Protection Plan: Everything you need to know to protect a commercial roof during a PV installation

protection

A long-term, problem-free commercial flat roof solar installation starts with knowing about the roof systems themselves and how to keep them protected. This isn’t easy. For one, there is an alphabet soup of acronyms: PVC, TPO, EPDM, SBS, APP, BUR, PUF, PIB, CSPE, EPS and XPS. The roof industry lingo doesn’t seem to make much sense either, such as the difference between mechanically attached (MA) and fully adhered (FA), even though both are essentially screwed down mechanically.

In order to mitigate roof damage during construction, there are a few things we need to know. PVC, TPO, EPDM, PIB and CPSE are all single ply membranes, typically between 3/32 and 1/8-in. thick. They are either fully glued down (FA) to an insulation substrate that is glued or screwed to the structural deck or laid loose over the insulation and “stitched” along the seams with screws to the structural deck (MA).

protection

However, an issue with all single ply roofs is that repeated rolling or foot traffic over the screws and stress plates (used to secure the insulation and/or the in-seam screws and plates) can cause abrasion of the membrane, crushing of the insulation and/or tenting of the screws — all of which has the potential to puncture the membrane.

A concern with FA installations is that the plastic or rubber membrane is glued to the skin or facer of the insulation. Repeated rolling or foot traffic can cause the insulation foam to crush and cause cells of the foam insulation to break directly under the facer, causing a de-facto delamination of the roof. Any of this type of damage could end up causing leaks, roof damage or even blow-off — and ultimately, costly call backs.

In general, roof protection falls into two categories:

  • Temporary protection is the roof safeguard deployed during construction to avoid damaging the roof and is subsequently removed upon completion of construction. Some of these protections are universal among roof types and some are membrane specific.
  • Permanent protection will include slip sheets, separator sheets, walk pads and walkways. These items stay on the roof for the life of the PV system.

protection

Guidelines for temporary protection

Inspect the roof prior to starting work. Ensure there is no damage to the roofing membrane, including punctures and scratches to the surface. Any such damage should be circled and reported immediately so that it may be repaired quickly. Panels must not be placed over damaged areas until the damage is repaired.

Treads on wheeled equipment should be covered or other precautions taken to ensure that gravel embedded in the treads does not create a membrane puncture hazard. Motorized equipment should be limited to those that can start and stop gradually to minimize horizontal pulls on the membrane.

RELATED: Tips for planning your next retail PV project

Avoid damage to the foam board insulation layer below the membrane by:

  • Place all pallet loads on foam board sheets or similar materials that can spread the load without damaging the membrane or insulation below.
  • Protect areas that are frequently traveled with plywood or OSB boards (weighted down whenever necessary to prevent uplift by wind). Also, wherever possible, frequently change the travel path location.

Avoid separation of the membrane from the insulation by placing a layer of spaghetti matting (or similar approved matting material) on areas that will be rolled over more than two or three times. Any damage to the roof must be identified with a clear mark on the roof immediately after it occurs, and it should be promptly reported to the construction manager.

protection

Place all pallet loads on foam board sheets or similar materials that can spread the load without damaging the membrane or insulation below.

Protection procedures

For hoist landing areas and rooftop storage of any material in excess of 15 lbs/sf, use a rigid temporary protection system consisting of sheets of plywood or OSB, applied unadhered on the roof. Fully cover scheduled work areas with loosely abutting plywood sections, and apply dunnage insulation pieces between plywood sections and the roof membrane for heavy access or traffic conditions. Protect the plywood sections from wind displacement. Remove temporary rigid protection promptly upon completion of hoisting, loading or heavy traffic work.

When constructing ramps and work platforms, protect the roofing by arranging pieces of dunnage insulation between the ramp leading edges and all ramp/platform sleeper and support contact points.

Utilize temporary flexible protection consisting of rolls of walk mat material at all traffic lanes, which are essentially any areas subject to repeat or routine movement of personnel or carted materials. Loose walk mat material should be picked up and secured at the end of each day or whenever inclement or windy weather is predicted.

