Roofs, loads and the correct mounting system

The AeroFix base rail G2 Eco

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…)

How to use sector coupling effectively

A fully electric heated house in Upper Austria (source: my-PV)

Power-to-heat: heating with electricity has long been considered uneconomical and harmful to the climate. With the energy transition, the focus is once again on heat generation using self-generated green electricity. Both efficiency and cost-effectiveness are now under good auspices. Sector coupling is moving more and more into the spotlight and is already showing what our future green energy system can look like. (more…)

Flagship project in Africa: Using solar power to counteract fluctuating power grids

The association Connecting Continents e.V., based in Kirchroth/Germany, has been running a secondary school on Pemba, a small island belonging to Zanzibar/Tanzania in East Africa, for 15 years. A total of 300 pupils, half of them girls and a quarter orphans, attend the school, which is one of the best in the region. The school has been under the direction of headmistress Mrs. Bi Mwaache for many years. Together with her team, she helps students to obtain a state-certified degree every year. In order to concentrate even better on her work with the students, Mrs. Mwaache and her family have recently moved into a freshly finished house only 1 km away from the school. But the electricity supply in the region is very unreliable. Therefore, a photovoltaic system with a battery storage system has recently been installed, which supplies the family with CO2-neural solar power.

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Static friction coefficient with AeroFix and AeroFlat

Static friction and spring scale

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…)

Our year 2019 in review

The year is drawing to a close. Just before Christmas, we take the time for a review of the solar year 2019! Read about the highlights we have experienced over the past 12 months.  (more…)