When Bossier, LA-based McElroy Metal added 1,960 solar panels to the standing seam roof of its Peachtree City, GA manufacturing facility, it used penetration-free S-5!® metal roof clamps to attach them. When the company decided to add a similar—but slightly smaller—solar array to the roof of its plant in Adelanto, CA, it again turned to S-5!
“Being a roofing manufacturer, we are obviously concerned about the overall roof performance for the long term,” said Ken Gieseke, Vice President of Marketing for McElroy. As a long-time proponent of using S-5! products for rooftop attachment, Gieseke said the S-5! approach was “the obvious—and frankly only— solar attachment solution to consider.”
The Adelanto project called for 646 solar modules to be mounted. But first, the condition of the roof needed to be evaluated to ensure it was in good enough shape to outlast the projected life of the solar plant. Once it passed inspection, the next step was choosing the right S-5! attachment clamp for the roof's exposed-fastened trapezoidal-profile panels. S-5!’s aluminum RibBracket IV fit the bill. In addition to being compatible with most exposed-fastened trapezoidal panel profiles, it is also ideal for most metal roofing materials.
The RibBracket IV clamp features a slotted top hole that allows it to mate easily with the S-5-PV Kit, which is designed specifically for attaching solar panels. The top hole is also perfect for securing the gamut of typical roof ancillaries. For weather tightness, the RibBracket IV comes with a factory-applied EPDM rubber gasket seal at its base. Moisture was not necessarily a big concern at the Adelanto location, which is in a desert climate 100 miles from Los Angeles, but heat, wind and parched conditions can cause the degradation of metal, sealants, and screws as well. That should not be a concern with the RibBracket IV as the clamp's design shields the EPDM gasket from direct UV exposure, effectively preventing drying and cracking.
Solar Now and Beyond
Currently, the Peachtree facility’s solar array is producing more energy than the plant consumes. That isn’t the case with the Adelanto facility, but it is generating substantial power and payback on the investment is expected to come within three years. Thanks to those successes of the two projects, McElroy Metal is exploring solar mounting opportunities at other facilities. In addition to helping McElroy become a cleaner, greener company, it is hoped the solar projects can serve as successful showcases for those interested in the use of solar panels with metal roofing.