New Company Deploys Adhesive Solar Panels For Roofs
May 12, 2008 11:51 AM
comment(s) - last by
Move over screws and racks, new adhesive mounted panels are gaining steam
recently reported on the
growing interest in solar power
, both public and private, being
fueled by enterprising startups like Sungevity
. However despite current methods of streamlining installation and reducing costs via optimizations, the installation process remains costly, slow, and has some undesirable side effects.
Panel installation typically involves drilling holes in the roof, compromising its integrity. Racks are affixed to these holes using bolts, and the entire process is rather time-intensive. The end result is big installation bills and a headache for the customer. It's also a hassle for the installer, who has to use special tools and could be making more money off a more efficient installation approach.
Well a logical answer has arrived in the form of DRI Energy, a solar-power roofing contractor, operating out of California. Instead of racks,
DRI Energy simply applies a strong roofing adhesive
, to hold the panels in place. The seemingly common sense approach seems to work. The company shows
in a video
that 2.25 kW of its proprietary Lumeta solar panels can be installed in only 35 minutes by two of its solar engineers, a process that would normally take hours.
Shorter installations mean that costs drop greatly, and installers are able to perform more installations per day, making more money overall. As most roofing installers regularly use the same adhesives used to affix the panels, the move opens the doorway to installations by roofers not specially trained in solar installation, possibly further dropping the cost. Further, no racks also means no holes in the roof, a plus for many customers.
Unfortunately for now the method is only compatible with DRI Energy's special panels. However, given the commercial benefits, other companies are likely to quickly follow in suit. After all the move seems common sense, and well worth the time to design slightly modified panels to work with the improved installation process.
DRI is based out of Irvine, California and installs solar panels in nine western states. It is a rather large company with seven regional offices in the states of California, Washington, and Nevada. The company also offers rack mounted systems, in addition to the new adhesive-mounted ones.
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RE: A good common sense approach, but with one possible defect
5/12/2008 1:27:16 PM
It sounds like in the article that they're using standard roofing adhesive which is quite flexible and has a great track record, in general, these days.
If they were squirting some off brand liquid nails, you'd probably have a point, but the new stuff is pretty amazing. Not saying that failure isn't possible, and it wouldn't meet the wind codes for my area of Texas, but for most applications I'm sure it's ok.
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