KB Racking Now Even Lighter Due To New Parapet Study
October 3 2015
Among the many factors that influence the wind loads on a roof, parapet heights are one of the most counterintuitive. Naturally, one would think that parapets serve to obstruct wind gusts from reaching solar panels. However, this interaction is more complex, and wind loads are generally found to increase with higher parapet walls. Increased parapet heights tend to directly impact the size of wind vortices formed at building corners and as a result, produce faster wind flows above the roof surface. Known as the “Parapet Effect”, this is influenced by other factors, including panel row spacing, tilt angle, array geometry and location on the roof. Without further research, the influence of the Parapet Effect is usually over-estimated and in turn, design engineers have to over-ballast solar rooftop systems to ensure all complex wind flows are accounted for.
Continuous improvement at KB Racking involves an awareness of the latest research, news, and technologies that drive the solar industry. A recent study, by Browne et al, on the wind loads of rooftop solar systems has led us to explore the Parapet Effect in more depth by investing in additional wind tunnel research. The results of the research study can produce unique advantages, especially for weight-challenged roofs.
The greatest of these advantages, is the practice of calculating wind loads for specific wind directions as well as the area of an array. These considerations ensure that every array, for each project, is being ballasted individually and accurately – eliminating needless over-ballasting. As a result, this new method to calculate wind loads allows KB Racking to engineer ballasted systems with lower weight requirements for the EkonoRack and AeroRack rooftop mounting solutions. This study is just one example of KB Racking’s dedication to continuous research and development in order to provide our customers with custom engineered solutions that are built to last.
KB Racking Installs Non-Penetrating System in California
June 7 2015
Los Angeles, Calif. – April 9, 2015 – www.kbracking.com, www.a1solarppower.net.
KB Racking, a leading North American solar mounting company, and A1 Solar Power Inc., a premiere California solar installation company, have completed their first co-rooftop project: a non-penetrating rooftop solar system in the state of California.
The project is located on the coast of Corte Madera, just north of San Francisco. The system was installed using EkonoRack 2.0, an aerodynamic mounting solution designed for simplicity and rapid installation. EkonoRack 2.0’s modular design and KB Racking’s custom engineering work allowed the system to be installed a few feet from the coast, without the use of seismic anchors.
“We’re always on the lookout for new and innovative technologies in the solar industry, and to work alongside companies who are making progress in that arena. We found this to be a sleek and simple solution and were thrilled to hear that the system could be solely ballasted without penetrating the roof.”
— Robin Schneider, VP of Operations
A1 Solar Power Inc.
“Most parts of California have stringent seismic restrictions set forth by the Structural Engineers Association of California. Our engineering team prepared a custom layout and engineering calculations to ensure that the system adhered to the seismic displacement requirements in the area. We are pleased to have our first non-penetrating system up and running in California and look forward to many more in the coming year.” Alex Taillon, Head of Engineering, KB Racking.
About A1 SOLAR POWER INC.
A1 Solar Power Inc. is based in California with over 25 years of experience in the alternative energy industry, using current technologies and state of the art techniques to ensure the best possible solar electric system to meet the needs of its customers.
KB Racking Releases Innovative Wire Management Solution
February 5 2015
KB Racking’s product development team has been working closely with industry experts and leading installers to design the new EkonoRack Wire Management Solution. The innovative system features pre-attached roof protection mats and click-in covers for a simple, tool-free installation with maximum protection against the elements. The system allows installers to neatly organize north-south running electrical wires into one, compact channel which is designed to integrate seamlessly with the EkonoRack 2.0 system. The EkonoRack Wire Management Solution is almost half the price of standard cable management systems currently available while maintaining the quality KB Racking is known for.
“We focused our efforts on a solution-based design which required us to collect extensive customer feedback. The result is an innovative, tool-free system that will provide significant savings to our customers.”
Alexandre Taillon, Head of Engineering, KB Racking
The EkonoRack Wire Management solution was recently installed on a 516 kW project in Scarborough, ON. Construction Manager Joergen Kuhn commented, “The EkonoRack wire management system was simple for our crews to get the hang of. It was 30% faster than other cable tray systems we have installed, largely due to the compact design and click-in tray covers.”
KB Racking will be performing installation demonstrations of the new EkonoRack cable management system at Boston’s PV America Expo on March 9 & 10. For more information or a free quote contact one of KB Racking’s Technical Sales Associates.
History of EkonoRack 2.0
January 15 2015
EkonoRack: Driving Innovation in the Canadian Racking Market
January 12 2015
KB Racking has been focused on developing innovative solar mounting solutions since the onset of Ontario’s Feed-in-Tariff program. In 2011, KB Racking stepped away from the industry standard and designed EkonoRack – Canada’s first foot-based mounting system. The objective was to provide customers with an alternative to the complex and expensive rail-based systems that were dominating the market. Our engineers designed a system with only one major component in order to increase installation speed and decrease equipment costs by half. With now over 17 MW of EkonoRack installed in 15 states and provinces across North America, the system has come to represent quality engineering and on-site experience that Canadian customers can count on.
EkonoRack gained momentum in the US market in 2012 after its first installation in Washington, DC. In October of the same year, six EkonoRack systems in Long Island and New Jersey were hit by Hurricane Sandy’s 185 kilometer per hour winds. Reported to be the second-costliest hurricane in United States history, extreme weather conditions caused great damage to the region. Amidst the destruction, all EkonoRack installations in the area were left completely uncompromised. EkonoRack went on to be the first system installed under Los Angeles’ Feed-in-Tariff program, and had earned a loyal customer base by the end of 2012. EkonoRack was launched into the Canadian market in the summer of 2013 and subsequently began changing the face of the solar mounting industry. Installers and developers alike started favoring the simple, yet durable solution.
Continuous product evaluation and valuable customer feedback led to the release of EkonoRack 2.0 in the fall of 2013. Featuring pre-assembled roof protection mats, a sleeker cost-optimized design and more options for customization, EkonoRack 2.0 became the most customer friendly system on the market. EkonoRack now offers 5, 10, 12 and 15 degree tilt angle options, landscape and portrait configurations and is compatible with all standard 60, 72 and 96 cell panels. With only one major component and a track record of success, EkonoRack 2.0 is the industry standard for simple foot-based mounting systems.
50th EkonoRack project delivered in November 2014.