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Hurricane Ike & Solar Panels

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  • El Sid
    Buenos Noches Everyone, I hope all is well with you and yours. When Chew n the PV Fat here in Houston. A question always comes up Will Solar Panels be able to
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 9, 2008
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      Buenos Noches Everyone,

       

      I hope all is well with you and yours.

       

      When Chew'n the PV Fat here in Houston.

      A question always comes up

      Will Solar Panels be able to Withstand Tropical Storm/Hurricane Winds?

      It depends of course, but just curious to know.

      How the Solar Panels in the Greater Houston Area made out? (Residential or Commercial)

      Did you remove or cover before Storm?

      What kind of mount?

      Was there any damage?

       what kind wind or debris?

      I don't have PV @ home (yet) so any information would be greatly appreciated.

      a persons or company's experience can all of us HREG thread learn a little something.

       

      Con Respecto

      El Sid

      The Mayor of Alief

       

      BTW – Does anyone know if the Discovery Green setup got damaged during storm?

       

    • William
      Buenos Dias, I do not know how Houston did, but it seems like an unconfirmed report I heard on the news was that 85% of panels made it through the storm.
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 10, 2008
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        Buenos Dias,
        I do not know how Houston did, but it seems like an
        unconfirmed report I heard on the news was that 85% of panels made it
        through the storm.
        Here's a link to a site whose product is much less vulnerable to
        wind loads because of it's shape and connection to buildings. Look
        forward to any more info. on the subject as well.

        http://www.solyndra.com/


        Sincerely,
        Bill Stange




        --- In hreg@yahoogroups.com, "El Sid" <el.sid.713@...> wrote:
        >
        > Buenos Noches Everyone,
        >
        >
        >
        > I hope all is well with you and yours.
        >
        >
        >
        > When Chew'n the PV Fat here in Houston.
        >
        > A question always comes up
        >
        > Will Solar Panels be able to Withstand Tropical Storm/Hurricane
        Winds?
        >
        > It depends of course, but just curious to know.
        >
        > How the Solar Panels in the Greater Houston Area made out?
        (Residential or
        > Commercial)
        >
        > Did you remove or cover before Storm?
        >
        > What kind of mount?
        >
        > Was there any damage?
        >
        > what kind wind or debris?
        >
        > I don't have PV @ home (yet) so any information would be greatly
        > appreciated.
        >
        > a persons or company's experience can all of us HREG thread learn a
        little
        > something.
        >
        >
        >
        > Con Respecto
        >
        > El Sid
        >
        > The Mayor of Alief
        >
        >
        >
        > BTW – Does anyone know if the Discovery Green setup got damaged
        during
        > storm?
        >
      • Henry H Haynes
        I would like to hear some comment (from people w/ panels) on this subject, too.  I ve heard, if properly installed, they re good in winds to something in
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 10, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          I would like to hear some comment (from people w/ panels) on this subject, too.  I've heard, if properly installed, they're good in winds to something in excess of 100 mph, & will hold up when pummeled by hail stones to about golf ball size.  i.e. They're basically stronger than a conventional composition roof.  How did you people w/ solar panels on your roofs do?

          HHH

          --- On Fri, 10/10/08, El Sid <el.sid.713@...> wrote:
          From: El Sid <el.sid.713@...>
          Subject: [hreg] Hurricane Ike & Solar Panels
          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Friday, October 10, 2008, 1:57 AM

          Buenos Noches Everyone,

           

          I hope all is well with you and yours.

           

          When Chew'n the PV Fat here in Houston.

          A question always comes up

          Will Solar Panels be able to Withstand Tropical Storm/Hurricane Winds?

          It depends of course, but just curious to know.

          How the Solar Panels in the Greater Houston Area made out? (Residential or Commercial)

          Did you remove or cover before Storm?

          What kind of mount?

          Was there any damage?

           what kind wind or debris?

