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Preliminary meeting with F&S Engineering Design

Posted by Morgan White on August 19, 2016

Morgan Johnston, Robert Halverson, and Brian Finet met to discuss the design needs of the Speech and Hearing Rooftop Solar PVs project (on building #209).  Key points discussed are:

Per the building occupants, this project needs to be installed at the same time as the Capital Project in that building, currently scheduled for summer 2017.  Therefore, the bulk of the design needs to be completed by December 2016, and the installation methodology should be clarified in September or October, 2016.

The project must be metered, in order to track the solar energy generation.  There are several metering options and considerations to be addressed.  The meter needs to track real-time energy generation from the array, but this project does not currently include setting up a dashboard website specifically for this array.

Discussion about the pros and cons of various mounting methods were discussed.  Additional potential for rooftop leaks are the primary concern for building occupants and maintenance contacts.  The most manageable installation style is to connect the solar panels to an existing load bearing column for the building.  Ballast style installations, while not creating an immediate rooftop penetration point, are very likely to wear on the roof and create non-point source leaks which are hard to find and eliminate.  Additionally, with a ballasted mounting system the snow load is difficult to calculate due to the unpredictable effect of snow drifts.