Ensure that the wheel load for rolling equipment does not exceed 15 psi. For example, wheeled equipment capable of carrying 1,200 lbs (combined self weight plus load) should have at least 80 sq in. of wheel contact area. If the equipment distributes the load on four wheels evenly, each wheel should have at least 20 sq in. of contact area. If the contact width is 4 in., the contact length must be at least 5 in. If the area is insufficient, either the load must be reduced or additional wheels must be added. For minor inadequacies, small amounts of air may be released from the tires to increase the contact areas.

protection

Guidelines for permanent protection

Rigid conduit supports, metal ballast trays or rigid racking that sits directly on the roof, or other equipment subject to thermally driven oscillation movement, will require appropriately sized roof material matching slip sheets.

Soft durometer PV racking support pads that are not subject to thermally driven oscillation and have been proven to be compatible with the roof membrane system type, may be — with the approval of the roof manufacturer — installed without slip sheets.

PV system support pads that have not been proven to be compatible in direct contact with the roof membrane (or if movement of the support pads relative to the roof are expected) will require an appropriately sized roof material matching slip or separator sheets.

If the roof is TPO, then the slip sheets are TPO — EPDM for EPDM roofs and PVC for PVC roofs. Slip sheet thickness is typically minimum .060 but material thickness matches above that. For example, .060 slip sheet for a .045 roof, .060 slip sheet for a .060 roof and .090 slip sheet for a .090 roof. The slip sheets can be tack welded, tack adhered or even loose depending on the roof manufacturer.

Upon completion of the PV installation, provide permanent walk pads at areas designated by the roof manufacturer as a location requiring protection. Typical locations include: a minimum 30-in. x 30-in. walk pad installed at all door or ladder access points and all work station locations on rooftop mounted mechanical equipment. Work station locations pertaining to a PV installation may include rooftop mounted inverters or combiner boxes. Additionally, any PV equipment that requires more than monthly service should have a dedicated path of walkway pads from the roof access point to the service-dependent equipment. The walk pad system should consist of the roof manufacturer’s roof-compatible walk pad installed utilizing the roof manufacturer’s recommended method of securement.

Peter Corsi is a consultant for N.B.S. Consultants.


Adhesive Mounting Options

Not a fan of ballast or attachments? Check out some adhesive options

green linkGreen Link introduced a new adhesive/sealant designed for use with its KnuckleHead Rooftop Support System. Green Link Adhesive/Sealant bonds and seals the KnuckleHead Universal Base directly to the roof membrane and is effective on a wide range of roof surfaces. The new adhesive/sealant has been specially formulated to adhere to PVC, EPDM, TPO and Mod Bit, as well as the KnuckleHead base itself, which is composed of glass-reinforced nylon. Green Link Adhesive/Sealant is based on polyether chemistry. It cures by exposure to moisture, so it can be applied to damp surfaces and will not shrink upon curing. It will not discolor from UV exposure, can be applied at temperatures as low as 32°F and is capable of joint movement in excess of 35 percent. It is available in standard 10.1-oz cartridges.

OMG Roofing Products’ PowerGrip Universal is designed to reduce or eliminate ballast in solar racking systems, offering up to 3,300 lbf of tensile strength, 2,500 lbf of shear strength and 2,000 lbf of compressive strength. It’s one of the strongest anchors on the market. Made of heavy-duty cast aluminum, PowerGrip Universal is easy to install, saving time and labor when compared to alternatives. The system transfers the load to the structural roof deck and does not require any membrane welding.

— Solar Builder magazine

Keep it simple, solar: Advice and products to streamline your next rooftop install

Keep part counts low

solar roof hook

The Low Profile QuickBOLT with Microflashing from SolarRoofHook can be installed in less than 60 seconds, and the key is its Microflashing technology, which is installed on top of the shingles and eliminates the need to pry apart shingles and shove oversized aluminum flashing underneath.

“We would like to see installers move away from the old-school aluminum flashing method and replace that with Microflashing technology,” said Samantha Dalton, marketing manager for SolarRoofHook. “Using Microflashing reduces installers risk too. When installers are forced to separate shingles to install aluminum flashing, they often must remove nails from the roof. This leaves open penetrations in the roof, as well as leads them to risk voiding the roofing warranty and breaking code. Microflashing doesn’t pose those same risks and bonds with the roofing material to create a watertight seal.”

Quick Mount debuts new full rooftop rail system

 Quick Mount QRail

Quick Mount PV is simplifying your supply chain with QRail, its new rooftop racking system featuring patented QClick and QSplice technologies that simplify and speed installation. QRail combines with Quick Mount PV’s waterproof mounts to create a complete, fully-integrated racking and mounting solution for installing solar PV modules on any roof.

The patented QClick technology enables module clamps to easily click into the rail channel and remain in an upright position, ready to accept the module. QRail’s QSplice is the fastest, most efficient splice in the industry — a tool-free, bonded, fully-structural splice that installs in seconds with no extra hardware required.
Electrical bonding is fully integrated into every system component. All electrical bonds are created when the components are installed and tightened down. QRail is fully code compliant, certified to UL 2703, and backed by a 25-year warranty.

Pre-assembly

Magerack,

As a best practice, Jason Xie, president of Magerack, recommends assembling components on the ground as much as possible and avoiding assembling tiny components such as rubber washers on the roof.

For example, Magerack solar mounting components don’t contain any rubber components and all components are pre-assembled out of box. Magerack roof attachment doesn’t need any rubber washer and has no tiny components except pre-assembled fasteners. The two major components of MageMount MageMount II Rail-less Solar Mounting System, module connector and module brackets, can be assembled to the solar module on the ground before moving them on the roof. Module connectors are used to connect and secure two adjacent solar modules along the same row or between two rows. Those connectors and the roof attachments can be attached anywhere along the module edge where they are needed the most.

Look to kits

Unirac’s SunFrame Microrail

Consider systems where only a single tool is required for installation. Take Unirac’s SunFrame Microrail or the new Pro Series SM for example. Parts come pre-assembled out of the box making for a quick and easy install on the roof. There is no need to fumble with loose parts and pieces. Parts can be pulled from the box and can be put straight to use.

“One tool installation saves time on the roof, eliminating the chance of dropping tools while changing sockets,” says Anthony Romero, lead trainer for Unirac.

The SM Pro Series features module agnostic mid and end clamps. The end clamps secure the module while staying beneath the module. Arrays look very clean and appealing without any rail or hardware protruding. The mid clamps come pre-assembled and are self-standing. They also come coated with anti-seize to prevent galling and breaking stainless steel bolts. Unirac’s FlashKit Pro comes in a pack of 10 with flashing, L-Feet, T-bolts and lag bolts in one convenient box. Having everything in one package helps cut down on the amount of packaging needed on the roof. They are the easiest flashing kit to count, kit and carry to the roof.

SKU reduction

SunRunner 4 clip

The SunRunner 4 clip from Heyco was developed to reduce the number of SKUs for an installer. For those using a mix of SolarEdge and Enphase, this clip will handle both types of cable. The SunRunner 4 clips directly onto the PV module frame and holds up to four SolarEdge cables or up to three Enphase Q cables comfortably. The SunRunner 4 takes the guesswork out of ordering the correct clip as it holds both types of cable. Heyco also manufactures top rail clips with the exact same clip design as its SunRunner 4 for top racking manufacturers like Unirac, IronRidge, and Everest. This universal design allows the clips to be used on a wider range of installations and reduce the number of SKUs (and headaches) for installers. Heyco also offers a series of nylon UVX clips which qualify for its 20-year warranty and are generally 20 percent less expensive than their stainless steel equivalents.

— Solar Builder magazine

Upgrading C&I rooftop solar installations with spray polyurethane foam

spf diagram

SPF acts not only as an additional barrier to the elements, but it is also incredibly insulative.

As we have continued our expansion in the commercial and industrial solar market (which includes commercial, industrial, municipal, university, school, cold storage, food-processing and hospital buildings), we’ve discovered something. If commercial building owners are not overly familiar with how solar arrays are installed, they have legitimate concerns about the potential effects solar arrays could have on their roofs. For example:

  • Will the racking system, which holds the solar modules in place, harm the roof?
  • Will it have to be penetrated, creating potential pathways for the elements to enter?
  • Will it shorten the longevity of the roof?
  • Will it void the warranty?

In addition, we’ve discovered it’s often not just solar that these building owners want. They are often looking for energy-efficiency measures, too, particularly as property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs allow them to pay for both kinds of upgrades through their property taxes.

At Standard Solar, we take those concerns and desires seriously, and we’ve been searching for an all-encompassing solution — and we believe we have found one in spray polyurethane foam (SPF).

SPF acts not only as an additional barrier to the elements, but it is also incredibly insulative. As a result, building owners who use SPF as an underlayment to their current roofing will reduce energy consumption and save money on their energy bills.

Let’s take a closer look at how SPF works and how it will help you reach your solar and energy efficiencies goals.

Standard Solar ad

Longevity match

One of the strongest arguments for installing a rooftop solar array on a commercial building is to provide electricity for the building for at least 25 years. Many roofing materials can’t match that lifespan, but SPF can — and reduce energy bills by 20 to 50 percent more than fiberglass insulation in the process. When the proper roofing material is wedded to a rooftop solar array, the building owner can stop worrying about either. Instead, they can spend their time counting the savings the electrical system and energy-efficient roof will provide them.

Penetrating protection

In areas with high winds, on metal buildings and other external factors that could adversely affect solar arrays (think earthquakes), arrays must be attached to the roof. To accomplish this, solar installers are often forced to penetrate the roof membrane.

Penetrating installations are the cause of sleepless nights for building owners. After all, the solar installer is asking to poke holes through part of a structure that costs significant money. Any poorly sealed holes will cause problems for the roof itself and potentially allow rain or wind to reach beneath the roof and damage the inside of the building.

Unfortunately, some solar installers don’t know what it takes to seal the penetrations properly, and as anyone who’s ever had a leaky roof knows, locating the problem is difficult by the time the damage is discovered.

RELATED: Why energy density matters — and three ways to maximize it

That’s where SPF can help. We often use SPF to restore roofs under the arrays we install. When you combine SPF with a quality liquid membrane, not only do they self-flash, but they provide a double measure of protection from the weather. Finally, having a sturdy underlayment adds even more strength to the roof, making it an even better investment for the building owner.

The best use of SPF roofing we’ve seen, however, is at building conception. If the long-term plan is always to add a solar array to the roof at some point, SPF roofs allow the construction company to make the building “solar ready” by installing solar stanchions (legs).

Building owners can speed solar installations with such advance planning and get to the fun part of having a solar array — saving money — more quickly.

Perfect pairing

Like a perfectly prepared filet and a well-rounded pinot noir, SPF roofs and solar arrays beautifully complement each other. Combined, they allow commercial building owners to save through solar electricity production and improved energy efficiency with the outstanding insulative properties of SPF and the reflective characteristics of a quality liquid membrane. This collective approach will help companies reach their sustainability goals faster and with greater success.

Though SPF is currently something of a niche product, we believe it is gaining a much wider following with each successful installation, among both solar installers and commercial building owners. In time, we believe it will displace conventional insulation methods, which will be good news for building owners and solar installers alike.

Daryl A. Pilon, M.E., is director of business development for Standard Solar.

— Solar Builder magazine

We shift you not: A ground-mount solar system without piles

nuance energy

On the Osprey platform, load anchors are sent into the earth and pull tested in real-time conditions.

At Intersolar North America 2017, we caught wind of a new fixed tilt ground-mount system developed by Nuance Energy, but at the booth there was no physical system on display. Instead, Founder and CEO Brian C. Boguess handed me VR goggles to look through, which now feels appropriate because it was a glimpse into the future of modular ground-mount solar.

Nuance isn’t trying to play in the cut-throat utility-scale space, where an extra half penny per watt will cause a riot. Instead, the Nuance approach is about nimbly deploying smaller systems much quicker and to the benefit of small- to mid-size contractors and EPCs, increasing their revenue by enabling them to sell more solar quicker and cultivating a more robust, widespread solar industry.

“Where do you find savings? Always in the downstream,” Boguess says. “The upstream value chain has been beating itself up over technology to drive price down but no one paid attention to the downstream value chain.”

It all starts here: Nuance’s Osprey PowerPlatform is a ground-mount system that doesn’t require piles but is strong enough to withstand any load. Instead of piles and foundations, this new system borrows from the super old concept of anchors (5 in.) and cables (stainless steel, 60-in. long) that has been mounting utility poles and holding up retainer walls for a century. Those load anchors are sent into the earth and pull tested in real-time conditions (Nuance requires 1.5 times the worst case scenario for its design load test) and attached to the racking — a unit of four to six adjustable legs that is fully assembled with PV and wiring at ground-level. And yes, this means the entire system, if needed, can be disengaged and moved. We’ll explore those implications at the end.

With that as our starting point, grab a paddle and let’s head downstream.

Good bye geotech

Geotechnical reports are often done months in advance of the installation so a structural engineer can design the ground-mount system per the requirements of the geotech report. All in, this is a couple thousand dollars and a six- to eight-week process. What if you wanted to perform a geotech investigation in the fall? You might not even get the calculations back until the New Year, at a time when delays are equal to death.

As mentioned, the Osprey’s anchors are pull tested on site with a safety factor of 1.5 the worst case design load. This real-time condition test gives engineers the best knowledge of the soil at that time, eliminating the need for the geotech report ordering, process and price. That is just the start of how using the Osprey saves EPCs time and money.

Nuance Energy

Master of your domain

Larger projects are often the realm of larger companies or require a smaller company to rent equipment and wait for a larger company to deliver it. This is a perfectly fine system, but removing piles and removing the large equipment needed to drive them opens up the market even more for a wider variety of contractors, defragmenting the market.

“The small guy gets beat up over concrete and relying on outsourced teams to drive the product in the ground with heavy equipment they rent or lease, which means the equipment is on that company’s time, not the EPC’s,” Boguess says.

Even in the most efficient outcome from order placement to equipment delivery to pile driving, the mere fact of being on another company’s timeline adds extra time to project development and introduces the possibility of delays. The possibility of the delay has its own subtle chilling effect on a contractor’s project pipeline. If a larger project is delayed because equipment is held up at another site, the contractor’s delicate summer and fall project window will be shattered and accounts payable left in the lurch. A system that is fully installed by the contractor using only hand tools gives full control of scheduling back to the contractor.

“If you can’t control your installation schedule, you can’t control your revenues and accounts receivables,” Boguess says. “For small- to mid-size EPCs, a lot of these guys live project to project. If they can’t control cash flow, they are stuck.”

Obviously a larger company working to please investors with timely commissioning and quicker returns on investment would also benefit from the extra control over scheduling, but the savings go deeper, both in actual cost savings and costs avoided. Large developers have slush funds available to cover for unforeseen obstacles under the ground. For example, a developer putting a project in the ground in Florida has to account for the threat of running into limestone — both accidentally cracking it and then working to avoid it if found. Those threats don’t change the installation of an anchor system, which can go in the ground at any angle and avoid any such obstacles, keeping slush funds put and improving profit margins.

Nuance Energy procures its steel from both U.S. and foreign suppliers. This has not affected its model of packaging Osprey units at its regional warehouses and shipping them out with up to 40 units on a truck. Freight costs can be reduced by up to 60 percent.

RELATED: Solar carport developers find low-cost opportunity despite the tariffs

Labor savings

An all-handtool installation for a 5-MW project might sound laborious, but Boguess has compelling evidence of overall labor savings achieved, in less time, with the Osprey vs. a conventional large-scale ground-mount installation.

“One of our first projects with Brad Thomas, senior director of project management [formerly of NEXTracker], was only a 75-kW job. He had forecast three weeks for the installation. The job was finished in five days. He had overcalculated by two weeks, saving $14,000. That’s 18.6 cents a watt on a 75-kW job.”

With minimal training, any local labor crew can be employed to install the Osprey system. The adjustable legs also reduce the amount of site prep and grading needed.

nuance energy

New market: Lift and Shift

The niche for Nuance thus far has been projects in the 10 kW to 5 MW range, but applications within that range extend beyond the conventional. For starters, Boguess has seen a lot of activity in rural residential and small agriculture in the Midwest, less sexy solar locations like Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.

“The smaller customer is anybody ordering one to 10 units from us, and each unit holds 5 to 6 kW,” Boguess says. “Residential contractors have a cash flow business with three to four install teams out on roofs, and initially they are afraid to take on 20-kW ground-mounts because they think it means taking two crews off a roof. But we can keep them on the roof and get 20 kW installed in four hours.”

Boguess even believes they’ve created a completely new (and catchy!) application category for solar called “Lift and Shift,” born from the fact that the Osprey anchors can be disengaged and the complete PV system above ground can be literally lifted as is and shifted to another location. This opens up totally new areas for PV, such as temporary farm land and mining.

“We had the idea of financing modular ground-mount systems with a PPA in the mining industry,” Boguess says. “This is unheard of because how will you finance a mobile microgrid hybrid solution when you want to move the asset every two years? We enable mining operations or those EPCs in this space to mitigate that risk because when that dig doesn’t find what they want after two or three years, they can lift and shift to redeploy the asset, not leaving it stranded. A stranded asset is what is holding up PPAs.”