          I don't have PV @ home (yet) so any information would be greatly appreciated.

          a persons or company's experience can all of us HREG thread learn a little something.

           

          Con Respecto

          El Sid

          The Mayor of Alief

           

          BTW – Does anyone know if the Discovery Green setup got damaged during storm?

           

        • Kevin Conlin
          We do industrial systems, and the panels withstood the wind just fine. However, if they go under water during the storm surge, all bets are off. Most of our
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 10, 2008
          • 0 Attachment

            We do industrial systems, and the panels withstood the wind just fine.  However, if they go under water during the storm surge, all bets are off.  Most of our damaged systems needed everything inside the enclosure replaced, since salt water and electricity do not mix, but the enclosures and solar arrays were generally okay. A roof mounted system will be subject to less wind loading because of the low profile, but more vulnerable to flying debris, which is what normally does them in, not the wind itself.

             

            Kevin Conlin

            Solarcraft, Inc.

            4007-C Greenbriar Drive

            Stafford, TX 77477

            Local (281) 340-1224

            Toll Free (877) 340-1224

            Fax (281) 340-1230

            Cell (281) 960-8979

            kconlin@...

            www.solarcraft.net

             


            From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Henry H Haynes
            Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 12:36 PM
            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [hreg] Hurricane Ike & Solar Panels

             

            I would like to hear some comment (from people w/ panels) on this subject, too.  I've heard, if properly installed, they're good in winds to something in excess of 100 mph, & will hold up when pummeled by hail stones to about golf ball size.  i.e. They're basically stronger than a conventional composition roof.  How did you people w/ solar panels on your roofs do?

            HHH

            --- On Fri, 10/10/08, El Sid <el.sid.713@gmail. com> wrote:

            From: El Sid <el.sid.713@gmail. com>
            Subject: [hreg] Hurricane Ike & Solar Panels
            To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
            Date: Friday, October 10, 2008, 1:57 AM

            Buenos Noches Everyone,

             

            I hope all is well with you and yours.

             

            When Chew'n the PV Fat here in Houston .

            A question always comes up

            Will Solar Panels be able to Withstand Tropical Storm/Hurricane Winds?

            It depends of course, but just curious to know.

            How the Solar Panels in the Greater Houston Area made out? (Residential or Commercial)

            Did you remove or cover before Storm?

            What kind of mount?

            Was there any damage?

             what kind wind or debris?

            I don't have PV @ home (yet) so any information would be greatly appreciated.

            a persons or company's experience can all of us HREG thread learn a little something.

             

            Con Respecto

            El Sid

            The Mayor of Alief

             

            BTW – Does anyone know if the Discovery Green setup got damaged during storm?

             

          • Gary Beck
            Eco-Holdings Engineering provides Texas Department of Insurance windstorm insurance program design and inspection for residential and light commercial
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 10, 2008
            • 0 Attachment

              Eco-Holdings Engineering provides Texas Department of Insurance windstorm insurance program design and inspection for residential and light commercial construction. I have provided inspections for solar PV systems  for TDI insurance certification. 

               

              Rigid PV panels themselves are very robust and can easily withstand the pressure and loads from 130 MPH winds (the highest speed TDI will insure for). The panel rack mounting systems that are used to secure and the attach the panels a surface like a roof should be pre-engineered to withstand +/-pressures of 50 psf, which would be above what is expected on a typical roof location in 130 mph 3-second gust winds.  

               

              “Pre-engineered” means that a registered professional engineer has actually calculated and/or test verified the rack system hardware’s ability to withstand 50 psf pressures into its mounting feet. This is certified in an engineer stamped and signed report that should be provided.  A pre-engineered rack is the only type of system that we would want to certify for a TDI insurance program and all of the installation windstorm inspections we have done used a pre-engineered rack (i.e. not ‘homemade’)

               

              A TDI engineer’s field inspection is then conducted to verify proper installation to that pre-engineered rack design (rack type, confirming screw sizes, locations, and quantities).  The engineer must form a professional opinion for each specific jobsite and that opinion must strong enough for that engineer to ‘P.E.’ stamp and sign a WPI certification report for the TDI insurance program.  

