Solar Mounting System Features Carbon Steel Finished Frame

The framing of the solar mounting system features a carbon steel finish that is hot dip galvanized per ASTM A 123.

The framing of the solar mounting system features a carbon steel finish that is hot dip galvanized per ASTM A 123.

PHP Systems/Design, a designer and manufacturer of rooftop pipe and equipment support systems, has introduced a solar mounting system.
 
The PHP Solar Panel Mounting System’s base material is made from injection molded high density/high impact polypropylene with UV-inhibitors and antioxidants. The framing features a carbon steel finish that is hot dip galvanized per ASTM A 123. This system addresses height, wind and heat concerns with regard to solar panel installations.
 
The PHP Solar Panel Mounting System is designed to support a variety of solar panels and can be used for any type of roof; from flat roofs to roofs sloped up to 2 in 12. Seismic and high wind applications are available for solar support applications. 

Lightweight Solar Panels Can Be Used On Flat Roofs

Beamreach Solar has introduced Sprint, a lightweight photovoltaic solar panel system for flat commercial roofs.

Beamreach Solar has introduced Sprint, a lightweight photovoltaic solar panel system for flat commercial roofs.

Beamreach Solar has introduced Sprint, a lightweight photovoltaic solar panel system for flat commercial roofs. Sprint can be installed on nearly all commercial roofs that cannot currently support heavy conventional solar systems, dramatically expanding the commercial solar power market. Featuring maximum power capacities ranging from 290 to 320 watts, Sprint integrates racking into the panel for quicker installation that requires no tools and no grounding. Sprint’s design also reduces the distance required between panel rows, enabling up to 30 percent more panels to be installed on a roof, increasing the solar system’s overall energy output. Sprint panels have been tested to support test loads up to 5,400 Pascals and withstand wind speeds of 115 mph. Sprint also comes with a 25-year linear output warranty and 10-year product warranty.

MiaSole and General Membrane Announce Partnership Agreement

General Membrane SpA, the premiere Italian provider of bitumen, synthetic and metal roof waterproofing membranes, and MiaSolé have entered a strategic partnership agreement. General Membrane will integrate the MiaSolé flexible thin-film CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Selenide) FLEX module—the thin-film lightweight flexible module with an aperture efficiency rating of up to 17%—into their new General Solar PV FLEX, an innovative solution for the waterproofing sector. General Solar PV Flex is composed of MiaSolè flexible modules adhered to a General Membrane bituminous or synthetic waterproofing layer. General Solar PV FLEX becomes an integral part of the roof and offers the double benefit of waterproofing and generation of electricity, and can be used on new and existing flat or sloping roofs as well as roofs with variable geometry, such as curves.

The MiaSolé FLEX module has several features that make it ideal for General Membrane’s waterproof membranes. In addition to its high efficiency rating, the low weight of the module (<2.9kg/m2) allows installation on roofs that cannot support the weight of traditional glass solar panels. The peel-and-stick application allows the FLEX module to be fully integrated into the membrane, conforming to curved surfaces and offering superior resistance to wind. “We are proud of this partnership agreement between our company and MiaSolé that is in accordance with the mission of General Membrane SpA. The role of the roof is changing and modern waterproofing systems must meet, through innovation, the new functions of the roof, ensuring durability. The partnership with MiaSolé and its innovative Flex modules allows us to continue in our proposal of BIPV systems and our commitment towards the environmental solutions”, said Maurizio Codognotto, president and CEO of General Membrane SpA. “The MiaSolé module helps General Membrane create solutions for today’s challenges integrating solar power generation into buildings,” says Anil Vijayendran, vice president of Product Sales and Marketing at MiaSolé. “We are pleased with this partnership with General Membrane, a company that has proven its commitment towards the environment by installing more than 45MW of solar since 2007. Working with General Membrane highlights our commitment to expand the solar energy ecosystem with this integrated General Solar PV FLEX waterproofing membrane”. “This partnership agreement with General Membrane is an example on how the MiaSolé flex module can be used to create unique solutions preserving the integrity of the roof and rewards the choice of Hanergy to invest in flexible CIGS technologies. We are proud of this partnership with General Membrane, a company that already proved its commitment towards the environment installing, since 2007, more than 45MW of solar”, said Li Ming, CEO of Hanergy Europe, MiaSolé’s sales partner in Europe.

After Years of Roof Leaks, a Laboratory That Produces Theatrical Equipment and Software Undergoes a Complex Reroofing

Founded in 1910, Rosco Laboratories is a multi-national producer of equipment, software and products for the theatrical, film, and television industries and architectural environment. As with every aging flat roofing system, water leakage was becoming a recurring problem at Rosco’s Stamford, Conn., facility. The severity of the leakage was further exacerbated by the lack of roof drainage (only two roof drains serviced the entire building) and poor deck slope conditions (less than 1/16 inch per foot).

