Commercial Solar Panel Mounting Systems
Tick Tock Energy specializes in crafting custom solar installation solutions for businesses in Central and Southern Illinois, as well as surrounding states in the Midwest. The most common roof types on commercial buildings are flat membrane roofs, metal standing seam and metal panel-type roofs. See below for the various solar panel roof mounting systems available.
Ballasted Solar Arrays for Flat Roofs
The most popular approach for a flat roof solar mounting system is a low-profile rack weighted down with concrete ballast blocks. The typical ballasted solar array has a weight density of 4 to 6 pounds per square foot. This loading can be supported by most commercial buildings however we perform a structural engineering review in most cases. This rack type is suitable for any type of membrane or epoxy-coated roof type.
Where weight loading is an issue, a hybrid approach with ballasted rack and limited roof penetrations are also an option. A roof is generally considered “flat” if its slope is five degrees or less. Ballasted solar racks are usually tilted at 10 or 20 degrees.
To see a recent ballasted solar panel installation, opens in a new windowclick here!
Ground-Mounted Solar Panel Options
Ground-mounted solar installations are another great option for commercial operations. Some businesses might not have enough roof area, might not have proper roof orientation, or too much shading for solar panels. For those situations, ground-mounted solar might be a great option. Ground-mounted solar panels are also more accessible.
Check out our recent 206 kW commercial ground-mounted project. opens in a new windowClick opens in a new windowhere!
For more details about ground-mounted solar panels, click here!
Solar Mounting on Metal Panel or Corrugated Roofs
Metal panel roofs are common on small and medium-sized commercial roofs. Since these roofs do not have a pronounced seam, fastening a solar rack requires penetration of the metal.
There are two types of anchoring options: an “L-foot” anchor which is bolted into the roof securing to the substructure, or clamps that can fasten to the angled profile of the roof’s metal ribs. The rack that supports the overall solar array can be mounted parallel with the roof’s slope, or installed with rear legs that tilt the angle of the panels. The images to the left illustrate the points above.
To see an example of a recent solar system mounted on a metal roof, opens in a new windowclick here!
Solar Mounting on Standing Seam Metal Roofs
Small and medium-sized commercial buildings frequently have metal roof tops with standing seams. The feet of the solar rack is a base clamp—such as those manufactured by S-5! Attachment Solutions—that fastens securely to the seam. The rack structure is secured to the base clamp without penetrating the metal roof. Metal standing seam roofs provide for fast and efficient solar mounting.
The overall solar rack can be mounted flush to the roof where the solar array slope matches the roof slope, or rear legs can add a tilt angle to the solar panels for greater energy production.
Tilted solar arrays require a space between rows to prevent rows from casting shadows onto the following rows. These also deserve structural engineering review to ensure the metal standing seam roof and underlying structure can withstand the higher wind load from the array. However, the use of wind deflectors can mitigate these forces considerably. The images to the left illustrate the points above.
To see an example of a recent standing-seam solar panel installation, opens in a new windowclick here!
In some cases mounting a solar system on a commercial roof may not be feasible or desirable. Or, power requirements may exceed what a rooftop solar system alone can generate. A great alternative is turning parking lots into solar energy generators through the use of a solar carport.
Solar carports offer your employees or customers covered parking, sheltering their vehicles from snow, ice, rain and the blistering sun. Solar carports tap an underutilized asset. Tick Tock Energy can help you design and install this type of solar solution.
To see a recent solar carport installation, opens in a new windowclick here!
Contact Us to Learn More
Tick Tock Energy has installed solar systems in Illinois on all types of metal roofs, flat or low-slope commercial roofs, carports and ground-mounted options for commercial facilities throughout Central and Southern Illinois region and beyond.
Call us or opens in a new windowsubmit a contact form today to discuss a customized solution for your solar panel mounting system application.