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.

Issue link: http://digital.solarbuildermag.com/i/979544

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42 M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 8 New solar mounts for tile rooftops cut labor costs, avoid OSHA issues By Charles W. Thurston I t's always reassuring when solar technology moves faster than a federal regulator, even if it is a well-intentioned agency like the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In this recent case, a new crop of solar tile replacements that support rooftop mounting systems are eliminating the need for drilling, grinding or sawing cement tiles, an activity that generates harmful dust for workers when not controlled carefully. Stuck in the Middle OSHA came down with a new silica rule (29 CFR 1926.55, 1910.1000) in October that limits worker exposure to 50 micro- grams of silica dust per cubic meter of air over an eight-hour time-weighted average. Penny-wise-and-pound-foolish solar companies that still choose the cheapest tile hooks requiring them to saw or drill cement tiles now must monitor worker expo- sure to silica dust and mitigate exposure through practices includ- ing mask use, wet-cutting and dust collection. Other more for- ward-looking solar companies will simply opt for the new tech and cut their BOS labor costs for a net job gain. Sawing or drilling concrete roof tiles was the standard for installing rooftop PV mounting systems up until a few years ago. Now a number of tile replacement manufacturers say that their products are no more costly than most old-design tile hooks, are faster to install and save a roof tile at every penetra- tion point. Saving tiles for an older roof is no small event. Cement tile costs around $7 per square foot, when a replace- ment with the same shape can be found, much less with match- ing fade. "I'm not sure how much the new OSHA rules will drive the tile replacement mounting market or affect it, because the market will change more as companies see the benefits of saving time and cost," reckons Andrew Wickham, the marketing manager for SnapNrack Solar Mounting Solutions. The Replacements Quick Mount PV's Tile Replacement Mounts feature its patented Elevated Water Seal Technology for optimal waterproofing. MOUNTING G U I D E

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