The gypsum decking was cut out within the limits of the entire framing “bay” and infilled with galvanized metal decking. The longitudinal deck panel edge was seated atop the horizontal leg of the bulb-tee section (visible in the center of the photograph) and mechanically fastened using self-tapping screws. The ends were supported by the steel purlins. The underside of the decking was prepainted to match the ceiling finish. Supplemental structural support consisting of strips of 14-gauge galvanized sheet metal were attached to the bottom of each bulb-tee section contiguous to the repair to provide additional support for the adjacent gypsum roof decking segment.

The gypsum decking was cut out within the limits of the entire framing “bay” and infilled with galvanized metal decking. The longitudinal deck panel edge was seated atop the horizontal leg of the bulb-tee section (visible in the center of the photograph) and mechanically fastened using self-tapping screws. The ends were supported by the steel purlins. The underside of the decking was prepainted to match the ceiling finish. Supplemental structural support consisting of strips of 14-gauge galvanized sheet metal were attached to the bottom of each bulb-tee section contiguous to the repair to provide additional support for the adjacent gypsum roof decking segment.


Rosco representatives employed traditional methods to control and/or collect the moisture within the building by use of several water diverters. This technique was effective but Rosco representatives soon recognized this was not a viable long term solution as the physical integrity of the roof structure (deck) became a principal concern to the safety of the building occupants.

The Fisher Group LLC, an Oxford, Conn.-based building envelope consulting firm was retained by Rosco in March 2009 to survey the existing site conditions and determine the need for roofing replacement. The existing roofing construction, which consisted of a conventional two-ply, smooth-surfaced BUR with aluminized coating, exhibited numerous deficiencies (most notably severe alligatoring) and was deemed unserviceable. Construction documents, including drawings and specifications and a project phasing plan were developed by Fisher Group to address the planned roof replacement.

Bid proposals were solicited from prequalified contractors in June 2010, and F.J. Dahill Co. Inc., New Haven, Conn., was awarded the contract on the basis of lowest bid.

Existing Conditions

The building basically consists of a 1-story steel-framed structure constructed in the 1970s. It is a simple “box”-style configuration, which is conducive to manufacturing.

In conjunction with design services, destructive test cuts were made by Fisher Group in several roof sections as necessary to verify the existing roofing composition, insulation substrate, moisture entrapment, and substrate/deck construction. A total of four distinct “layers” of roofing were encountered at each test cut. The existing roofing construction consisted of alternating layers of smooth- and gravel-surfaced, multi-ply felt and bitumen built-up roofing. The bitumen contained throughout the construction was fortunately asphalt-based. Succeeding layers of roofing were spot mopped or fully mopped to the preceding layer (system). The combined weight of the roofing construction was estimated to be upwards of 20 to 22 pounds per square foot when considering the moisture content. This is excessive weight.

The roof insulation panels were set into ribbons of low-rise polyurethane foam insulation adhesive. The adhesive was applied in a continuous serpentine bead, spaced 6 inches on-center throughout the field of the roof.

The roof insulation panels were set into ribbons of low-rise polyurethane foam insulation adhesive. The adhesive was applied in a continuous serpentine bead, spaced 6 inches on-center throughout the field of the roof.


It is interesting to note that a minimal amount of roof insulation was present in the existing construction. Insulation was limited to a single layer of 1/2-inch-thick fiberboard. Additional insulation would need to be provided as part of the replacement roofing construction to increase the roof’s thermal performance and comply with the prescriptive requirements of the Connecticut State Energy Conservation Construction Code.

The structural substrate, or decking, is conventional in nature, comprised of poured gypsum roof decking. The roof decking incorporates 1/2-inch gypsum formboard loose laid between steel bulb-tee supports spaced about 32 inches on-center. The poured gypsum roof decking in this instance was utilized as the structural substrate and for insulating purposes. Poured gypsum roof decking has a minimal insulating value of perhaps R-2 to R-3, which is obviously considered to be minimal by present standards.

A representative number of bulk material samples were obtained by Fisher Group from the existing roofing construction as necessary to determine the material composition. The sampling included field membrane roofing plies, coatings and cements, and associated roof penetration and perimeter flashings. Laboratory analysis revealed that the second, third and, in some instances, fourth roofing “layers” (field membrane plies) contained varying amounts—5 to 10 percent—of asbestos (chrysotile) which would necessitate full abatement of the roofing construction.

