Solar Panel Investment

Manufacturing Facility Receives New Solar Array in Adelanto, California

by Jim Austin, managing director, Targeted Content Inc.

 

Almost five years ago, McElroy Metal reroofed its manufacturing facility in Peachtree City, Georgia, and topped the standing seam roofing with 1,960 solar panels. The 238T symmetrical standing seam roofing system with the half megawatt solar system was installed on top of a 34-year-old galvanized R-panel roofing system. The energy generated on the Peachtree City facility surpasses the plant’s energy consumption, saving McElroy Metal thousands of dollars. Wanting to offset their electrical usage within their Adelanto, California, manufacturing facility and show a return on investment, McElroy Metal recently installed 646 solar modules attached with the RibBracket™ IV clamp from S-5!®.

 

 

It doesn’t make much sense to install a solar array on something that will fail long before the solar plant does. So, a roof inspection was performed prior to installation to ensure it was corrosion-free and suitable to outlast the service life of the solar. Being in the desert certainly helped, then it became a matter of selecting the right structurally sound attachment solution that would not only handle harsh sun elements but would also preserve a durable panel connection.

For McElroy, it was all about function. “Being a roofing manufacturer, we are obviously concerned about the overall roof performance for the long term,” said Ken Gieseke, vice president of marketing at McElroy. “Additionally, as a long-time convert to S-5! products, it was the obvious solar attachment solution for us to consider.”

In Adelanto, the project called for 646 solar modules to be added to McElroy Metal’s manufacturing facility. To ensure secure attachment, the aluminum RibBracket IV was selected. Compatible with most metal roofing materials, this economical bracket also fits a number of trapezoidal roof profiles too. The slotted top hole on the bracket, which accommodates the S-5-PV Kit, simplifies alignment and maximizes flexibility in attaching ancillaries. The RibBracket IV also comes with a factory-applied EPDM rubber gasket seal on the base. Even though moisture might not be a concern, the heat, wind, and parched conditions wreak havoc on metal, sealants, and screws. To help combat this, the reservoir on the bracket conceals the EPDM from UV exposure, preventing drying and cracks.

Each RibBracket comes with a factory-applied EPDM rubber gasket on the base. A structural aluminum attachment bracket, RibBracket is compatible with most common metal roofing materials and many North American trapezoidal profiles. The solar system harvests enough energy to offset the plant’s entire usage. “We had the roof inspected because it’s 25 years old,” said Marc Scammerhorn, manufacturing manager for McElroy Metal. “It’s in the desert, so there’s no rust or corrosion. It will definitely hold up and last as long as the solar panels.” The projected annual net electrical bill savings for the Adelanto plant resulted in a favorable return on investment and made the decision a wise financial investment.

“McElroy Metal is committed to being a leader in the growing use of solar power,” said Ken Gieseke, vice president of marketing at McElroy Metal. “It’s one thing to promote the use of metal roofing in conjunction with solar panels, but it’s another thing to invest in a project of this magnitude on your own facility.”

Now that McElroy has added solar panels to two of its own manufacturing facilities, the company plans to explore more solar mounting opportunities for its other facilities. It was a grand undertaking to invest in and complete such a massive solar panel installation strictly for one’s own company and McElroy hopes such a project can serve as a showcase for those interested in the use of solar panels with metal roofing.

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