Is a solar mounting system reliable?
If your solar racking supplier is telling you all the products are similar, it is a not good enough answer, either they just copy, don’t know the logic, or they are not professional as a trader.
One of the first things to check with a mounting system supplier is that the supplier will provide a structural certificate for its product to your customer (these certificates demonstrate that a mounting system will help prevent damage to a solar installation and safeguard it in the event of a wind-induced failure) – and that the product is accredited to the latest wind code. At a minimum, installation documents provided by a mounting system supplier will cover certain limits and parameters, and set out the maximum fixing centers and other specifics for a job; these should be carefully followed to ensure obligations are met.
Other project and product parameters to check include:
This determines the basic wind speed for the installation. Some mounting racking systems exclude cyclone regions or other wind zones. Solaracks design wind speeds up to 80m/s.
The wind speed at a structure is influenced by the terrain it flows over as it approaches the structure. The terrain category classifications is dertermined by the surrounding enviroment.
All solar panel mounting systems will have a limit of building height – typically 10 m,
but sometimes 20 m. For example, Solaracks supplies normally 20m in its installation manual but can provide an extra calculation for any building height, panel size or purlin/batten material or thickness.
Always check the maximum panel size the solar mounting system is rated to.
Some wind-induced failures can be due to panels installed too close to the edge or ridge of the roof.
Roof frame and fixing specification
The roof frame material, thickness, and type of roof screw must be assessed.
Suppliers of quality solar mounting systems invest in testing for their products. For example, a pull test of brackets, assembly, etc. A range of international testing centers and firms can certify solar mounting products. Some even need a wind tunnel test.