By: Katie Chapman, Sustainability Specialist and R&D Analyst
Solar energy is rapidly growing in the United States and Duro-Last is ready for it. In 2010 there were less than 500 Megawatts (MW) of non-residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed in the U.S. This grew to over 2,000 MW by 2018. It is also now cheaper than ever to install solar PV, which reduces the payback and increases the incentives for building owners. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), large-scale retailers like Walmart and Target, as well as K-12, are the primary driving force behind the increase in installations.
Duro-Last is designed to be the solution for building owners who plan to install a solar PV system. Rooftop solar systems that are designed for commercial buildings with flat roofs can be rack mounted (with ballasted or attached racks), or adhered directly to the roof surface. While an adhered solar system will involve fewer penetrations that require flashing, it also restricts access to much of the roof. A rack-mounted system can allow access to the roof, but it is important to note that secure flashing methods must be used to avoid compromising the roof integrity. Finally, ballasted rack-mounted systems can allow roof access and have a limited number of penetrations that must be flashed, but wind loads, seismic loads, and weight must all be considered for this application.
Utilizing a rooftop to locate PV is not without risks – one of which is the potential to compromise the waterproof barrier that is the roofing system. Installing solar systems on a flat rooftop requires careful consideration of more than just the efficiency and effectiveness of the system for electricity generation. It also requires consideration of the underlying roofing membrane and maintaining its integrity.
The Duro-Last Roofing System is particularly effective for rack-mounted rooftop solar systems. The membrane is precision-fabricated to fit each building precisely, and delivered to the job site with up to 85% of seaming completed in our factory. Additionally, custom prefabricated flashings for roof-penetrating support structures eliminate most rooftop labor from these critical areas, meaning quicker installations and secure watertight protection.
The future of solar PV is bright and Duro-Last contractors are positioned with the advantage of Duro-Last custom fabricated deck sheets and accessories to help grow their business!