What structural information is required before a rooftop solar installation?

November 14, 2019by absrenewpower

Structural requirement for solar power installation

While rooftop solar installation is one of the best alternatives to utilize unused space, there are many other factors that fall into place before installing rooftop solar panels for home or business. One such important factor is the structural design of the area to ensure the site can withstand the weight and provide a shade-free area for solar power generation.

A structural report is drafted after the survey which provides a detailed analysis of the solar plant’s mounting structure to be installed at the site, how many panels can it withstand, what direction and how the panels will be set up if the area requires any special rooftop access and many other factors. This article will provide a detailed analysis of what structural information is drafted from a survey and how is it beneficial to determine certain factors.

Based on a site visit, the following parameters are considered before designing and determining the generation capacity.

1. Age of the building structure

The age of the building structure is very important. An ideal strong structure is where 1 sqm can support 25-30kgs of the weight of solar panels and mounting structure. The older the structure, the lower the holding capacity of the solar panels for home or businesses. A structural stability report is required from an architect or local authority before construction for Solar PV Plant begins. These precautions are taken to ensure the stability of the system and recommend the generation capacity of the area.

2. Type of structure

Based on the type of roof or structure, the rooftop solar installation will require the necessary components to mount the panels and maintain stability. Some of the common structures for solar installation are RCC roof, metal sheet, and ground-mounted to name a few. Rooftop Solar installation on asbestos sheets is usually avoided due to the risk in terms of strength as it ages.

3. Area of Structure

The next step is to check if the structure has the area to install all the components, this includes checking for shade and intervention-free area, location to install the inverter and battery backup, junction box, etc. This helps in designing a layout to understand what components can be placed and if the structure can hold up to the load of the solar PV system.

4. Accessibility to roof

For all rooftop solar installation, a technician will always check to see if there is proper accessibility to the roof. This ensures that there is rooftop accessibility to not only make installation jobs safer and quicker but also provide easy access for future maintenance and repair jobs. The site survey technician would plan for walkways and during plant designing between the solar panel rows to ensure the safety of the installation and maintenance technicians. Railings towards the edges of the roof area are important when working at height to avoid any mishaps.

5. STAAD and structural report

A STAAD report is developed after a structural analysis and system design is conducted. This report is developed on software which takes into consideration many factors like the weather conditions, load capacity, component materials, and other factors of the site to understand what quality of components are required to assemble and ensure desired generation capacity with stable support to the system. This eliminates possibilities of corrosion and other structure eroding factors.

At ABS Renew Power, we also analyze the structural reports provided by the area architect to provide additional assurance on the stability of the system.

All the mentioned structural analysis of the site-building and mounting structure is important to understand the structural information of the region after which a structural layout is designed which determines the installation, direction, components, and accessibility of the site. As mentioned earlier, this analysis not only provides convenience for solar installation jobs but also for future jobs like maintenance and repairs. Visit us next time for more solar knowledge-sharing articles.