               

              A design and inspection issue that we consider is the actual connection into residential roof sheathing.  Is the existing  sheathing still structural? Did the installer try to screw through three layers of shingles? How many screws actually bite into sheathing or solid wood? For new designs we actually like to define a future possible solar PV array location and the connection method, and the connector type.  If we can pre-locate a system, we will add double rafters to match up with the rack foot spacing. This provides a better chance of getting a screw into not just sheathing but into rafter material.     

               

              Gary Beck, P.E., SECB, LEED AP

              Eco-Holdings LLC - Engineering Services

              4010 Blue Bonnet Blvd., Ste 114, Houston, TX 77025

              Tel: 713-377-4209, Fax: 832-201-5338 Cell: 713-530-1950

               

               

              Gary Beck is SECB certified in the Practice of Structural Engineering, a structural inspector for the Texas Residential Construction Commission SIRP program, and a listed Engineer for the Texas Department of Insurance Wind Storm program. Eco provides Engineering and Engineer's Inspection Services for Residential, Commercial, Lodging, Educational, Industrial and Government Facilities. Eco's design engineering services include AutoCAD based construction documents for permitting and building foundations, structures, storm water systems, and detention ponds; and Autodesk Revit based 3D Building Information Modeling for green building practices.

               

               

               

               

              From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
              Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 1:07 PM
              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [hreg] Hurricane Ike & Solar Panels

               

              We do industrial systems, and the panels withstood the wind just fine.  However, if they go under water during the storm surge, all bets are off.  Most of our damaged systems needed everything inside the enclosure replaced, since salt water and electricity do not mix, but the enclosures and solar arrays were generally okay. A roof mounted system will be subject to less wind loading because of the low profile, but more vulnerable to flying debris, which is what normally does them in, not the wind itself.

               

              Kevin Conlin

              Solarcraft, Inc.

              4007-C Greenbriar Drive

              Stafford, TX 77477

              Local (281) 340-1224

              Toll Free (877) 340-1224

              Fax (281) 340-1230

              Cell (281) 960-8979

              kconlin@...

              www.solarcraft.net

               


              From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Henry H Haynes
              Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 12:36 PM
              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [hreg] Hurricane Ike & Solar Panels

               

              I would like to hear some comment (from people w/ panels) on this subject, too.  I've heard, if properly installed, they're good in winds to something in excess of 100 mph, & will hold up when pummeled by hail stones to about golf ball size.  i.e. They're basically stronger than a conventional composition roof.  How did you people w/ solar panels on your roofs do?

              HHH

              --- On Fri, 10/10/08, El Sid <el.sid.713@...> wrote:

              From: El Sid <el.sid.713@...>
              Subject: [hreg] Hurricane Ike & Solar Panels
              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Friday, October 10, 2008, 1:57 AM

              Buenos Noches Everyone,

               

              I hope all is well with you and yours.

               

              When Chew'n the PV Fat here in Houston.

              A question always comes up

              Will Solar Panels be able to Withstand Tropical Storm/Hurricane Winds?

              It depends of course, but just curious to know.

              How the Solar Panels in the Greater Houston Area made out? (Residential or Commercial)

              Did you remove or cover before Storm?

              What kind of mount?

              Was there any damage?

               what kind wind or debris?

              I don't have PV @ home (yet) so any information would be greatly appreciated.

              a persons or company's experience can all of us HREG thread learn a little something.

               

              Con Respecto

              El Sid

              The Mayor of Alief

               

              BTW – Does anyone know if the Discovery Green setup got damaged during storm?

