Lots of structural components influence the long-term stability of a rooftop solar racking system. On The Pitch, we zoom in on SunModo‘s approach to rooftop mounting and wire management, and cover some recent system updates, with newly appointed CEO Steve Mumma. We discuss:
- Miami-Dade county product approval (including deck mounts)
- Wire management best practices: avoiding center channel and zip ties
- SMR system advantages
- What to look for in a rail
- Upcoming territory expansion
- Early preview of metal roof product SKU
Here’s part of the transcript, where Mumma explains recent product approvals by Miami-Dade County. Be sure to watch the 10-min overview above.
Crowell: Your NanoMount and TopTile were recently approved by Miami-Dade County, so I wanted to start there. The significance of that approval kind of goes beyond the region itself in terms of what it says about the strength of a mounting system right?
Mumma: It’s definitely the hardest place to get approved in the country I think for pretty obvious reasons given the hurricane force winds and high levels of rain. We’re incredible excited. We’ve grown a lot in Florida over the last couple years … but we haven’t been able to install in South Florida, so it’s a big deal to have it now.
Additionally, Miami-Dade has traditionally been – I don’t know – hesitant, I guess, to do deck mounted options, and we are now approved to do deck mounts with both TopTile and the NanoMount in Miami-Dade County.
Crowell: They approved deck mounts? I guess that’s not something I expected you to say. Seems like that’s even more of a unique aspect of your approval?
Mumma: It’s a big deal. We’ve seen a definite trend around the country toward deck mounting and the reasons make sense. From an installer speed standpoint you can’t beat it. There’s not a proven way to find rafters — it’s still some trial and error — and when you can take that out of it, you’re a lot faster. And from a performance and a leak prevention standpoint, it’s preferable because when you’re trying to find rafters, you’re going to miss and that’s going to leave open holes that you’ve got to go back and seal, and that unfortunately doesn’t always happen. Deck mounting eliminates that.
In the case of our TopTile product, it is specifically a deck mount product. And that’s a definite headache with tile roof installation in general, is finding those rafters. So, we eliminate that, and it has not traditionally been something that Miami-Dade had approved.
Crowell: Did you need to do any additional testing? … Curious if there’s anything new or changed that went into that approval.
Mumma: There’s nothing new on the product side. We didn’t have to make any adjustments or changes or improvements or anything. They’ve got a couple additional tests that we hadn’t done previously. The biggest part of it really is just a matter of getting all the ducks in a row, so to speak, in terms of getting everything pulled together in the formats and the proper engineering stamps and reviews and then waiting.
Pick up the conversation right where we left off, where we discuss wire management best practices and SunModo’s new wire management clip for the SMR system.
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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.