Solar Panels are classified as “Components & Cladding” in the building code and as such, must be fully integrated into the building structure. You cannot just nail the solar panels to the roof and walk away.
Each component must be able to withstand hurricane-force winds, pounding rain, the corrosive effects of salt air and in some climates, heavy snow loads.
There are two types of solar racking systems: Roof Mounting: where the solar panels (also known as the solar array) is installed parallel to the roof with a gap of a few inches between the panels and the roof. Note: it is important to have the solar array on the side of the roof that is facing the sun most often. Ground Mounting: Ground mounts are usually for large-scale utility installations and are attached directly to a foundation installed slightly under ground.
For roof mounted systems, the attachment hardware will vary in color and style depending on the type of roof you own (i.e. slate, tile, asphalt, etc). At Hilton Head Solar, we use sealed flashing and L-brackets for our roof mounted systems. This assures a low-profile installation that is close to the roof while providing adequate airflow behind the panels.
For ground mounted systems, the attachment hardware is made of anodized aluminum and connected to beams that have been installed into subterranean concrete footings as the footings are poured.
At Hilton Head Solar, we use PV-specific black aluminum mounting rails for all residential installations, engineered to handle the various weather conditions in our area. Our rails are also anodized to guard against surface damage and corrosion while providing a clean, sleek finish.
These clamps secure the top surface of the solar module to a slot in the mounting rail. At Hilton Head Solar, we use the finest quality clamps that create a grounding connection to the module providing an extra layer of electrical safety.
Getting Started is Easy!