Last week the TFS solar technicians were up on the roof of St Monica’s Church, beginning to install their new solar electric system.  St. Monica’s, which was the 2012 recipient of the TFS Solar Grant, is undergoing significant remodeling of the interior, exterior and roof of the building.  We’ve been working with the primary architect on the project to help streamline the process of installing solar so that the install and roof renovation can be expedited. First, solar technicians, Karl and Jenner got up on the roof and measured where the system will be placed.  The array will sit on the north side of the slightly pitched roof while still facing south in order to avoid some shading from nearby trees and telephone poles.

Next they installed the standoffs, which affix the solar to the roof.  These standoffs, which are 7 inches tall, are screwed into the roof and then sealed.  After the standoffs are installed, a roofing company will add a three inch foam sealant to roof (leaving 4 inches of standoffs rising above the foam) for insulation and roof protection.

System Facts: -          System size:  5 kW -          Monthly Production:  765 kWh -          Panels:  20 LG 255 Watt Modules

In a couple of weeks , TFS technicians will return to St. Monica’s to finish installing the flashings (an added layer to protect against leaks) and build the frame the solar panels will rest on.  We’ll keep you posted!

You can read more about St. Monica’s, our 2012 grant recipient at our first blog entry, here.

The church is half way through a significant remodel - here the outer walls have been insulated and stuccoed. Dust flies as the interior of St. Monica's Church is being remodeled. Jenner climbs to the roof. This Solar Tube helps bring more natural light into the church below, therefore reducing the need to turn on the lights.

Karl checks the plans to make sure they are followed to a "t" Karl and Jenner measure the roof and lay a chalk line so they know where the array will be. Using a hammer, Karl will hear where the beam of the roof is so that he knows where to lay the screws. The line is layered with chalk, and when placed on the roof will leave a straight guiding line.

Jenner carefully measures the distance between standoffs. The standoffs are placed less than 5 feet apart on the roof and will support the weight of the panels. The first standoff is screwed and sealed in place. Using a small and long drill bit, we drill into the roof.
After the holes have been drilled we add sealant to the holes as the first step to prevent leaking. The standoff is lined up over the drilled and sealed holes. While the sealant is still wet, screws bolt the standoff in place. When the first two standoffs are placed at either side of the chalk line, we add a second line to ensure each additional standoff is installed along the same line.