Fix thin-film modules on flat roofs

4/13/18, 11:00 AM -

In the case of solar installations with thin-film solar panels on flat roofs, however, the struts are slightly different, because due to their cell structure the solar panels are always installed on edge.

Module framing in Hedingen, the factory of Ernst Schweizer AG.

But even this extension is very easy to implement as part of the modular mounting system by adding longer struts between the supports. Generally, the Swiss manufacturer Ernst Schweizer AG recommends using its aerodynamic flat roof system without roof penetrations for applications with up to a maximum of three degrees of inclination.

If the substructure is physically fastened to the building, however, installations on steeper roofs are also possible. One solution for roofs that have an inclination of up to ten degrees, two roof sections and a central ridge is to hang the solar array onto the ridge.

Bolted in place or tied down?

In this design, the Ernst Schweizer AG installs the solar panels on the opposite roof surfaces and connects the two sections by additional struts over the ridge. The number of rails required is determined by calculation.

Alternatively, the mounting systems can also be secured to the building with a rope system. It goes without saying that in all solutions the Ernst Schweizer AG takes the specific weight of the solar panels and the coefficient of friction into account and checks which static friction forces can occur so that the system can reliably withstand the force of the shifting winds. The comprehensive wind tunnel research, which also includes various attic heights, ensures the necessary safety. (author: Dr Helge Hartwig)

Dr Helge Hartwig is Head of Sales and Technology for PV mounting systems at Ernst Schweizer AG.

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