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