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Liberty Self Storage


In 2016, Louisiana-based Liberty Self Storage dedicated itself to green energy, converting nine of its 12 St. Tammany Parish locations to solar. In doing so, it became the Pelican State's largest solar-powered company. For the more recent conversion of its facility in Covington, LA, Liberty wanted to express its patriotism and love of country by having the new rooftop solar array configured in the form of an American flag. With the help of The Next Energy Technology company of Kenner, LA, and solar panel attachment products from Colorado-based S-5!, the design intent was achieved in the best possible way.  

The Challenges

Arranging the panels to represent an American flag was not the only challenge given the project's general contractor. Mounting was another. There was a concern that traditional mounting rails would add to much weight and compromise the design because in certain areas, rails would be exposed. Additionally, Liberty Storage was adamant that the array be attached to the metal roof without any penetrations.

Another challenge was the area’s high wind speeds due to its proximity to the Gulf coast. The design wind load requirements for the roof necessitated a solar mounting product capable of withstanding up to 140-mile-per-hour winds.

The Solution

Solar solution provider ONTILITY recommended S-5!'s PVKIT direct-attach™ (rail-less) solar mounting solution, paired with the S-5-V Mini clamp to provide a secure, economical and penetration-free method for attaching solar modules to the metal roof, enabling solar installers to “lay & play” PV modules with tested, engineered, cost-saving, attachment. The solution also allowed a precise physical module arrangement to achieve the artistic objective.

In high-wind areas such as this, wind forces will try to tear a roof from its mountings. The exceptional performance of metal roofing in these conditions is due in part to its attachment methods and interlocking installation where panels are interlocked and attached to the structure of the building, reducing the ability of wind to disrupt the roof panels.

Standing seam metal has a distinct advantage over other roof types because it serves as a “structural” covering, meaning it can be engineered to withstand almost any force imposed by wind. It also serves as the perfect platform for mounting solar PV because the structural ribs or seams can be used as inherent (and cost-free) “rails” for mounting solar PV via reliable mechanical attachments.

Long-Term Outlook

With the standing seam metal roof, good south exposure, no obstructions and a clear objective, The Next Energy Technology was able to overcome any and all challenges. As a result, they transformed a solar array into a symbol of freedom in the Deep South.

Project Team

General Contractor: The Next Energy Technology, Kenner, LA
Engineer: Renewable Design Solutions, Dallas, TX
Distributor: ONTILITY Powered by Smith, Houston, TX
Solar Mounting: S-5!, Colorado Springs, CO      

Solar Stats

Project Size: 74.88kW DC
Solar Installer:  The Next Energy Technology, Kenner, LA
Module manufacturer: Hanwha Q-Cell 390w modules, South Korea
Inverter manufacturer: APsystems YC1000 Microinverters, Seattle, WA

Roof Stats

Roof Profile: MBCI Ultra-Dek
Roof Measured: H 72’ x W 166’ (south-facing roof surface)
Roof Pitch: 14°

About S-5!®


Since 1992, S-5! has been one of the world's leading authorities on metal roof attachment solutions. S-5!’s zero-penetration clamps attach ancillary items to standing seam and conceal-fix metal roofs, while maintaining roof integrity and warranties. S-5! solutions are engineered for a variety of applications: snow retention, fall protection and wind performance systems, satellite dishes, solar arrays, signs/banners, light fixtures, stack/flue bracing, walkways, air conditioning, lightning protection, equipment screens, conduit, condensate lines and more. Made in the U.S.A., S-5!’s products have revolutionized the metal roofing industry and are now installed on more than 2 million metal roofs worldwide, including 3.4 GW of PV, providing unsurpassed strength and longevity.  For more information, visit  s-5.com.

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