Case study of Roof Tech rail-less mounting staying strong through hurricane season

Roof Tech E Mount Air

Solarize Financial was founded in late 2014 and operates from its headquarters in Mount Pleasant, S.C., just outside Charleston. After working with a nationwide solar provider for many years, Petersen believed he could provide a more individualized experience for customers ready to make this important lifestyle change.

Today, Solarize serves both residential and commercial customers throughout the Carolinas. All services are provided by their in-house team, which uses a proprietary engineering process to tailor PV systems to each job. His team works to provide transparency throughout the project, and encourages open communication as the key to providing the best solar experience in the marketplace.

In Solarize’s territory, hurricanes and wind force are huge concerns, which made Steven Petersen, project director of Solarize Financial, shy away from rail-less mounting for awhile.

“Initially, I thought Roof Tech RT E Mount AIR couldn’t possibly be as strong as railed systems,” he says. “But the first time I used it, it became clear that E Mount AIR is far less intrusive on the roof, and doesn’t compromise the integrity of the roof the way railed systems can.”

In the fall of 2016, Petersen had occasion to appreciate the real strength of E Mount AIR when a major meteorological event affected his region.

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Staying strong in the face of Hurricane Matthew

Tropical Storm Matthew formed near the Windward Islands in late September 2016 and soon became a Category 5 hurricane. Matthew went on to leave a path of destruction and the coastal areas of North and South Carolina were especially hard hit. Although Matthew was downgraded to a Category 1 by the time it made landfall on the coast of South Carolina on October 8th, high winds and storm surges caused major damage across the region. Petersen remembers that day well.

“Wind gusts were well over 100 miles per hour,” he recalled. “Anyone in the business of installing PV systems had real cause for alarm.”

By that time, Solarize Financial had installed RT E Mount AIR on about 200 homes – about 1.5 megawatts in all. “Every panel installed using E Mount AIR stayed securely in place during Matthew,” he said. “Not one of those homeowners had a single problem with their PV system. It was really impressive.”

Now Roof Tech is part of every Solarize Financial proposal package.

“I’m very confident in our bids, and our engineering always exceed the customer’s expectations,” he explained. “Now every proposal includes an eight-page piece on Roof Tech products, so that customers can learn for themselves why rail-less PV systems are often preferable to railed systems for residential projects.”

Even before deciding to close with Solarize, customers are given the advantage of a proprietary process to design the perfect PV system for their home, completely complementary.

“We provide schematics that show every part of the system, from inverters and panels to mounting hardware,” he said. “Then we prepare two simulations using our advanced software system.”

RELATED: Mounting with butyl rubber: How Roof Tech gets a leak-proof seal 

Keeping up with demand in a growing solar market

Petersen explained that South Carolina was fairly late in embracing the benefits of solar, but is moving quickly to catch up. “In terms of incentives, our state went from being number 50 among U.S. states to being in the top five,” he said. “Now, the market is growing exponentially.” As he looks ahead, Petersen is confident he’ll continue to use Roof Tech products. “E Mount AIR is faster to install, less expensive, and far more esthetic on the roof. I may have been skeptical at first, but now I’m definitely a believer.”


Have you checked out our YouTube page?

We have a ton video interviews and additional content on our YouTube page. Recently we debuted Power Forward! -- a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to discuss higher level industry topics as well as best practices / trends for running a solar business today.

Our longer running side project is The Pitch -- in which we have awkward discussions with solar manufacturers and suppliers about their new technology and ideas so that you don't have to. We discuss everything from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new home solar + storage microgrids.


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