Industrial and commercial buildings usually have flat roofs that hold equipment that is part of the HVAC system and so on. Because the slope of these roofs is so minor — it's enough to let the rain run off but still low enough that you can't really see the slope — you can't install solar panels that require punching holes into the roof for connections. Instead, you use ballast blocks to hold down tabs attached to the panels. Installing these can be simple, but you need to be aware of how best to do so. If you have professional solar contractors install the panels and ballast, the work should be done well, although it will still help you to know why the contractors are doing certain things and using certain materials.
Ensure the Roof Can Handle the Weight of the Blocks
Because commercial and industrial roofs tend to be flatter and have equipment like air conditioning compressors on them, the roofs have to be able to hold a lot of weight. But solar panels and all their trimmings add a lot of weight themselves. You have to be sure the roof will hold the weight of the panels and all the concrete blocks that need to be installed. Don't worry; the roof should hold plenty. But you still need to pay attention to numbers because you don't want to ask the installers to add too many blocks that might tip the weight amount over into the too-heavy zone.
Make Sure the Blocks Are Precast
A precast (i.e., already formed) concrete block is a lot easier to transport to the solar site. If you try to cast blocks in place, the company doing the work will have to bring up more machinery, mix the concrete there, protect the concrete as it dries, and so on. It takes too much time and isn't worth it if you can just order precast blocks that can be put on the roof in a few hours. Another benefit to using precast blocks is that they can be lighter, which helps with the roof-weight issue; there are better controls when they're cast at a factory.
Inspect the Blocks Occasionally, Even if You Use Freeze-Hardy Blocks
Concrete, in general, can crack and chip due to a number of issues. A common problem is cracking from freezing and thawing; moisture in the concrete freezes in cold weather, the ice expands, and then you have a nice little crack running through your concrete block. You can get concrete that is more resistant to the freeze-thaw-crack cycle. However, freezing isn't the only thing that can damage the blocks. Hail, for example, can leave divots, the concrete might not have been cast properly and is thus weaker than you expect, and so on. If you have concrete solar ballast blocks, you've got to inspect them occasionally. Make sure they're in good shape so that you don't find out the hard way that one of them was destroyed and has let the solar panel become damaged, too.
Ask the installers about inspection and maintenance after installation. You want those ballast blocks to stay in place and keep the roof in good shape, too, and proper maintenance will be a key part of this journey.
Contact a company like Ninsa Solar, LLC to learn more about precast solar ballast blocks.Share
8 November 2021
Hello, my name is Candace Hunt. Welcome to my site about safety equipment used in the industrial field. Equipment operators must pay close attention to safety while operating industrial machinery. The safety techniques and tools used in this industry are purpose-built and designed to protect workers doing a specific job. I will cover the different types of safety equipment and the correct ways to utilize the supplies. My site will help you understand how employees stay safe while operating large machinery. Please feel free to visit my site daily to learn all you can about these industrial safety supplies. Thank you.