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Title: Innovative Ballasted Flat Roof Solar PV Racking System

The objective of this project was to reduce the cost of racking for PV solar on flat commercial rooftops. Cost reductions would come from both labor savings and material savings related to the installation process. The rack would need to accommodate the majority of modules available on the market. Cascade Engineering has a long history of converting traditional metal type applications over to plastic. Injection molding of plastics have numerous advantages including selection of resin for the application, placing the material exactly where it is needed, designing in features that will speed up the installation process, and weight reduction of the array. A plastic rack would need to meet the requirements of UL2703, Mounting systems, mounting devices, clamping/retention devices, and ground lugs for use with flat-plate photovoltaic modules and panels. Comparing original data to the end of project racking design, racking material costs were reduced 50% and labor costs reduced 64%. The racking product accommodates all 60 and 72 cell panels on the market, meets UL2703 requirements, contributes only 1.3 pounds per square foot of weight to the array, requires little ballast to secure the array, automatically grounds the module when the module is secured, stacks/nests well for shipping/fewer liftsmore » to the roof, provides integrated wire routing, allows water to drain on the roof, and accommodates various seismic roof connections. Project goals were achieved as noted in the original funding application.« less
  1. Cascade Engineering, Grand Rapids, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Cascade Engineering, Grand Rapids, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; solar racking cost reduction