PV Solar Roof Review – 138 kW Rooftop PV Solar Installation

BCG Snow Storm 1 BGC Group Shot


The owner of an older building wanted to have a large amount of solar panels installed on the roof.  JADE+ Inc. was retained to perform a structural review of the existing roof structure to support a 138 kW ballasted PV solar installation.  There is very little history or research conducted on PV solar installations in winter climates. Preliminary structural roof review of the various roof structures was conducted to determine adequacy to support a solar installation. It was determined that the open web steel joists (OWSJ) required reinforcement due to the various building additions and increase in snow loads.


JADE+ Inc. designed the OWSJ reinforcement and monitored the reinforcement and system installation from development to completion. Much research was done to determine the snow and wind effects of roof top PV solar installations on the roof structure. To reduce the load, panel arrays were strategically located in other areas of the roof.


The solar panels were successfully installed and the roof is able to withstand a substantial snow load.