Solar attachments, racking and trackers that were shown at RE+ 2022 are placing an emphasis on installing in new spaces. On residential rooftops, many manufacturers are building smaller-profile mounts that go over the shingle with the option of attaching to both the rafter and roof decking. For trackers in the utility market, nearly every company at RE+ has built some slope tolerance into the kinetic solar racking, opening uneven landscapes to tracker project development with reduced grading. On commercial rooftops, it’s about fitting as much solar as possible into the smallest footprint and avoiding obstructions on the roof.
Much of what was shown in the mounting space at RE+ has been on the market, but the technology was new to many in attendance at the largest solar trade conference post-pandemic.
Aerocompact – CompactFlat GS
One of the latest offerings in manufacturer Aerocompact‘s line of flat rooftop racking is CompactFlat GS. The racking is built with a larger profile than its SN2 counterpart with two considerations in mind. The first is the taller racking is able to work around or over commercial rooftop obstructions. The second is the extra distance from the roof surface — and its high albedo — offer additional backside generation from bifacial modules. The system can be built south-facing at 15° or in east-west orientation at 10°. Additionally, it’s compatible with larger-format modules by running a third bracket arm up the center of the module.
PowerField – PowerRack
The PowerRack from PowerField is an atypical solar ground-mount racking. PowerRack is a ballasted, non-penetrating racking made of a few components, the primary one being a single-piece bucket. To install it, each racking unit is set in succession, aligned and then the PowerRack is ballasted using rocks or other natural materials. Panels slide into place atop the racking and are attached with a clamp along the bottom lip of the racking.
K2 Systems – The South Face
International racking manufacturer K2 Systems debuted a new commercial rooftop racking called The South Face. As suggested by its name, it is a south-facing ballasted racking with an optional roof attachment. The South Face racking is made of stackable chassis that ships easily and can be stacked to increase system height. Additionally, the racking has adjustable inter-row spacing to work around roof obstructions.
Array Technologies – OmniTrack
Household-name tracker manufacturer Array Technologies debuted two new single-axis trackers at RE+, including a model from recently acquired STI Norland. The other system is OmniTrack, Array’s answer to installing single-axis trackers on undulating topographies. OmniTrack installs modules in one-in-portrait orientation. The system can handle up to a 1° grade change between each post, and the company estimates a 98% reduction for site grading on projects that use OmniTrack.
SnapNrack – Mighty Mount
SnapNrack has expanded its SpeedSeal line of pitched roof mounts with a rail-less solution called Mighty Mount. Mighty Mount is a top-mounted roof attachment with a similar channel found on a rail used on residential rooftop installs, however, it is a single, smaller unit. Mighty Mount can attach to both roof decking and rafters, and is compatible with SnapNrack’s existing module attachments.
Ciel & Terre – Hydrelio aiR 1280
The floating solar market is still emerging in the United States, but several existing projects use foundations from European manufacturer Ciel & Terre. The company showcased Hydrelio aiR 1280, a floating racking made of high-density polyethylene. It is one piece in several that compose the above-water portion of a floating solar project. aiR 1280 can install modules rated up to 565 W at 5° and 12° angles. The racking is designed for regions with high winds.
QuickBOLT – Stone Coated Steel
Solar attachments manufacturer QuickBOLT has designed a mount for stone-coated roofing, a non-traditional metal roof covering with a layout similar to tile. Like tile roof hooks, QuickBOLT’s Stone Coated Steel hook is installed by removing a metal shingle, attaching the hook to the roof surface and replacing the shingle. Stone Coated Steel reaches out from under the shingle, creating an attachment point for the array. Stone-coated rooftops often have wooden battens beneath the shingles, and QuickBOLT’s Stone Coated Steel hook is designed with a section that lays over the obstruction.