PHOTOS: The Fisher Group LLC

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Flat-roof Solar Mounting Solution Is Twice as Fast to Install

SolarCity's ZS Peak

SolarCity’s ZS Peak

SolarCity unveiled a new product in its Zep Solar line of solar products—a flat roof solar mounting solution that is twice as fast to install and can generate significantly more solar electricity from each rooftop than alternatives for the commercial market. ZS Peak makes it possible for far more businesses, schools and other organizations to install solar power on their buildings and immediately pay less for solar electricity than they pay for utility power, and will significantly expand the addressable market for commercial solar.

Like the revolutionary Zep residential solar systems, ZS Peak provides an innovative snap-together system to simplify and accelerate installation. SolarCity estimates that ZS Peak can increase generation capacity on flat roof buildings by 20-50 percent per building and do so without requiring any penetrations. The system’s dense, east-west layout structure will allow SolarCity to fit up to 20 percent more solar panels on standard roofs and up to 50 percent more panels on lightweight roofs, such as those commonly found on warehouses. The increase in panels per roof is particularly valuable in the commercial market, as conventional flat-roof solar systems typically power less than half of a commercial building’s load.

ZS Peak’s east-west orientation not only allows installers to fit more solar panels on each roof than standard south-facing systems, it also captures peak power production throughout a longer period of the day. By lengthening power production time and eliminating the typical mid-day spike of standard solar systems, SolarCity can also make more efficient use of solar inverters to further reduce costs for customers. ZS Peak has so significantly improved on the aerodynamics of conventional systems that it can be installed as a lightweight, non-penetrating system on many roofs that would otherwise require the solar panels to be bolted down.

SolarCity is currently installing its first project with ZS Peak and expects to begin installing the product in volume in January 2015. Businesses and other organizations interested in SolarCity’s services can contact the company directly at (888) 765-2489 for a free, no-obligation solar consultation or visit SolarCity online.

A Roofer Develops a Solar Solution for Ponding Water on Flat Roofs

The original Sentinel II XD Solar Roof Pump includes a rotatable 20-Watt solar panel.

The original Sentinel II XD Solar Roof Pump includes a rotatable 20-Watt solar panel.

When you say “flat roof”, many people cringe, thinking of stagnant ponding water, health concerns and damaging roof leaks. And it’s not unusual during very rainy seasons to hear about low-slope roofs collapsing under the weight of ponded water.

Auxiliary roof pumps and even solar roof pumps have been around for decades but can be unreliable. Nicholas Bryditzki, a licensed roofing contractor and certified infrared roof inspector, developed the Sentinel Solar Roof Pump because he wanted a more reliable option. “It’s not that I invented it; they already exist but none of them work,” he says. “I went to a premier solar engineer with the concept and said I want to make this thing ‘roofer-proof’.”

To Bryditzki, “roofer-proof” means the roof pump had to be very durable. Consequently, the Sentinel Solar Roof Pump is encased in spun aluminum that is powder coated with a DuPont coating to keep the patent-pending system cool. In addition, patent-pending cold-weather protection ensures the pump won’t freeze and burn out. To further protect the pump, a sensor detects when water needs to be drained, so the pump doesn’t run all the time; it uses a “siphon-effect”, per Bryditzki. The 20-Watt solar panel is large enough to recharge the battery.

The Sentinel II LP Solar Roof Pump is a stationary unit with an embedded solar panel.

The Sentinel II LP Solar Roof Pump is a stationary unit with an embedded solar panel.

“Roofers showed a little resistance to this until I showed them how to actually save a roof and service it until the owner was ready to re-pitch and re-deck or instead of installing expensive new in-roof drains,” Bryditzki adds. “That’s how it’s catching on right now.”

Currently, there are three Solar Roof Pump models available: the original Sentinel II XD Solar Roof Pump, which can be placed where it’s needed; the Sentinel II LP Solar Roof Pump, which is a stationary unit with an embedded solar panel; and Sentinel II XDR Solar Roof Pump, which features a removable solar panel that can be placed away from the pump. “We also developed a pan flashing; roofers install the pan in the roof, place the solar roof pump in the pan and, depending on the roof surface, it will help drain the roof down to virtually no water whatsoever,” Bryditzki adds.

The Sentinel II XDR Solar Roof Pump features a removable solar panel that can be placed away from the pump.

The Sentinel II XDR Solar Roof Pump features a removable solar panel that can be placed away from the pump.

Bryditzki is delighted by the Sentinel Solar Roof Pump’s success during the two years it has been available in the marketplace. He credits the success to the design of the roof pump itself. “The original prototype is still installed and running in the middle of New Mexico,” he says. “I was just out there last month and we tried to break it; we put mud, leaves and rocks in it and it was still draining.”

Learn More
Visit SolarRoofPumps.com.
Call (817) 771-5027.
Watch a Sentinel Solar Roof Pump video.

This “Roofers’ Choice” was determined by the product that received the most reader inquiries from the March/April issue’s “Materials & Gadgets” section.

PHOTOS: Nicholas Bryditzki