Did you know that your roof already comes with free rails? You can mount PV directly to the roof panels themselves - using the “direct-attach” method. Whether you are dealing with standing seam or ribbed, face-fastened panels, these metal roofs have one thing in common: They all have built-in rails. (See image to the left: Standing seam metal roofs have rails (the seams) built right in ready for direct attachment of solar panels.)
When it comes to sharing solar array costs, companies often shy away and dance around the question. They usually focus on the customization angle – telling you that prices vary, and that this is what makes estimation difficult.
Now, of course costs vary, because no two projects are the same but whether you are an installer, contractor, or a homeowner, you share two common questions:
How much is this going to cost me and how long is it going to take?
It’s time! IRE – the International Roofing Expo has started in Nashville, TN. It officially runs February 11-13 in Music City Center. The exhibit hall in the Center is located in downtown Nashville – incredible roofing products and within walking distance to restaurants and local music venues. What could be better?
Photovoltaics (PV) is the process of converting light into electricity. PV technology converts sunlight (otherwise known as solar radiation) into direct current electricity. This process uses semiconductors, (the most common semiconductor material being crystalline silicon), so when the sun hits the PV, the electrons are released and form an electric current. Photovoltaic technology is commonly attached to a panel; and these solar panels are connected to one another and mounted onto a frame. This PV assembly is called a module and you can wire these modules together into an array. Rays of sunlight (photons) are absorbed by the solar panels. This power then gets converted into Alternating Current (AC) to be used in the house - or sold back to the centralized city grid.
Best design and installation practices when using seam clamps to structurally attach PV systems to standing seam metal roofs
Standing seam metal roofing (SSMR) is the most convenient of any roof type for mounting PV modules, either crystalline or thin-film. The seams of SSMR are beam-like elements that not only add stiffness and flexural strength to the roof panels, but also provide expedient attachment points for a PV system. Joining PV modules to this roof type can be done with or without continuous mounting rails using aluminum seam clamps.
Seam Clamps and Mechanical Compression
These clamps anchor to the roof seam by pinching it within the clamp body with round point set-screws that are in no way invasive to the roof. The setscrew forces the metal of the standing seam into a recess in the opposing clamp wall, permanently deforming it in order to establish a mechanical interlock. The clamp body is machined with threaded holes to facilitate anchorage of PV modules or racking components to the clamp.