Photovoltaic mounting system

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mounting system of solar panels on top of Pacifica's Waste Water treatment plant
Mounting system of solar panels on top of Pacifica's Waste Water treatment plant

Photovoltaic mounting systems are used to fix solar panels on surfaces like roofs, empty plots etc.[1] These mounting systems enable retrofitting of solar panels on roofs or as part of the structure of the building.[2]

Mounting on roofs[edit]

PV panels mounted on roof

PV array can be mounted on rooftops, generally with a few inches gap and parallel to the surface of the roof. If the rooftop is horizontal, the array is mounted with each panel aligned at an angle. If the panels are planned to be mounted before the construction of the roof, the roof can be designed accordingly by installing support brackets for the panels before the materials for the roof are installed. The installation of the solar panels can be undertaken by the crew responsible for installing the roof. If the roof is already constructed, it is most probably designed so that it is capable of bearing only the weight of the roof. For installing solar panels in such roofs, the roof structure must be strengthened before-hand with particular consideration to weather sealing or the roof can be converted to composition shingles wherever the panels are planned to be installed. By converting to composition shingles, the weight of the removed roof materials can compensate the additional weight of the panels structure. The general practice for installation of roof mounted solar panels include having a support bracket per hundred watts of panels.[3][4]

Mounting as a shade structure[edit]

Solar panels can also be mounted as shade structures where the solar panels can provide shade instead of patio covers. The cost of such shading systems are generally different from standard patio covers, especially in cases where the entire shade required is provided by the panels. The support structure for the shading systems can be normal systems as the weight of a standard PV array is between 3 and 5 pounds/ft2. If the panels are mounted at an angle steeper than normal patio covers, the support structures may require additional strengthening. Other issues that are considered include:

  • Simplified array access for maintenance.
  • Module wiring may be concealed to maintain the aesthetics of the shading structure.
  • Growing vines around the structure must be avoided as they may come in contact with the wiring.[3][4]

Building-integrated photovoltaics[edit]

The CIS Tower in Manchester, England was clad in PV panels at a cost of £5.5 million. It started feeding electricity to the National Grid in November 2005

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) are photovoltaic materials that are used to replace conventional building materials in parts of the building envelope such as the roof, skylights, or facades. They are increasingly being incorporated into the construction of new buildings as a principal or ancillary source of electrical power, although existing buildings may be retrofitted with BIPV modules as well. The advantage of integrated photovoltaics over more common non-integrated systems is that the initial cost can be offset by reducing the amount spent on building materials and labor that would normally be used to construct the part of the building that the BIPV modules replace.[5]

Roof-Jack mounting system[edit]

In the mid-1980s Ascension Technology's principals, then working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developed the Roof-Jack mounting system for attaching PV arrays to pitched and shingled residential roofs. The motivation of that effort was to simplify and reduce the cost of residential PV array balance-of-systems.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Introduction to Solar Power Photovoltaic Systems". solarpowerinstallation.org. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  2. ^ "What difference is there between thermal solar energy and Photovoltaic solar energy?". epia.org. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  3. ^ a b "A GUIDE TO PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) SYSTEM DESIGN AND INSTALLATION". ecodiy.org. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  4. ^ a b "PROCEDURES FOR SOLAR ELECTRIC (PHOTOVOLTAIC abbreviated as PV) SYSTEM DESIGN AND INSTALLATIO". thebii.org. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  5. ^ "Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)". wbdg.org. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  6. ^ Russell, M.C; Kern, E.C. (May 1993). "PV array designs for flat-roof buildings". Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 1993., Conference Record of the Twenty Third IEEE (IEEE): 1129–1133. doi:10.1109/PVSC.1993.346965. ISBN 0-7803-1220-1. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 

See also[edit]