Flat Roof Installation
A flat roof installation offers flexibility in orienting and tilting the solar panels for ideal solar collection. These types of installations are generally the quickest and easiest to construct, taking 5-6 weeks to complete. For a rooftop installation, equipment is moved to the roof using an overhead crane, variable reach forklift or a lift mounted to the side of the building. The four types of flat roof installations are:
Ground or Field Installation
Prior to siting the array, it may be recommended for the area to be fenced off for safety reasons. Another consideration is whether the site will be easily accessible for the installation crew and their equipment. As for the installation itself, in order to ensure the array is on a stable foundation, piles are driven into the ground to support the solar equipment. Trenching for connecting cables will also be done in order to transmit energy produced from the array.
While this type of installation generally takes 6-8 weeks to complete, it may require some extra time beforehand for a geological survey prior to permitting.
A favorite among schools and public works facilities, these have rapidly gained popularity with auto dealers as well. They are more complex commercial solar installation projects that may take 8-12 weeks to complete.
Additional inspections are often required to satisfy state and federal regulations. (It may be prudent to hire your own architect to monitor holes drilled, rebar & concrete use, and steel fabrication throughout the process.)
Pre-construction demolition and post-construction patching and painting may also be necessary. While a lack of parking may be inconvenient during construction, employees will appreciate the covered spaces once the project is complete.
Pitched Roof System
This roof type can be found on a variety of commercial-sized buildings including warehouses and agricultural barns. With a pitched roof installation, the array lays close to the roof, working with its existing structure. It is a great option for sleek design and unobstructed solar capture.
The three different types of pitched-roof installations are: