Schletter beefs up FixGrid flat-roof mounting system to handle more wind, snow load

Schletter FixGrid

The Schletter Group is releasing a new generation of its FixGrid, a mounting system for flat roofs: The 2018 FixGrid kit system combines the benefits of the FixGrid and AluGrid systems, resulting in even more simple and faster assembly. Furthermore, the system is capable of withstanding higher wind and snow loads, making it even suitable for places exposed to extreme weather.

“Our FixGrid 2018 is a modern flat roof system that is suitable for all areas of application, while also being highly economical for the user,” Manuel Schwarzmaier, head of distribution for roof systems at Schletter, said. The faster assembly is due to a number of construction improvements, such as that the FixGrid 2018 leaves the factory with a newly developed swivel connector that can be put together without tools. At the same time, the degree of pre-fabrication has continued to increase, requiring fewer operations at the construction site. For instance, the building protection mats now come pre-attached to the base plates of the FixGrid 2018 kits. That reduces the assembly and mounting time and thus the costs per kilowatt hour of installed PV capacity.

The added flexibility of the system makes it possible to further reduce costs: Windsafe plates and ballast tubs only have to be used where they are actually needed for technical reasons. At the same time, the FixGrid 2018 is now even more durable than the previous model. The optimized geometry of the profiles has now made the system capable of withstanding very high snow loads.

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New Windsafe plates, including an integrated ballast slot for the south-facing variant, allow adequate ballasting for places with higher wind loads. This makes it possible to use FixGrid 2018 almost everywhere. The ballast blocks can be easily applied to the continuous beams, ballast tubs and Windsafe panels.

The developers at Schletter continue to use a modular design for the FixGrid 2018: Almost all components, such as the Rapid16 panel clamp, are from Schletter’s standard range and are also part of other assemblies. “This has great benefits for retailers, because it avoids the expense of having to warehouse specialized parts,” Schwarzmaier explains. “This allows us to ensure high availability and shorter turnaround times.”

For the fastest possible assembly, the FixGrid 2018 comes in several kit variants that will cover the majority of applications: For east-west-oriented arrays, the Schletter Group offers kits for two or three pairs of solar panels. For elevated south-facing solutions, the system is available for two or three rows of panels. It maintains the rows as a single unit, and any configuration of panels can be realized. As a planning tool, there is the free SchletterConfigurator. The software automatically selects the ideal kits and handles structural analysis for the system, generates a ballasting plan and a parts list. As always, the systems are shipped out including a professional structural analysis, system documentation and assembly instructions.

— Solar Builder magazine

Schletter launches a slew of new simplified solar mounting products

The globally operating Schletter Group is launching a host of new and advanced products at this year’s Intersolar. The focus here is on the greatly simplified handling of the products – for users and traders alike. Highlights include, for example, the complete redesign of the Rapid 16 module clamp family in addition to pre-assembled module kits, which greatly facilitate the planning and installation of PV systems.

All new clamp family

Schletter Rapid16-Klemmen

The Rapid 16 module clamp on show at Intersolar sees the Schletter Group introducing a module clamp family that has been completely re-designed from scratch. With just a handful of product variants, this intelligently designed clamp covers the entire range of applications. Thanks to rotatable clamps and flexible clamping widths, it is suitable for mounting all standard module sizes – with both vertical and horizontal clamping. This greatly facilitates planning and installation for users. For traders, this reduces the expenditure for warehousing dramatically: instead of keeping as to date over 190 product variants in stock, five suffice in future.

This is achieved thanks to the clamp’s intelligent design. Unlike its predecessor, which was available in numerous fixed clamping widths in one-millimetre increments, the clamping range of the Rapid 16 is flexible, with the low module clamps being capable of holding modules with a frame height of 30 to 40 mm, and the higher ones being designed for frame heights of 40 to 50 mm. As such, the clamps fit all standard systems. Due to the side leg of the clamp gripping into a locking system during mounting, the module frame is still fastened as before to the precise millimetre within this range.

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The Rapid 16 module clamp fits all Schletter module bearing rails with an 8 mm click channel and is designed for module frame heights of 30 to 50 mm. All the clamps feature an integral grounding pin. They are available in either a natural aluminium or black anodised finish so that they can be matched up visually also to black module frames.

Modular mounting kits

 

To facilitate and reduce the cost of planning and installing small PV systems, the Schletter Group is introducing pre-assembled mounting kits. These entail pre-assembled installation modules, which can be combined on the basis of a modular system. This simplifies planning and speeds up the installation process on site avoiding any need for cutting to size. In addition, customers benefit from shorter delivery times thanks to optimized warehousing and a lower system price thanks to standardization.

For flat roof systems, the Schletter Group provides its AluGrid and AluGrid100 systems in kit form. These systems are ideally suited for solar modules mounted on flat roofs in east-west orientation. The aerodynamic optimization means that only low superimposed loads are required, which are individually structurally verified. Using the AluGrid100 kits, it is possible to install either one to three double module rows with pre-assembled module bearings and cut-to-size pieces of the surface protection mat that are already attached.

Schletter PvMax Kit

The inexpensive and proven ground mount system PvMax will also be presented as a kit solution at Intersolar. The kits are supplied along with all the components for the bearing structure so that the construction of the plant can commence immediately. The smaller PvMax Energy-Kit can be used for the installation of 22 modules (2 rows with 11 modules), the larger PvMax Energy-Kit with 44 modules (2 rows with 22 modules). Both can be extended with up to 4 modules. A type structural analysis is also offered in prefabricated variants. The kits are designed for standard 60 cell modules with dimensions of up to 1000 x 1700 mm. Module clamps can also be ordered for specific module frames.

Schletter EcoRapid Klemme

For roofs covered with trapezoidal sheet metal, the Schletter Group is presenting two new fastening solutions. The company is for example extending its offering with its newly developed EcoRapid clamp. Using the clamp allows PV modules to be mounted directly on the trapezoidal sheet metal, without any need for module clamps or mounting rails. Consequently, this solution is particularly quick and inexpensive. The clamp is hooked directly into the frame profile of the module, which makes for an extremely secure and strong installation.

The new trapezoidal roof fastener ClampFit 17 is designed for the horizontal and vertical installation of modules on trapezoidal sheet metal roofs. Whereas up until now 17 different product versions were available for various geometries and areas of application, the rule “one fits all” applies in future, i.e. a single version suffices. The new Rapid16 fastening clamp can thus be used for fastening all standard modules. What is more, this combination of ClampFit 17 and Rapid16 is less expensive than the ClampFit-H clamps used to date.

Pitched roof installation solutions

The Schletter Group has developed its FixTK fastening solution specifically for types of roof construction with bitumen shingles widely used in Scandinavia and Canada. This entails a fastening solution which, due to its simple shape and central force absorption, is capable of supporting very heavy snow loads.

The Schletter Group has further improved the strength of important components also for this part of the world. By way of example, the company is presenting its galvanised roof hook S700 which, thanks to its enhanced geometry and circumferential welds, affords 2.5 times the bearing capacity of its predecessor.

— Solar Builder magazine

Schletter Group completes three solar projects in the Dominican Republic

The Schletter Group has completed three further solar projects in the Dominican Republic: in collaboration with the market leading local project developer Trace Solar SRL, Schletter installed three ground-mounted plants with a total capacity of more than 2.2 MWp. The largest solar power plant in the entire Caribbean region had been connected in collaboration with Schletter only a few months ago. Additional ground- and roof-mounted PV plants are currently under construction.

schletter ground mount project

The projects now completed are one ground-mounted plant for the grain processing company J. Miranda with a capacity of 503 kWp as well as the 741 kWp ground-mounted plant “Agrocosa” close to Santiago de los Caballeros. Both companies are among the leading producers of rice in the country. The third and with 924.30 kWp largest ground-mounted plant was built on the premises of the fair trade banana plantation “Guidom”, the largest exporter of bananas in the Dominican Republic, near the village of Mao. In all three cases, dealing with high wind pressure was again a major issue. Wind velocities in the region often reach more than 60 metres per second.

schletter ground mount project

The Solarworld-325 Wp module was therefore installed with the Schletter mounting systems FSDuo 2V and FS Duo 3V that are made from hot-galvanised steel. The systems are based on two supports with two ramming fundaments each. Together with load-optimized Z-purlins, this creates a highly stable substructure, which can also be mounted quickly.

The system can even cope with much higher wind velocities, as shown in the last hurricane season, also in the Dominican Republic: last October, the solar power plant “Monte Plata”, also mounted with the Schletter FS Duo system – and with 34 MWp the largest solar power plant in the Caribbean region -, withstood the hurricane “Matthew” without damage.

“Photovoltaic energy is well on its way to becoming an important pillar in the Caribbean energy infrastructure”, said Tom Graf, CEO of the globally operating Schletter Group. “We are very well positioned in this growing market and are happy to help drive this development.” Schletter currently works on further major projects in the Dominican Republic.

— Solar Builder magazine