PV systems on a flat roof can be efficient and safe at the same time
Two practical examples
In the previous blog posts about professional fall protection for PV systems on a roof, much of the discussion related to basic facts, and these are of course very important in optimally protecting installers, solar technicians, and servicing and cleaning personnel, in the course of their work.
In the examination of current practice below, we show you two individual solutions for flat roofs, together with the respective challenges which may be created by one’s own solar power plant.
The TAURUS rail system to protect PV systems on a flat roof
The Nägele & Sohn GmbH car dealership in Bietigheim-Bissingen sells principally the Peugeot and KIA car brands. In recent years, both these manufacturers have brought an increasing number of e-models onto the market.
Because of the resulting increases in energy requirements, Bernd Nägele, owner and managing director of the eponymous car dealership in Germany, soon realised that he ought to install his own PV system on the flat roof of his company.
And for two reasons: Firstly, to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly, and then also to make his car dealership more independent in terms of electrical power supply.
Focus on employee safety
As a responsible entrepreneur, the safety of his 50 employees is always an important concern for Nägele. In all departments... and now also on the roof.
For this reason, the car dealership owner also wanted to purchase absolutely professional fall protection for his PV system. Galicium Solar GmbH from Tübingen around Managing Director Thomas C. Koethe presented him with a solution from INNOTECH, the TAURUS rail system.
This fall protection is mounted directly on the on-site photovoltaic substructure from K2 Systems.
“This modern, complete solution convinced us immediately”, states Nägele. This provided the car dealership with a fall protection system for its PV installation, and it required no construction measures or encroachments in the building cladding whatsoever.
In addition, this gave Nägele just a single contact partner, his PV installer. “And so there was a lot less need for consultation, and fewer tasks to coordinate or support”, he notes, satisfied about his decision.
In addition, Nägele wanted his own solar power plant to be as efficient as possible, and therefore to use as much roof space as possible for the solar panels. In this regard too, the TAURUS rail system convinced him 100%.
“Our customers are very demanding regarding the efficiency of their PV systems,” Koethe explained one of the issues on a flat roof, as safety naturally must always take top priority.
“INNOTECH always provided us with full support on the roof,” relates a satisfied Koethe, looking back on the seamless, optimal planning process with the company from Upper Austria.
The AIO lifeline system as protection for PV systems on a flat roof
Also for Autowelt Reibersdorfer in Braunau am Inn, there is no end to the increasing electrification of mobility.
That is why Herbert Reibersdorfer, managing director of the car dealership in Upper Austria, also decided to generate his own solar power on his flat roof, in order to cover the increasing power requirements of his workshops and sales areas – also as sustainably and independently as possible.
And also for Lothar Lagger, project manager for PV systems at Fiegl + Spielberger, one of the major challenges was to make the PV as efficient as possible. And, above all, for this the safety had not to be overlooked.
The specific situation on the flat roof of Autowelt Reibersdorfer suggested to him the use of the AIO lifeline system from INNOTECH, in combination with the PV substructure of K2 Systems.
30% increase in performance
“This solution allowed us to approach the roof edge more closely, and thus to use significantly more roof area for solar panels. This allowed the system’s output to be improved significantly,” emphasises Lagger.
Through the use of integrated fall protection, the PV system can produce a healthy 30% more power than would have been possible through the use of other solutions not permanently installed on the PV substructure, and therefore requiring more space.
Using the integrated solution from INNOTECH, he was also able to ensure seamless safety on the entire roof. Above all, this is of fundamental importance for servicing and cleaning tasks, because only in this way can the solar power plant generate power optimally.
“INNOTECH always obtains the maximum in terms of safety. The level of service is very good too – during the installation we always had full support from the INNOTECH employees,” continued Lagger.
And for him, the safety of his employees is a subject which he takes very seriously. A professional fall protection system optimally protects not only the operators of the PV system, plus its cleaning and servicing workers, but also the PV installers and solar technicians.
Every roof – whether flat or pitched – has its own very specific challenges when it comes to installing an efficient PV system equipped with an absolutely professional fall protection system.
In the practical world, one sees all the benefits provided to operators of solar power plants by selecting the right safety solution: significantly more power and absolute safety during safety and cleaning tasks.
Want to know more about the two reference projects? Then don’t miss the two videos below.
Also discover our free factsheet on this subject.
Über den Autor
Following her apprenticeship as a design engineer, Selina Bauchinger spent one year abroad gaining professional experience before she returned to Austria and joined INNOTECH in 2018. Until the end of 2021 Ms Bauchinger was involved in project planing for solar power and photovoltaic customers of the family company from Upper Austria. Since the start of 2022 she has strengthened the INNOTECH product management team.
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Founded in 2001, INNOTECH Arbeitsschutz is a family-owned company with headquarters in Kirchham and branch offices in Germany and Switzerland. With a dedicated research and development team, INNOTECH soon set international standards in the area of occupational safety. Ever since, it has driven forward the further development of innovative products. Today INNOTECH is one of the largest manufacturers in Europe which has specialised exclusively in the production of safety systems, with 88% from its own manufacture, in order to guarantee maximum quality.
According to various statistics, several hundred people have an accident on roofs every year. Accidents that could have been prevented with appropriate safety equipment and the diligent installation of high-quality fall protection systems.
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