Underneath power lines is also a brave new world that’s now possible in California. Just recently Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) awarded Nuance Energy 40 50-kWac systems to be installed using the Osprey PowerPlatform.

“Our strategy for keeping costs low is to deploy solar arrays along existing transmission lines, where we already have rights of way, and to handle the installations entirely ourselves with our own crews,” says Francisco Fernandez, the lead electrical engineer in LADWP’s Solar Power Engineering Department. This strategy imposed two special requirements: easy removal when necessary to affect repairs or upgrades to the overhead transmission lines and ease of installation by small crews. “The solution from Nuance Energy met these two requirements.”

With LADWP’s system providing more than 26 million MHh of electricity annually to 1.5 million residential and business customers in the city of Los Angeles’ 472 square miles, the potential for solar energy deployments is substantial.

Added together, the Nuance Energy value proposition is a compelling one, offering several new opportunities for a wide variety of solar contractors and EPCs to grow and solidify their business.

— Solar Builder magazine

Four energy dense solar mounting systems for C&I rooftops

SunModo SunBeam

sunmodo

As a permanent part of the building and roof structure, the SunBeam system eliminates any abrasions, moss build up and need of system removal for roof repair or re-roofing. In addition, it provides shading of HVAC equipment, increasing efficiency and faster temperature response. Twenty-year warranty.

Material: High-grade aluminum and 304 stainless steel hardware. Anchor-only attachment.

How it maximizes energy density: The SunBeam system elevates above obstructions such as HVAC, pipes and vents. By spanning over roof obstructions such as HVAC, pipes and vents, the system takes full advantage of the available roof surface thereby maximizing the PV system size. The system can be easily adjusted to account for the multiple roof pitches on site.

Everest Solar D Dome R²

everest

The D Dome R² system is an east/west commercial flat roof solution. The third generation of this product is now rail-less with only five major components and minimal hardware. It sits at a fixed 10-degree pitch and allows for 3.5-in. inter-row spacing. Twenty-year warranty.

Material: Aluminum, ballast with attachment optional. The ballast blocks sit under the panels.

How it maximizes energy density: Everest Solar Systems believes east/west systems are more efficient south of the tropic of cancer. First, an east/west system practically eliminates inter-row spacing which allows more modules on the roof, thus increasing module density. On one internal study, Everest compared a the production of a 10-degree south-facing system with its east/west system in southern California at different azimuths. The south-facing fit 88 modules and had a 14 percent decrease in at the 225-degree azimuth. The D Dome R² system reached 108 modules in the same space and had less than 0.1 percent change between all azimuth angles.

Solar Mounting Solutions

sms

SMS Racking consists of only three major parts that arrive with all hardware pre-inserted allowing for quick single tool installation. The THRU-ITT integrated wire management system allows wiring to remain organized and protected by running wires east-west and north-south internally. Since this racking design does not rely on the panel for integrity, installers can complete racking and wire installation independent of the panel. Twenty-year warranty.

Material: G90 coated steel and optional galvanized steel, aluminum, powder-coated. Ballast only.

How it maximizes energy density: SMS developed an Excel spreadsheet that determines the optimum row-to-row spacing based on the selected solar module, optimum tilt angle, solar azimuth angle, and the altitude angle all specific to install location. By optimizing the length of row-to-row spacers, the SMS system can greatly reduce the amount of redundant material, which in turn will reduce racking cost and avoid installing the modules in a high shadow region. The racks are designed with minimal distance between modules in the east/west direction to eliminate unused area.

Ecolibrium EcoFoot5D and EcoFoot2+

ecolibrium

EcoFoot5D 5-Degree and EcoFoot2+ 10-Degree speed installation and simplify logistics for flat-roof installs. Main components are: a base, pre-assembled clamps (integrated bonding without washers) and a wind deflector. The system is black, ASA-PC, UL Listed Resin with a 25-year warranty mounted with ballast, attachments or a mix.

How it maximizes energy density: EcoFoot5D 5-Degree delivers 18.4 percent more power than the 10-degree system and lowers cost per watt. The system maximizes roof density while maintaining the ease and simplicity of EcoFoot. The modular base is small at 7 in. x 16.7 in., and inter-row spacing is a dense 9.9 in., creating a tightly packed array. Stackable bases enable up to 290 kW per pallet, resulting in fewer pallets and minimized shipping, storage and onsite crane use.

— Solar Builder magazine