Solar Builder

MAY-JUN 2018

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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Page 37 of 55

38 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 8 O n commercial rooftops, design trends are all about maximizing energy density. Module selection is a huge factor there, but so are the layout and tilt decisions — figuring out the per- fect shape and tilt to mount as many mod- ules as possible without compromising their performance. Pairing the right racking system with a flat-roof space opens up a world of possible equations. Use a racking system that will position the panels to maximize the energy output, which includes the tilt angle, inter- row spacing and the direction the panels will face. As always, geography matters. For one, the roof 's azimuth, or the direction the pitch faces. For a perfect south-facing sys- tem, the azimuth should be 180. But new systems are tweaking the tradi- tional. East/west systems are becoming popular below the tropic of cancer (more on that on pg. 40). Designers are playing more with tilt angles, with the general trend moving toward 5-degree tilt — likely to reduce inter-row shading without compro- mising the number of modules used or resulting in too much soiling. "Rooftop energy density is maximized by fitting more panels on the roof using a 5-degree racking system," said Jonah Coles, product solutions manager, Ecolibrium Solar. "The key to fitting more panels on the roof is to use racking with a MOUNTING G U I D E Degrees of Separation How to mount commercial rooftop PV systems to maximize energy By Chris Crowell Photo features Ecolibrium EcoFoot system

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