Unlock the solar energy potential on industrial roofs

An innovative and smart pre-mounted PV-mounting system to speed up the benefits of renewable energy in the built environment.

The potential for the production of renewable electricity in the Netherlands is insufficiently exploited. And that potential is largely located on industrial roofs. The Netherlands has over 140,000 business roofs with a surface area of 1000 m2 or more. The combined area of these roofs is almost 37,000 hectares. At the beginning of 2019, only 6.5% of these were equipped with PV modules.

A near 50% of the available roof area is currently still considered “unsuitable” for solar, especially in the case of many commercial buildings installed according to the old building regulations from 1993. This argument is often the show-stopper in project development and thus many SDE + subsidies are unused.

Self-supporting PV mounting system

Almost half of the projects are not realized because bearing capacity seems to be a problem. Rable jumps into this and wants to give a boost to the energy transition for solar roofs.

The current approach is based on a substructure, panels and cabling, which are installed separately on the roof. To this is added a lot of extra ballast weight to prevent shifting and up-lift on the roof. Rable uses a few anchor points at the edges of the roof, without having to apply additional ballast.

As the cams of the solar installation are connected by steel cables, a truss is formed. This allows the mounting system, including the solar panels, to make a free span. The distances that we test vary from over 5 to 12 meters. The steel cables do not disturb the energy generate of the cells. The support system is pre-assembled, possible with cable management and solar panels. The pre-positioned rails will form a hybrid solution with the support.

Why to choose Rable as solar panel support system

  • Rable premounted modules enlarges the roofsurface capacity over 40% and speeding up the transition.
  • Selfsupporting system, no construction stiffening
  • Patented (PCT)
  • 4 times faster installation
  • No ballast needed, few anchors
  • Manufactured in the Netherlands.
  • 100% recyclable materials

The system strength lies in adding a tension rod (steel cable) to the cams of the PV system. The solar panel is part of a truss. It is easy to unfold over two rails attached to the most stable points of a roof with legs, for example, on the sides and at the height of pillars. A cable at the top of the solar panels ensures that the solar panels are self-supporting over the whole width. The wireline is flexible and follows the roofline, even if there is a curve in it. In addition, its minimal thickness minimizes the shadowing of the solar panels. In the lateral view, this makes it a “latticework” that has a bending resistance.

A self-supporting frame withstands snow and wind loads according to the NEN 7250 and the Eurocode guidelines.

The Rable solar system uses an FEA model and a CFD simulation for wind and snow loads and has undergone several wind tunnel tests.

FEA calculations made by SDC Verifier team

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