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Thread: Roof attachments for solar panels

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    Roof attachments for solar panels

    I've been looking into a DIY solar install for a couple of reasons, but the prime one is money. I have a standing seam metal roof with a 9/12 pitch (about 37 degree slope).

    That roof pitch is near ideal from winter solar heating given my location, but one solar company said their guys wouldn't climb my roof and a couple of others have added on significant "steep roof" surcharges. Basically parts cost of ~$2K, installed price between $5K and $6K.

    So, DIY is looking attractive.

    Putting holes in the roof voids my warranty, so that method of attachment is out. I've been looking into S-5 clamps, but am more than willing to look into alternatives if anyone knows of a suitable substitute.

    The standing seam ridges are 15" apart, and this does not match up well with the solar panels. As a result, I think I will build some sort of rack, or at least some sort of thin strip (maybe angle) to attach to the roof seams and to which the panels can be bolted.

    Considering SunStar/Heliocol simply because they require fewer attachment points than FAFCO or the FAFCO clones.

    Criticism of my ideas, alternatives, etc all welcome at this stage.
    Geometric 16X36', 16K gal, shotcrete, exposed aggregate plaster, acrylic coated concrete deck/cantilever coping;
    Pentair equipment suite (EasyTouch w/wireless, 2 Intellibrites, Intelliflo VS-3050, C&C 200 Filter, IC-40 SWG);
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Roof attachments for solar panels

    You may run afoul of building codes if your attachment isn't sufficient. Even in non-hurricane country the attachment needs to be pretty robust, and I can't imagine a system that wouldn't require penetration. Any chance your roofing company does solar panels or would do it for a customer?

    Check out this product: http://www.h2otsun.com/ps/index.html

    It is 13.5" wide and can even be split so the seam could go right down the middle of the panel if you could come up with a way to raise the header above the seams. They also mount these panels on tile roofs by gluing the panel in place. Whether that would work on a standing seam roof, I don't know.

    There are also panels that allow you to make your own sizes for a custom fit, but I can't recall the manufacturer.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Roof attachments for solar panels

    Thank you for the link, I will have to read up on their stuff - looks very interesting, especially the concept of gluing them down. The wind problem is, of course, the issue of air getting under the panels and lifting, then ripping them off and flinging them against someone's property.

    The S-5 clamps will meet code without roof penetrations, it's just that they cost (retail) about $15 each (although I have seem the on the net for just under $10 each plus shipping).

    A little more info might be in order - I'm currently planning five 4'X12' panels.
    Geometric 16X36', 16K gal, shotcrete, exposed aggregate plaster, acrylic coated concrete deck/cantilever coping;
    Pentair equipment suite (EasyTouch w/wireless, 2 Intellibrites, Intelliflo VS-3050, C&C 200 Filter, IC-40 SWG);
    Heliocol solar panels, Rocky's Roller, Blue Diamond robot

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    Re: Roof attachments for solar panels

    One part of my house is a 7/12 shingle roof. It's my limit and I am never very comfortable on it.

    A 9/12 metal roof makes my palms sweat just considering it.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Roof attachments for solar panels

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    One part of my house is a 7/12 shingle roof. It's my limit and I am never very comfortable on it.

    A 9/12 metal roof makes my palms sweat just considering it.
    Mine is 10/12 shingle. 9/12 metal is a sliding board. That's why I suggested contacting the roofer, since they know how to work on that pitch. The guys that did my roof walked from eave to peak and over without harnesses. I left rather than watch.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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