considerable snow and even the impact of salt in the air.

The Types of Solar Racking Systems

Roof Mounted

Most residential roof mounted solar panels are fastened to the rooftop in parallel to the roof with a gap of a couple inches. The solar array must initially be designed on the side of the roof that faces the sun more than the other side. Other roof mounted systems for commercial flat rooftops are integrated with an anchor system or a ballast weighted racking system. It is very important that these rooftop systems are carefully reviewed by a structural engineer in order to verify that the rooftop can withstand the weight load of the solar energy system. The staging of the heavy material on the rooftop is also a very careful process. Unfortunately, this is a process that is ignored by many contractors in the industry.

Ground Mounts

Ground mounts, although typically used for commercial or large-scale utility stations, are also used for some residences as well.  This variety of solar racking system is connected to a ground-integrated foundation normally by a ground screw, piling, or concrete caisson. Soil conditions should always be considered when evaluating what mounting system should be engineered for the specific project.

Solar Racking System Components

01
component

The Roof Mounts

The roof mounts, also referred to as the roof or ground attachments, are available in different colors and styles.  The type of roof in question, be it asphalt, tile or slate, determines the type of mount used.  L-brackets and flashing are typically used with roof mounts, allowing for a low-profile installation that permits proper airflow along the panels. Our company has a very strict quality assurance process. All penetrations in the roof are inspected by our project manager before the solar panels are installed. 

02
component

Mounting Rails

Mounting rails are carefully designed to ensure they can withstand inclement weather.  The best rails are anodized to prevent surface damage along with corrosion, while providing a sleek and clean aesthetic.

03
component

Module Clamps

Module clamps connect the solar module’s top surface to the rails. All of our clamps form a grounding connection to the module in order to bond the entire mechanical system.
Your roof is the most important asset to any building’s construction. Keep in mind the addition of a solar PV system is inherently challenging. Only the most trusted installers should be permitted on your roof. 

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