Feasibilty check

I've been checking into solar panel installations. Apparently, in the long run of time, it may be more prudent to have a building or other structure to hold the solar panels etc. Especially if you have composition shingles that need more frequent replacement on the home or garage roof. The solar panels have to come off and reinstalled for that. And, of course, coordinated with the roofer to minimize downtime of the solar energy system.
The optimum roof angle for such is approximately 7 on 12 in my area of the woods, and facing south of course. I was thinking of a semi-closed carport design to allow more usage of the structure. Its susceptibility to potential winds is my primary concern for the structure. There is no mandatory building code in my area, current IRC is recommended by most custom builders here and utilized.
Should I try to locate a steel building maker for such, or attempt a steel column/wood remainder structure? The roof material would be a seamless steel roof.
Any ideas out there?
--
Dave



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On Fri, 10 Jul 2009 07:41:22 -0500, "Dioclese" <NONE> wrote:

Takes two days to do a room typically, not much down time, considering it is about every 15 to 20 years.

I have a steel garage (big...) and I know they will make any pitch roof you want. Mine is a 2/12, but that's what I wanted.

I don't like mixed steel/wood. But others do.

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On Jul 10, 8:41 am, "Dioclese" <NONE> wrote:

I can't see how the separate structure would be an improvement. Roof before you do the solar installation and you'll get 20 or 30 years easy before you have to worry about reroofing. You'll be replacing the solar panels before the roof.
Presumably your house can already take the wind and snow loads, and the solar panels won't likely exceed the load capacity. Whatever money you spend upfront on a separate structure would, with interest, more than cover whatever additional work was required when reroofing.
R
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On Jul 10, 8:41 am, "Dioclese" <NONE> wrote:

I can't see how the separate structure would be an improvement. Roof before you do the solar installation and you'll get 20 or 30 years easy before you have to worry about reroofing. You'll be replacing the solar panels before the roof.
Presumably your house can already take the wind and snow loads, and the solar panels won't likely exceed the load capacity. Whatever money you spend upfront on a separate structure would, with interest, more than cover whatever additional work was required when reroofing.
R
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Everytime I check into a solar energy installation for my home, the costs continue to pile up, if I want to do it in a long term, prudent manner. You're right, installing a steel seamless roof now would give me more substantial time before replacement. Its got 4 year old composition shingles now. Esitmated life of the specific solar panels intended for installation are 30-40 years.
It would be nice to have carport though, the garage used storage space has pushed my car out of the garage. Just need to get the car out the central Texas sun. Think you see where I'm coming from now. Snow load is not problem here, no appreciable snow. Not sure about wind load. House and detached garage have seen max 80 mph gusts to date. Another detriment to using a separate structure for the solar panels is a power loss. This occurs due to the distance from the anticipated structure to the point of entry for electrical connection at the house. Or, so said the on-site evaluator for a solar system for my home. He used no specific or general numbers of that loss though.
--
Dave



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On Jul 10, 8:41 am, "Dioclese" <NONE> wrote:

Presumably, the panels can be installed at the optimum angle to the sun regardless of your roff pitch. No?
Dave in Houston
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http://www.solarray.com/TechGuides/Racks_T.php
I believe they said a direct roof mount was to be untilized IF I wanted the solar panels on the roof of the house. See Roof Mounts in the above link with the composition shingles visible. The mounts are attached directly to the rafters.
I would go with a tilt-up mount if I went with the separate stucture design I was talking about, and forget about the 7 on 12 roof.. They finally got around to telling me about this mount method. They said they don't normally do so as they normally do residential areas on their roofs. HOAs, and neighbors to contend with.. I'll have to check with them on the top of pole mounting, these seems to be the least impact on the ground surface and little hardware involved.
Dave
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On Tue, 14 Jul 2009 06:34:28 -0500, "Dioclese" <NONE> wrote:

Living in a HOA governed home is not a wise move if you are not one of the few who like totally giving up your freedom to your neighbors!

How big a panel (or panels) are you mounting? I can imagine that HOAs and such would be much unhappier with a pole mounted monster than something on the (hopefully rear) roof.
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I changed my screen name and signature, don't be alarmed.
I live in a rural area ungoverned by neighbors and a local HOA. Neighbors and HOAs are just another ingredient in the considerations for a solar energy system.
I want to use solar panels the company has on sale this month. The installation company says they must be installed in 5 in a series. Dimensions are 62.2" X 31.8" X 1.4". See suntech.com. Refer to STP175S-24/Ab-1 for the exact solar panel.
--
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On Wed, 15 Jul 2009 10:05:27 -0500, "Grasshopper" <NONE> wrote:

Not small, are they? <g>
I'm lucky here, no HOA within miles (and never will be), and as well, my house faces north, so the south side is away from the street.
Then again, I've a 30 x 60 garage in the back yard, that's a bit larger than my next door neighbor's house...
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The solar energy system installation company is from the big city in another county here. I just got an email this morning from the guy that did the on-site estimate. He, like me, has put everything on hold due to the electric cooperative's interconnection policy. In a nutshell, that interconnection policy says that I, the member of that cooperative, must have liaiblity insurance in place to not only cover the installation, but also ongoing insurance for the installation, operation, and maintenance of that equipment and its interconnection. No dollar numbers were noted were specified in that requirement except to say that it must be satisfactory. My sister, who has worked as both private and commercial insurance agent for over 20 years, says the insurance requirement is worded too broadly and vaguely to assure that I meet the electric cooperative's liability insurance requirements.
Another provision, which makes sense on the electric cooperative's end, is that a switch with a lockout must be installed as part of that installation. The lockout is to prevent me from closing the switch to connect the solar energy system to the power coming from the grid. The switch must be easily accessible by the electric cooperative, which means in my case, that is must be installed on the utiility pole immediately downstream from the meter and before the primary breaker box out there. That breaker box supplies the house, the well pump, and the detached garage on different breakers. So, for whatever the reason, the electric cooperative can disconnect my solar energy system from the primary breaker. And, I have to wait till they get around to reconnecting it at their leisure. So, that means a redesign by the installer to lockout the electric cooperative's power, and introducing solar energy system power downstream from that, and all before the primary breaker box. There's less than one foot between the meter and the breaker box. That also means I must have a battery backup system in such an event to use power at night as the electric cooperative's power would be locked out.
Seems to be a "Pandora's box" everytime I read the electric cooperative's interconnection policy. Oh, they also have option of changing or discontinuing that interconnection policy at any time...
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