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Do any solar rack co. have adjustable height and tilting racks for composition roofs?

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  • Do any solar rack co. have adjustable height and tilting racks for composition roofs?

    I have an east facing roof that I want to use for solar panels, but the pitch of the roof causes shading beginning around 2pm. To off set that, I need racks that will match the height of the roof line height and will tilt southward for the placement of the panels. I have 28 panel 6 k inverter system on the West side currently,which is 11 years old.I just replaced the inverter 6 months ago. This system is not meeting our electrical needs anymore due to 4 people working at home fulltime. My new system will be using microinverters and I'm still deciding on the kWh between 4-5 kwh. Does anyone know a company that designs these rack options? I need solar rack risers with tilting options. Thanks
    Last edited by Orca; 01-23-2021, 03:46 AM.

  • #2
    Ironridge is a well-known and respected rack company. Their web tools are easy to use and they also have knowledgable telephone support. Other racking companies probably have comparable products.

    https://www.ironridge.com/components/tilt-legs/
    "The IronRidge Fixed Tilt Leg Kits consist of a North & South Tilt Leg, plus hardware for attaching to the rails. They come in several different heights to support a wide range of mounting angles: 4-30 degrees in Portrait Orientation, and 6-30 degrees in landscape orientation."

    You've probably already thought this through, but a tilt mount will be more expensive than a flat mount. Once you get a quote for the extra cost, consider how much more energy that will produce than a flat mount and how long it will take to pay back that extra cost. In your case, it may still makes sense. For most residential installs, it is difficult to justify.
    7kW Roof PV, APsystems QS1 micros, Nissan Leaf EV

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    • #3
      Don't be nuts about maximizing efficiency. Just flush mount the panels facing east and add one or two more to make up for lost power. Cheaper to add more low cost panels than to put in an expensive mounting system...
      BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >2500kW installed

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      • #4
        Thanks for the input! I'm retiring in a year and I want maximum efficiency. This will be a system that will be up for 25 years. I'm producing currently 15-18 kwh daily,but with covid19 and 2 college kids home and 2 teachers working fulltime. A lot of electricity 350-400 kwh within 2 months. Equates to in So.Ca.=$ 200-300 a month. I'm still mulling about on this. West side produces 25-35 kwh in the summer,but the added heat is reducing efficiency. Every summer it is getting hotter with 100-115 degree heat until late Sept and early November. We are becoming Arizona!.

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        • #5
          Panels may be cheaper than racking, but for max efficiency do get them properly pointed
          and unshaded. Changing the tilt twice a year can buy you energy, here a big advantage is
          minimizing snow accumulation. The racking mentioned may have a method for changing
          tilt, but that may be impractical on a roof, or if the pivot point is not close the the array
          center of gravity. Bruce Roe

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Orca View Post
            Thanks for the input! I'm retiring in a year and I want maximum efficiency. This will be a system that will be up for 25 years. I'm producing currently 15-18 kwh daily,but with covid19 and 2 college kids home and 2 teachers working fulltime. A lot of electricity 350-400 kwh within 2 months. Equates to in So.Ca.=$ 200-300 a month. I'm still mulling about on this. West side produces 25-35 kwh in the summer,but the added heat is reducing efficiency. Every summer it is getting hotter with 100-115 degree heat until late Sept and early November. We are becoming Arizona!.
            Since it sounds like you're either replacing or augmenting an existing system, I'd suggest keeping a couple of things in mind:

            1.) If you exceed the the current nominal system rating by either 1 STC kW or 10% of current system STC rating, whichever is greater, you'll need to let the POCO know. In so doing, if you're on NEM 1.0 things will probably change, particularly if you're on tiered rates which will go away if you get forced to NEM 2.0.

            2.) With panels not parallel to their mounting surface, the wind profile will be different than an array close to the roof deck. Depending on where you live and what the local building inspector requires in the way of additional permitting and inspection, you may be required to check wind loading for the added panels as that wind loading on those new panels and everything they are connected to will be greater per panel.

            3.) Racking and installation for panels that are non parallel to a roof surface will be more expensive - maybe more than you might think. You also may have a tougher time finding an installer who wants to fool around with tilted racks and take the liability.

            4.) Some folks think the aesthetics of tilted panels amount to technological trashing. In an HOA that tends to cause problems. It also makes a property less desirable to some from a sales standpoint.

            Have you run PVWatts to see the modeled difference from one orientation to the next ? And have you estimated the value of the prososed evalued the h

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            • #7
              spend the extra money on more panels or a pergola or patio or ground mount. Those raised tilted panels on a roof look like crap IMHO.

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