               

            • Chris Boyer
              None of the sites on the Houston solar tour were damaged except the solar Bees, which were solar panels on bouyes in Lake Houston and of course they were
              Message 6 of 9 , Oct 10, 2008
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                None of the sites on the Houston solar tour were damaged except the solar Bees, which were solar panels on bouyes in Lake Houston and of course they were thrown up on shore.  None of the solar power systems installed by Standard Renewable Energy were damaged either.  We have pictures of PV systems where there was substantial damage to the building, but not the panels.
                 
                What Gary said is right on about panel design.  Houston requires a design for high winds.  A lot of the mounting systems coming from out West will not work in Houston.  If you buy a system, make sure your installer is designing systems for high winds.
                 
                -Chris
              • Michael Ewert
                Here s a report on the solar & wind installations at NASA: New Child Care center: 11 tracking PV arrays were tied down in a horizontal position and did fine. 1
                Message 7 of 9 , Oct 11, 2008
                • 0 Attachment

                  Here’s a report on the solar & wind installations at NASA:

                  New Child Care center:

                  11 tracking PV arrays were tied down in a horizontal position and did fine.

                  1 of 3 fixed PV arrays twisted on its base resulting in a grounding problem

                  2 Skystream wind turbines did fine

                  Solar water heater did fine

                   

                  Dozens on solar parking lot lights did fine.

                  Most pole mounted warning lights did fine, but I saw 2 blown over, broken at the base of the pole – looked like bolt failure.

                   

                  Sadly, the building 29 PV array had been removed from its base due to building construction and was not tied down adequately.  One array flipped on top of the other and destroyed both.

                   

                  Mike


                  From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Gary Beck
                  Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 3:29 PM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [hreg] Hurricane Ike & Solar Panels

                   

                  Eco-Holdings Engineering provides Texas Department of Insurance windstorm insurance program design and inspection for residential and light commercial construction. I have provided inspections for solar PV systems  for TDI insurance certification. 

                   

                  Rigid PV panels themselves are very robust and can easily withstand the pressure and loads from 130 MPH winds (the highest speed TDI will insure for). The panel rack mounting systems that are used to secure and the attach the panels a surface like a roof should be pre-engineered to withstand +/-pressures of 50 psf, which would be above what is expected on a typical roof location in 130 mph 3-second gust winds.  

                   

                  “Pre-engineered” means that a registered professional engineer has actually calculated and/or test verified the rack system hardware’s ability to withstand 50 psf pressures into its mounting feet. This is certified in an engineer stamped and signed report that should be provided.  A pre-engineered rack is the only type of system that we would want to certify for a TDI insurance program and all of the installation windstorm inspections we have done used a pre-engineered rack (i.e. not ‘homemade’)

                   

                  A TDI engineer’s field inspection is then conducted to verify proper installation to that pre-engineered rack design (rack type, confirming screw sizes, locations, and quantities).  The engineer must form a professional opinion for each specific jobsite and that opinion must strong enough for that engineer to ‘P.E.’ stamp and sign a WPI certification report for the TDI insurance program.  

                   

                  A design and inspection issue that we consider is the actual connection into residential roof sheathing.  Is the existing  sheathing still structural? Did the installer try to screw through three layers of shingles? How many screws actually bite into sheathing or solid wood? For new designs we actually like to define a future possible solar PV array location and the connection method, and the connector type.  If we can pre-locate a system, we will add double rafters to match up with the rack foot spacing. This provides a better chance of getting a screw into not just sheathing but into rafter material.     

                   

                  Gary Beck, P.E., SECB, LEED AP

                  Eco-Holdings LLC - Engineering Services

                  4010 Blue Bonnet Blvd., Ste 114, Houston , TX 77025

                  Tel: 713-377-4209, Fax: 832-201-5338 Cell: 713-530-1950

                   

                   

                  Gary Beck is SECB certified in the Practice of Structural Engineering, a structural inspector for the Texas Residential Construction Commission SIRP program, and a listed Engineer for the Texas Department of Insurance Wind Storm program. Eco provides Engineering and Engineer's Inspection Services for Residential, Commercial, Lodging, Educational, Industrial and Government Facilities. Eco's design engineering services include AutoCAD based construction documents for permitting and building foundations, structures, storm water systems, and detention ponds; and Autodesk Revit based 3D Building Information Modeling for green building practices.

