I will never forget my father´s face when my sister-in-law walked across his newly laid parquet flooring with spiked heels on …This funny example reminds me of, how “not so funny” and also how important sufficient area is for the distribution of relative loads. Because the same situation also applies to PV systems on flat roofs as in these situations, heavy loads can play a role, too. Either caused by snow loads, e.g. in Scandinavia or in the Alps, or by high ballasting weight. As a Certified Surveyor for Photovoltaic Systems, I see more and more cases where installers are confronted with building insurance claims for damaged roof coverings caused by heavy loads. In the case of a commercial sized roof, the resulting claims against the installer can easily get up to a six-digit number of value. (more…)
In recent years a series of storms have swept across Europe. The list comprises some prominent storms in Germany like hurricane Niklas (2015), storm Xavier (2017), hurricane Friederike (2018), hurricane Sabine, and storm Victoria (both in 2020). During the last hurricane named Sabine, winds reached speeds of up to 177 km/h. Even in the lowlands, speeds of around 150 km/h could still be measured. This is a good enough reason for us to take a closer look at the calculation of PV systems. Because one thing is for certain – there will be more hurricanes on the way!
In the flat roof sector, aerodynamic mounting systems have evolved, especially for foil, bitumen, green and gravel roofs. The reason for this success is the simple assembly compared to other systems, as normally no roof penetrations have to be made and better load values are achieved through the aerodynamics. Instead, ballast is only applied depending on the project. In this context, the so-called static friction coefficient between the bracket and the roof cladding plays an important role in all aerodynamic systems on the market, for example in our IBC AeroFix and IBC AeroFlat systems, because it strongly influences the ballast. How this is determined exactly and what needs to be taken into account is explained in more detail below. (more…)
When photovoltaics originated homeowners decided to use solar energy and install their own PV roof system with the conviction of sustainable and green power generation. Little attention was paid to the appearance or design of the PV system. However, thanks to continuously reduced prices of photovoltaic systems in recent years, a change has now occurred. PV systems should no longer only be sustainable and renewable, but should also be elegant in design and visually appealing. As a result, more and more products are being launched on the market for modules as well as mounting systems to meet this demand, such as the IBC TopFix 200 insertion system.(more…)
Flat roofs are still of high relevance when it comes to the installation of PV systems. As already explained in previews articles of this blog series, the usage of roofs will change from not-used to used as soon as a PV system is installed. This results in a potential danger that previously safe work paths are now blocked. Therefore, the risk analysis has changed which particularly effects necessary work on roofs. In this sense, it may happen that paths for roof work, for example for the maintenance and servicing of water pipes or climate or ventilation systems which are now within fall hazard areas. In such cases, a safe working condition within this area is important. System operators as well as designated companies are in charge of the responsibility to create a risk analysis.(more…)