There are many considerations in designing a cost effective and practical photovoltaic system. Everything from mounting systems to panels and inverters must be carefully considered to ensure a system that is both safe and productive. It is important to plan ahead and consult a professional early in the process to avoid ending up with a system that either doesn't work or worse still, poses a safety hazard. As the old adage goes, "Amps are not for ametuers."
The first of many considerations is what type mounting system is to be used. Beginning with a site survey, SWT Energy identifies potential mounting options and validates structural needs to avoid any surprises. For ground mount systems requiring footings, its essential that adequate depth and care be taken to account for wind loads. When space is limited, roof mount systems are a great solution, however these systems require ample attention be paid to wind loads, the weight of the system and the condition of the roof.
Roof-mount systems are increasing in popularity as businesses and home owners realize the benefits of solar can be enjoyed using hardware can be mounted directly to a structure or through a ballasted rack system. For flat roofs, these systems can sometimes be completely hidden from view. Alternatively, many property owners like to show off their commitment to sustainability through highly visible systems which have been integrated into the structure as awnings, canopies or porches. SWT Energy has worked with the Nebraska Historical Society as well as Nebraska Environmental Trust to develop systems that meet a number of different aesthetic requirements.
Integrating a system with an existing structure provides both power and protection from the elements. Whether added to an existing structure or built as a stand-alone canopy, these structures are a great way for homes and businesses to benefit from installing a solar array when roof space cannot accommodate a system and without taking up as much space as a traditional ground mount system.
A third type of solar installation, pole-mount systems come in three distinct flavors: fixed, single-axis and dual-axis systems. If space and ordinances allow for such a system, . Whatever method is preferred, SWT Energy has a solution.