White Paper

Together with members of the Metal Construction Association (MCA), S-5!® recently participated in a three-part white paper series on solar photovoltaics (PV) and metal roofing. Contributors to the white papers series include MCA members and S-5! staff, Rob Haddock, CEO and founder; Dustin Haddock, vice president of research and development; and Mark Gies, director of solar business; along with Bob Zabcik, MCA technical director and president of Z-tech Consulting, LLC; and Andy Williams, MCA director of codes and standards and principal of Panel Cladding Solutions, LLC.

Part 1, Service Life Comparisons focuses on solar/roof service life compatibility. Information is widely available concerning basic and advanced technologies of why and how PV works from many online sources. This white paper instead focuses on a commonly overlooked topic: the PV and the roof are inextricably codependent and must be regarded as a single asset. Consideration must therefore be given to the durability, longevity, and service-life compatibility aspects of the roof to the PV system. Oversight of this important aspect can compromise the PV value proposition and grossly diminish the financial return.

Part 2, Mounting System Methods explains the common types of PV mounting systems for metal roofs, associated risks and pros/cons of each. Attention is directed to the essential criteria of mounting solar PV to metal rooftops to provide the best practical and economic benefits for building owners and solar contractors alike. This information is requisite to preserving the integrity of both the roof and solar PV system as well as maintaining code compliance while achieving the lowest maintenance, longest life, lowest initial and life cycle costs, and greatest return on investment on the solar PV system.

Part 3, Mounting System Installation digs into more detail and the critical technical factors for solar PV systems specific to mounting on metal roofs and illustrates how long-term performance of roof-mounted solar PV systems can only be achieved through careful planning, design, procurement, installation, and quality control from start to finish. It also details how metal roofs enable these solar PV systems to live up to their stated potential durability, versatility, and inherent value.

Since 1992, S-5! has been a leading authority on metal roof attachment solutions. Designed to last the life of the roof, the company’s zero-penetration clamps attach ancillary items to standing seam metal roofs without violating roof integrity or warranties. S-5!’s clamps and brackets are engineered for a variety of applications, including snow-retention and wind-performance systems, satellite dishes, solar arrays, signs/banners, light fixtures, gas piping, stack/flue bracing, walkways, HVAC, lightning protection, equipment screens, conduit, condensate lines, and more.