02.03.2023 | PV/flat roofs

An expert in the solar power business insists on fall prevention systems as early as the property analysis

A photovoltaic project brought us to the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany. Here, one of the largest building ventures in Berlin was equipped with a PV system on its roof, together with the appropriate fall protection. In this blog post we describe the project in detail and the role played by our fall protection systems.

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The training for the AIO lifeline system at the same time as the installation was a significant benefit in terms of time and effort.

Uwe Lebelt
Flat roof protection with the AIO

Uwe Lebelt is the managing director of Lesolco GmbH. He has been involved in the energy sector and with the issue of renewable energy for more than 20 years and has been active in the solar energy industry for more than 10 years.

The main focus of Lesolco GmbH is the building analysis and solution development for the supply of multi-party buildings with solar energy. Using digital, standardised questionnaires, the owners and residents can record their buildings themselves.

In the course of the project survey, high-resolution images are used to analyse whether the roofs of these buildings are suitable for the installation of a photovoltaic system. At the same time, the conditions on site are or were checked with regard to protection against falling (type of roof, subsoil, inclination, etc.). After the evaluation has been completed, offers and installers from their network are arranged.


The initial situation

The owners of the “Wohnen am Hochdamm” property decided in favour of high-quality construction in ecological terms. Last year, the owners chose to take the path of renewable energy for the power supply. In total, the building project consists of 65 flats, underground parking spaces, a co-working area and several communal areas.

Two buildings with standing seam roofs and an inclination of 10° to 11° were then equipped with a 90 kWp photovoltaic system. In future this system will will be used to generate electricity for the flats as well as for the 20 charging stations for the electric cars.

In addition, there is a combined heat and power unit in the building that generates heat and electricity. The rest of the energy will be fed into the power grid. A new digital metering point operator was selected for the complex tenant electricity supply with two self-generation plants and different consumers in order to ensure legally compliant processing.

For this it was necessary to develop a power concept which also included the factor of safety for the installation of the photovoltaic equipment. This is where INNOTECH came in.

Challenges for safe roof use and for the PV system

A healthy 90% of the roof was to be laid with PV modules, and this meant conversely that little space would be available for movement or for the installation of a fall protection system. Even for tasks on the roof there is little space for free movement, and so it was all the more important to find a safety solution which required little space.

Because it was a standing seam roof, it was essential that the fall protection system could be installed without roof penetration. In the course of retrofitting with fall protection, special focus had to be placed above all on the subsoil. Depending on the roof substrate, different safety solutions are available.

In addition, the focus was on the output of the PV system and therefore on creating no shade on the modules. But to Uwe Lebelt it was above all important to ensure the safety of his employees working on the roof. The access to the roof represented a particular challenge.

Optimum solution

“It only will be possible to ascend to the roof via the residents’ terraces, where there was nowhere for the workers to secure themselves. Making maximum use of the standing seam roof for the PV modules played its part too. This is where the INNOTECH fall protection systems provided us with the optimum solution,” says Uwe Lebelt.

The AIO lifeline system solves the problem

A safety system had to be selected which overcame all these challenges. The low height of the AIO lifeline system along the narrow pathway between the PV modules avoids the anchor points casting shadows on the modules. The safety solution caused no damage to the roof cladding, and there were no roof penetrations. 

At the same time, it was ideally suited to the existing roof substrate. A narrow gangway was left between the modules, and so optimum movement on the roof and on the PV installation is possible. But as well as INNOTECH supplying the optimum fall protection system, the company also trained the users onsite in its use.

Simultaneous training and assembly!

“For us, the training for the AIO lifeline system at the same time as the installation was a significant benefit in terms of time and effort,” states Uwe Lebelt, “and thanks to the safety solution, all annual servicing tasks and other activities on the roof can always take place in complete safety”. 

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