Solar Builder

SEP-OCT 2017

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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16 S E P T E M B E R / O C TO B E R 2 0 1 7 mounting T he KnuckleHead Solar Support is a new commercial rooftop solar support and attachment system from Green Link, which the company says can bridge the gap between efficient energy collection and challenging rooftops from several kW in size to systems of MW proportions. Here's how the company approached it. 15-DEGREE TILT The head is designed to support solar arrays at a fixed 15-degree angle while also functioning as an elbow connector that fixtures perpendicular strut members along the same 15-degree plane. The heads are height adjustable up to 3 in. from the support point, but Green Link also offers extensions that can elevate solar arrays up to 18 in. off the roof 's surface. "The Solar KnuckleHead design represents a universal approach to solar energy collection support and attachment on low slope roofing sys - tems," said Ondrej Pekarovic, design engineer for Green Link. "Input from the solar community helped to engi - neer and optimize the design that ultimately works well in a wide range of latitudes and geographical loca - tions." In equatorial latitudes, theoretically the most optimal mounting plane would be parallel to the roof. Putting solar panels flat would allow for maximum energy collection, but dirt and dust accumulation would also be the greatest. "In these latitudes, the 15-degree incline directs the precipitation to run off the collector, keeping it clean and free of dirt, while still delivering a high level of energy collection," Pekarovic said. In northern latitudes, higher incline angles would deliver maxi - mum energy collection, but the cost of wind pressures on the assembly would increase as well. "Here, the 15-degree KnuckleHead Solar Support optimizes the wind profile and satisfies the maximum allowable angle recommended by NRCA to mitigate wind damage," Pekarovic says. MATERIALS Solar Supports are molded from glass-reinforced nylon, which Green Link promotes as being impervious to weathering, freeze-thaw cycles, UV exposure and stress. The KnuckleHead universal base can be loose laid, but Solar KnuckleHeads should be mechanically attached using both screws as well as Chem Link M-1 structural adhesive/sealant to establish a secure, waterproof installation. Each KnuckleHead can support up to 600 lbs. Attachments can be a tricky sell when it comes to certain roofing warranties, which is why ballast solutions are often favored on com - mercial roofs, despite the extra load. To satisfy those warranties, Green Link is also offering Halo Target Flashings, available for EPDM, Mod-Bit, TPO and PVC mem - branes, and is heat welded or adhered to the KnuckleHead base and the roof substrate to prevent leaks. KNUCKLE UP MEET GREEN LINK'S NEW UNIVERSAL MOUNTING SYSTEM FOR COMMERCIAL ROOFS By SB Staff

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