Whether it’s material, adjustability, components or color, each project has its particular requirements and each installer has his particular preferences. To further expand the available options for residential systems, racking manufacturers are adding a few alternatives to pitched roof planning that expedite both the transportation to the roof and direct installation on the roof, including lightweight rails ideal for specific load considerations and internal splices with structural bonding.
“The market is trending toward optimizing material density and cost-efficiency,” states Holger Giebel, CEO of Mounting Systems. “Our customers are no longer demanding rails with universal spans lengths, but are looking to lighten the rail weight according to their specific market’s load considerations.”
To accommodate this shift, companies like Mounting Systems are designing lighter rails for those areas not required to meet heavy snow or wind loads in order to minimize excess material and costs. Such rails can be designed for up to six feet for southwest regions and up to four feet for northeast regions.
“Rails like our new lightweight 5/40 rail are a better option for low load capacities since it is easier to transport onto the roof,” Giebel continues when addressing Mounting Systems’ newest rail addition. “Adding this small alternative to the market’s current rail options is just another big way to further support our installers out on the roof.”
Solar installers, especially those in consistently temperate climates, are reaping the major benefits of the lightweight rail, not just in weight but in the higher number of installs per order. With a smaller density in rail quantity, installers can order greater volumes for lower transportation costs.
But the upgrades do not end with just the rail. The connection between each rail is also undergoing some fundamental changes with the addition of the internal structural splice.
“Installers prefer a more efficient way to connect rails, so we’ve created a tool-free internal splice complete with a bonding plate to add to our UL 2703 Listed Alpha+ system,” explains Ben Kuttesch, Product Manager at Mounting Systems. “Switching from external to internal splicing eliminates that one extra step in the process.”
News item from Mounting Systems