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Photovoltaic Roof Design

Photovoltaic Roof Design

Designing and specifying a commercial photovoltaic system involves a number of additional steps compared to designing a basic roof system. We use standard roof design techniques and integrates the photovoltaic system with the roof design. Solar PV systems can generate power for up to 30-years, so roof service life is an important design consideration.

Ideally, you want a sustainable roof system with a service life to match the solar PV system. Existing roofs have a limited performance life and must be upgraded or replaced, otherwise at some point in the future, the PV system must be disassembled, the roof replaced, and the solar PV system reinstalled.

If the existing roof is in good condition, we have developed a patent pending roof system that integrates high performance elastomeric coatings with thin film photovoltaic systems. The key advantage is the roof system can be re-coated in the future, balancing the roof service life with the PV modules. In new construction or with a complete re-roof, you want to design a 30-year roof system to match the long 25-30 year performance life of the photovoltaics..

The up front cost of solar can be addressed with a number of funding methods, so financial options play a key role in developing a successful solar PV system. You have many options to consider and we help you the owner to determine what options makes economical sense for your project.


Phase I - Preliminary Roof Information for Photovoltaics

Roof type and number of existing roofs
Age of roof and current condition
Perimeter details
Core cuts
Photos of roof with major roof details and site conditions
Moisture survey may be required
Roof plan with all roof top details (drains, curbs, pipes etc)
Goggle satellite photo of building and surrounding buildings
Building site location
Building solar orientation
Identify shadow obstacles
Identify solar access (Solar Isolation)
Ceiling space and wall structure access for wiring system

Phase II - Preliminary Power Analysis Data

Utility Bills (highest bill per quarter min.) for the past two years.
Usage pattern with Peak, Part-Peak and Off-Peak usage, summer and winter
Demand charges
Current and future electric rate schedule, factor in tiered rates and time-of-use utility pricing and annual rate inflation
Inventory list of major appliances and other high ampere drawing equipment (seasonal/non-seasonal)
Locate and inventory existing electrical services (photos)

Phase III - Information Processing and Preliminary Design

Electrical load analysis, determine building power requirements (Total Peak KW)
Module type
Array sizing Calculate array size requirements (KW)
Array layout (module size based on roof area and equipment locations)
Wiring system design (voltage drop , safety building code, NEC code and environment)
Combiner locations
Controller specifications (size ) (battery back up system only)
Inverter Specifications (size)
Utility-Interactive System design (size)
Budget, financing and cost analysis

Phase IV - Bid Documents & Bid Process


Provide installation contractor(s) with following information

Approved Roof Plan and roof system specifications
Approved Array Plan and specifications
Approved Wiring Plan and specifications
Approved Controller Plan and specifications
Approved Inverter Plan and specifications
Utility-Interactive System design
Contract documents
Document review
Place RFQ
Pre-Bid Meeting
Phase V ?Project Bid and Contractor Review

Review contractor bids and bid submittal documents
System cost
Operating cost
Operating Profits
Operating Losses
Net power savings
Lifecycle power savings
Tax credits
Capital depreciation
Return on investment (ROI)
Equity/property value increases
Property resell value
System payback period.
REC (green tag) income
PBI�s (performance based incentives)��

Phase VI ?Project Financing

Coordinate the preparation of application documents with owner and contractor for tax credits, performance based incentives, REC�s with the utilities and with state, regional public agencies.
Work with capital leasing, tax exempt leasing or power purchase providers if these funding options are used.
Phase VII - Construction

Coordination with installation contractor
Periodic site visits to review conformance with project and construction documents.
Prepare progress reports for owner
Review change orders
Assist contractor with commissioning process of solar photovoltaic system
Final inspection with roofing and solar system manufacturers

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