Not all pitched roofs can accommodate a Solar PV system. This could be because of a very steep pitch, obstructions such as dormer windows or loft-extensions or due to the orientation of your roof(s). If you have a flat-roof extension, garage or outbuilding, installing a Solar PV system onto a flat surface is the perfect solution.
There are several ways of mounting panels on a flat-roof. At Pure Energy, we choose to predominantly opt for the Renusol Console+ Tubs. The tubs are made of HDPE (High Density Poly Ethylene), with aluminium and stainless steel fixings. Once fixed, the panels are pitched at 15° degrees and can be orientated to face in any direction. (optimal is due South, 180°)
Securing the mounting solution.
So, how are the tubs secured? The bucket-type shape allows for bags of ballast to be placed in, which weighs down the mounting kit. The HDPE plastic helps evenly distribute the weight of the tubs, ballast and PV module to ensure the substructure is not compromised. When designing a PV system which is proposed to be installed on a flat-roof, our operations department complete a weight-load calculation to ensure the safety of the works, depending on the location of the install.
The PV modules are placed in rows, with each row set at a minimum distance apart to avoid the panels shading one-another.
Of course, not all flat-roofs are pitched at 0°. A slight incline is used to allow for rain water to drain off of the surface. The Renusol Console+ Tubs work on any flat-roof pitched up to a maximum of 5°, without additional measures.
Can I optimise my PV system if I use a flat-roof mounting solution?
The simple answer is yes, you can. As seen in the video timelapse and images on this post, the project showcased had 10 SolarEdge Optimisers installed. The optimiser is secured to an elevated portion of the mounting bucket with a single screw, opposed to being fixed to a length of rail used on a pitched-roof installation.
Wiring from each panel and optimiser is neatly hidden in the submerged portion of the Console+ Tub, with each panel being linked together in series.
Optimising a system on a flat-roof can be necessary in some cases due to shading factors in and around the desired install location. There are also other benefits in optimising a Solar PV system. You can read more here.