Solar mounting allows PV panels to be installed in a variety of different locations, from traditional on-roof domestic arrays to large-scale ground mount, building integrated and more.
The variety of solar mounting gives different options for all sorts of installs, locations and surfaces.
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AIMS OF MOUNTING
The reason for solar mounting is to keep the panels fixed to the roof or desired location. By keeping them fixed and secure throughout the lifetime of the system, often 25 years, you can protect the integrity of the system to ensure you’re only concerned about the savings made by switching to solar.
There are a few factors that may influence the decision when choosing the type of mounting for your system.
SLEEK SOLAR MOUNTING
For some, looks are everything, which means that choosing a mounting system that looks aesthetically pleasing is a key factor. Lots of manufacturers focus on that sleek finish, offering panels without a border, which provide a great finish for those looking to add value and kerb appeal too.
STRONG & SECURE SOLAR MOUNTING
Some systems will require mounting that can withstand the elements. If there’s high wind forces or other environmental impacts at the site, there are fantastic solutions that have been rigorously tested to keep you confident with each installation.
Segen have developed our own array of free solar design tools. It does all the difficult work for you, by making accurate and unique systems, that you can rely on.
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The typical domestic installation tends to take place on a tiled roof. These will generally be pantile, plain tile or slate. The most common type of mounting solution for this type of roof would consist of roof brackets appropriate for the tile type, and quantity appropriate for the location, fixed into the purlins of the roof. A railing system would then be connected to these brackets and the modules are clamped onto this railing system using a combination of mid and end clamps. This is a low-cost and easy to install solution, lending it popularity. Providing the structural integrity of the building is sound, and the system has been specified correctly, this is a sensible and economical choice for most domestic installs. Slate roofs can be a bit more brittle than the standard tile, and in some instances, it is worth considering flashing around the roof bracket to protect the tiles and ensure the roof remains watertight.
Metal roofs are more likely to be the home of commercial installations. These roofs are normally found on larger buildings, used for industry, storage and agricultural. Trapezoidal metal sheeting is a common type of metal roof and given the existing raised profiles of the roof type, it makes for a very easy surface to fix module to. Segen offers MetaSole by Renusol and the SingleFix Solo solution by Schletter for trapezoidal roofs. Both systems allow for module mounting in portrait and landscape and require few components and little time to install. The low cost, time, and labour intensity of these solutions are favoured by many installers.
Seamed roofs are another popular metal roof type, these are formed by rolled metal sheets, the point at which these sheets meet being referred to as the seam. There are many different profiles of seams, and Segen offers a range of seam clamps to cover as many proposal types as possible. Once an appropriate clamp has been selected, these are bolted on to the seam profile and a railing system or panel can then be fixed directly on top.
A flat roof installation can present a few unique challenges. First a method must be identified of mounting the modules at an angle as close to the optimal pitch as possible. Secondly, a fixing method must also be decided. On many flat roofs, it is not always possible to fix directly into the roof surface, and a ballasted solution must be chosen instead. Segen offers a variety of options for flat roof mounting, from South facing to East West, fixable and weighted across Renusol and Schletter.
The most basic of flat roof solutions is the ConSole tubs. As pre-formed plastic tubs they are incredibly quick and easy to install, the only catch being they are rather large and obtrusive and can require increased ballast due to the increased surface area they add. Additionally, there is no flexibility in the angle of inclination. Whereas Flat roof framing systems such as Schletter’s FixGrid and Renusols FS10/18 can often be favoured due to their reduced ballast requirements, aesthetic appearance and accessibility for system maintenance. Although the assembly of such framing systems is more labour intensive than using something like a ConSole tub. Framing systems also have the option of being fixed into the roof, so if this is a possibility this can alleviate the need for ballast altogether. Many framing solutions can also be fixed at different pitches, allowing greater flexibility of design.
As solar panels have become more sleek and attractive over the years, there is now much to be said of the aesthetic enhancement that can be made to a property when swapping the typical on-roof metal railing system for an integrated mounting system that allows the panels to sit flush with the tiles.
Such system types can take a little longer to install, but the result is a system that looks great in any portfolio. GSE and EasyRoof use specially formed plastic trays, fixed to the roof battens to achieve this. The ergonomic design of these frames ensures that water always runs down the front of the frame, protecting the roof. This type of solution is extremely versatile and with enough planning can fit almost any roof type.
We also offer a completely integrated PV mounting system, Viridian, in which the modules themselves have part of the mounting system integrated into their own frames. Compatibility plays a big part in choosing an in-roof solution. Viridian modules will only work with the Viridian mounting system, and certain panels will only work with certain GSE and EasyRoof frames. You can always check compatibility using the Segen Design Tool.
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