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@ yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Kevin Conlin
                  Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 1:07 PM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                  Subject: RE: [hreg] Hurricane Ike & Solar Panels

                   

                  We do industrial systems, and the panels withstood the wind just fine.  However, if they go under water during the storm surge, all bets are off.  Most of our damaged systems needed everything inside the enclosure replaced, since salt water and electricity do not mix, but the enclosures and solar arrays were generally okay. A roof mounted system will be subject to less wind loading because of the low profile, but more vulnerable to flying debris, which is what normally does them in, not the wind itself.

                   

                  Kevin Conlin

                  Solarcraft, Inc.

                  4007-C Greenbriar Drive

                  Stafford, TX 77477

                  Local (281) 340-1224

                  Toll Free (877) 340-1224

                  Fax (281) 340-1230

                  Cell (281) 960-8979

                  kconlin@solarcraft. net

                  www.solarcraft. net

                   


                  From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@ yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Henry H Haynes
                  Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 12:36 PM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                  Subject: Re: [hreg] Hurricane Ike & Solar Panels

                   

                  I would like to hear some comment (from people w/ panels) on this subject, too.  I've heard, if properly installed, they're good in winds to something in excess of 100 mph, & will hold up when pummeled by hail stones to about golf ball size.  i.e. They're basically stronger than a conventional composition roof.  How did you people w/ solar panels on your roofs do?

                  HHH

                  --- On Fri, 10/10/08, El Sid <el.sid.713@gmail. com> wrote:

                  From: El Sid <el.sid.713@gmail. com>
                  Subject: [hreg] Hurricane Ike & Solar Panels
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
                  Date: Friday, October 10, 2008, 1:57 AM

                  Buenos Noches Everyone,

                   

                  I hope all is well with you and yours.

                   

                  When Chew'n the PV Fat here in Houston .

                  A question always comes up


                  (Message over 64 KB, truncated)

                • Steve Stelzer
                  The 80 solar panels on the 2 City of Houston buildings survived Ike without a hitch. The 165 watt BP panels were engineered and installed by Standard
                  Message 8 of 9 , Oct 11, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    The 80 solar panels on the 2 City of Houston buildings survived Ike
                    without a hitch. The 165 watt BP panels were engineered and installed
                    by Standard Renewable. 40 ballasted units had no problem on the roof
                    of City Hall Annex, and 40 rack mounted units on the parapet of 3300
                    Main had no problems either. Obviously, proper engineering and
                    istallation should never be compromised.

                    The panels on the 3300 Main Code Enforcement Building will be open for
                    the Houston Solar Tour on October 25th, so come on by.
                  • El Sid
                    Right On! Thanx for the Knowledge Cya at the Tour. Paz On Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 2:31 PM, Steve Stelzer
                    Message 9 of 9 , Oct 11, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Right On!
                      Thanx for the Knowledge
                      Cya at the Tour.
                       
                      Paz

                      On Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 2:31 PM, Steve Stelzer <steve.stelzer@...> wrote:

                      The 80 solar panels on the 2 City of Houston buildings survived Ike
                      without a hitch. The 165 watt BP panels were engineered and installed
                      by Standard Renewable. 40 ballasted units had no problem on the roof
                      of City Hall Annex, and 40 rack mounted units on the parapet of 3300
                      Main had no problems either. Obviously, proper engineering and
                      istallation should never be compromised.

                      The panels on the 3300 Main Code Enforcement Building will be open for
                      the Houston Solar Tour on October 25th, so come on by.


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