Solar PV installations represent a large investment for developers and owners, so it’s important to get it right the first time. This is the reason that every Schletter system is individually engineered. We guarantee a rigorous structural analysis in accordance with the IBC building code and local provisions in order to provide PV system stakeholders the necessary security that the system will be safe for its entire lifetime.
Before starting any solar installation design, there are three questions you should always ask:
In which state is the system located and in what municipality or zip code will it be constructed?
The wind and snow conditions vary significantly throughout the U.S. and abroad. Schletter utilizes site specific engineering to ensure that structural analysis meets the highest domestic and international standards. With over 40 years of global design and manufacturing experience, Schletter quality is exceeded by none.
Is the system roof or ground mounted?
For roof mounted structures, the PV system is generally considered a component of an existing building. While for ground mounted structures, the PV installation itself is considered a building. Schletter designers look at the way wind and other environmental loads influence the system on a case-by-case basis, taking special care that each system is engineered to Schletter’s high standards.
Is the site located on the seashore, on open fields with scattered obstructions or in a forest or a city center?
Depending on whether or not the approaching wind will encounter obstructions before meeting the structure is a major factor on forces exerted on the system and even snow accumulation around solar panels. An engineered system, such as the ones sold by Schletter, will take into account the site location in order to deliver a system that is safe and sound over its entire lifetime.
Once these three main questions are answered, Schletter takes the client’s design specifications for system layout, title angle, module type and various other factors into account. Schletter’s engineers are able to work with clients to design a system that can withstand extreme weather in order to minimize the impact to life and property over the lifespan of the system.
No matter who you choose to design your system, remember that officials, developers and owners should not hesitate to ask the racking manufacturer for detailed calculations in addition to standard verbiage letters stating that the codes were followed. After all, any failure of a system will not only result in potential loss of property, investment, and human life, but will inevitably also taint a still young but fast growing industry as a whole. That’s why we here at Schletter proudly stand behind the engineering that goes into every one of our racking and mounting systems.
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