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Solar for Flat Roofs and Ground Mounting

Solar panels installed on flat roofs are generally tilted upwards towards the sun to capture more light and prevent the accumulation of dirt on the surface, however this also increases aerodynamic forces from the wind. Installing solar panels onto flat roofs while maintaining weather-tightness and providing sufficient hold-down against wind is critical. Make sure you're talking to the experts.

There are two approaches to fixing down, either adding weights to the solar panels to prevent them moving in the wind or fixing the panels to the structure below. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Whichever approach you favour, Viridian Solar has developed flat roofing systems for simple and rapid installation.

 

Ballast Weight

1. Ballast Frames are arranged on the roof and paving slabs are added as weight.

2. Support legs are fixed to the ballast frames. The length of the legs fixes the elevation angle for the panels.
3. Solar panels are clipped into the front brackets on the ballast frames and rotated up to fix to the top of the support legs.
   
   
Mechanical Fix
1. A support structure (not supplied) is fabricated and fixed through the weather-proofing to the roof structure below. The number of roof penetrations is traded off against the size of the beams.
2. Brackets and support legs are fixed to the support structure.
3. Solar panels are clipped into the front brackets and rotated up to fix to the top of the support legs.
   
   
Ballast Weight
 
Advantages Disadvantages
No roof penetrations

Additional mass on roof

 

Needs completely clear roof area

 

Restricts access to roof covering for subsequent mainentance or repair

Mechanical Fix
 
Advantages Disadvantages
Lower weight Roof penetrations are required
Soil vent pipes can exit beneath panels  
Roof covering is accessible for subsequent maintenance or repair  
 

From the Gallery

Clearline PV panels flat roof mounted with mechanical fix
Click for larger image of solar panels installed on green roof
Click for larger image of solar panel on Extracare building
Click for larger image of solar panels on flat roof of private residential block
       
 
Further Information
 
Viridian Solar Brochures
How it Works - Introduction to Solar Energy

Solar Panels for Retrofitting

Solar panels for installation in pitched roofs
Case Studies
Gallery of flat roofing installations
 
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