Installer Insight: Creative Solar talks about rail-less mounting with Roof Tech

The residential PV market has been growing rapidly in the regions served by Creative Solar USA, located in Kennesaw, Ga., a trend the company expects to continue.

“In 2016 alone, we installed more than 400 kW in South Carolina,” said Russell Seifert, founder and chief executive officer of Creative Solar USA.  he noted. “Plus, we already have about a half-megawatt of projects under contract for 2017.”

Creative Solar USACreative Solar USA is a sponsor of Solarize Decatur-DeKalb, a solar PV bulk-purchasing program. The coalition was created to make solar more affordable and accessible to homeowners, business owners, and nonprofits in Georgia’s Decatur and DeKalb counties. By enabling bulk purchase of materials, customers save 25 percent on costs and have access to free solar evaluations, education workshops, and a network of qualified solar contractors.

“People have to have confidence in the products we’re using,” said Russell Seifert, founder and chief executive officer of Creative Solar USA. “You need to educate people first, show them examples, and then they will be open to a new way of doing things–just as I was.”

Seifert is referencing his recent move to using Roof Tech products in his installations, admitting he was a tough sell at first.

“I deal with engineers all the time, and I know that change can be hard when you have a set way of doing things,” he conceded. But in June 2016, he veered from what he knew feeling it was a better route for his customers and his bottom line.

Of the 400 kW Creative Solar installed in 2016, more than 250 kW involved Roof Tech’s E Mount Air, and Seifert says they’ll be using it on all of its planned 2017 business.

RELATED: 2016 Solar Mounting/Racking Guide: Product Showcase 

The results

E Mount AirIn the seven months since discovering Roof Tech, Seifert has used RT E Mount Air on more than 100 projects, and he continues to be impressed with its ease of use.

“It’s so much simpler than railed systems,” he said. “You have all the parts in boxes, load them into the back of your truck, and pre-assemble everything before going on the roof. Once you’re up there, you don’t have to spend time searching for rafters. You simply screw the hardware into the decking and it’s done.”

Seifert says he has saved time on engineering and installation and has had far fewer issues with building inspectors.

Note that Creative Solar USA has installed dozens of residential projects along the coast of South Carolina, where solar panels have to withstand heavy rains and wind gusts up to 120 miles per hour. When Hurricane Matthew blew through the area in fall 2016, Seifert was glad to have chosen RT E Mount Air for his customer’s valuable beach properties. “That RT Butyl is really strong,” he said. “It’s by far the most impressive adhesive I’ve ever used.”

For more info on Roof Tech, head to its website.

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