08.02.2023 | PV/flat roofs

How roof surfaces can be optimally used for the planned PV installation

With regard to PV installations on roofs, the question of competition for area often arises. This refers to competition between various types of use for the available area. The reason is that in principle all PV system operators want to free up the maximum possible amount of space for their solar power plant.

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Guide for PV systems on the roof

Guide: Fall Protection Photovoltaic (PV)-System

This ultimate fall protection guide will help you to achieve a safe PV system on the roof. In the following, we summarise the danger areas on the roof, the liability issue and the safety solutions in a compact way. In addition, you will learn how you can generate more turnover as a solar installer.


Elektro Scherer puts its trust in the TAURUS rail system from INNOTECH

In its practical implementation, the roof installation of PV systems together with their associated fall protection repeatedly creates specific challenges. In the case of Elektro Scherer, a TAURUS rail system from INNOTECH was attached directly to the K2 substructure of the solar power plant.


How roof surfaces can be optimally used for the planned PV installation

With regard to PV installations on roofs, the question of competition for area often arises. This refers to competition between various types of use for the available area. The reason is that in principle all PV system operators want to free up the maximum possible amount of space for their solar power plant.


Why should you, as PV installers, also offer the fall protection system?

We invited experts to a discussion on the subject of fall protection for PV systems on flat and pitched roofs. In this blog post we go into the most frequently asked questions related to this topic.


Individual or collective protection? Which system is used when for PV installations on a roof?

While dangers like break-throughs or an increased fall risk close to the roof edge lurk on a flat roof, on a pitched roof the inclination itself is the greatest challenge. Discover in the following article how you can professionally protect your maintenance and cleaning staff.


A professional safety concept for PV installations protects the wallet and the nerves

As a solar system installer, you naturally know every detail of the legal safety provisions relating to PV systems on a roof. In contrast, your clients may well be entering completely new territory which probably raises a number of additional questions. It is therefore all the more important from the outset to integrate the subject of safety into the planning of the PV system, and to create a substantiated and professional safety concept.


Successful solar system installers are those who offer PV fall protection at the same time

Solar system installers who, in addition to the optimally appropriate PV systems, can also provide the best possible fall protection, not only have a better image than their competitors – they can also use this to create increased turnover.


Safety increases business for solar system installers as full service providers

PV systems on the roof have been booming for quite some time. No wonder, because having your own solar power plant on the roof not only gives you much more independence in terms of energy supply, but also makes a significant contribution to the energy transition as a whole. If you also focus on the issue of safety on the roof, then as a solar installer you can leave the competition behind. In this article, you will discover how you can achieve this.

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Supporting multiple PV customers simultaneously can often become a huge challenge

Not only private households, but also businesses and companies, are relying increasingly on generating their own solar energy. The presently escalating energy prices will hasten this trend even further. For solar system installers, this creates enormous potential for winning new orders. It can then very easily happen that multiple projects or construction sites have to be managed simultaneously. And that creates a number of challenges.


Work on a PV system on a roof

Installing one’s own PV system on a roof makes sense for a number of reasons. So that it always provides the best possible performance, workers regularly have to access the solar power plant in order to perform servicing and cleaning tasks. Who is responsible or liable for the consequences of accidents?


PV systems on a roof – consider all danger areas, in order to protect against falls effectively

The circumstances and conditions of every single order for a PV system on a roof must always be analysed very closely, in order to implement the correct safety precautions. Solar system installers who recognise all risks and can at the same time also propose the appropriate professional and certified solution to their customers have the opportunity to position themselves as a responsible absolute expert in their area. In the medium and long term, this also has a positive effect on the sales performance of solar system installers.


6 tips which help solar system installers to gain increased turnover from their PV installations on roofs

Even if the connection isn’t obvious at first glance, solar system installers and PV installation companies can acquire significantly more new customers with a partner who is a certified and professional manufacturer of fall protection systems for PV installations on roofs. The reason why is very simple: They are able to cover the subject of safety in the very first meeting with the customer, thereby relieving their potential clients of a large amount of research work.


Subsequent installation of a fall protection system for PV installations on the roof

It is never too late to make the right decisions and implement them! This means that even operators of PV installations on the roof should consider whether the subsequent upgrade of their solar power plant with a professional and certified fall protection system is feasible and sensible.


360° solutions as a guarantee for success

Solar system installers capable of including a safety solution with their PV systems hold a clear edge over the competition. You can find out why this is the case in the following article.


4 steps are necessary for professional fall protection on the PV system on the roof

Discover all the necessary information here. In this article, we explain in summary the four steps that will lead you to your fall protection for PV systems. This much in advance, everything starts with a plan...


The right fall protection creates more space for the PV system

Here is an example from practice. ADREX relies on its proven one-stop-shop principle, in order to largely relieve its customers of all tasks related to their own roof-mounted solar power plants. This obviously also includes the selection and installation of a professional fall protection system for the PV installation.


Correct servicing and inspection of your PV fall protection system protects you from many problems

The fall protection for your PV system on a roof is 100% safe only if it is also inspected regularly for signs of potential wear and tear, damage, or corrosion, and for loose mounts. Discover what matters.


The professional way to install a fall protection system for your PV system on the roof

The detailed planning of the fall protection system for your PV system on the roof is followed by what is probably the most tantalising moment of the endeavour to make your solar power plant as safe and efficient as possible: the installation; the project is finally taking concrete shape. Discover what matters in the process.


The installation of a fall protection system for your PV system on the roof requires a certain amount of expertise!

The same rules that apply in all other areas of life and work also hold true in the area of fall protection systems for PV systems installed on a roof: Solid initial and further training are of pivotal importance, especially when it comes to the correct installation and proper servicing / cleaning of the system and its individual solar panels.


The aspects to focus on when planning a fall protection system for the PV system on your roof

The goal to harvest as much power as possible from your own solar power plant therefore hinges on the ability to maximise the utilisation of the roof surface, while securing the trouble-free operation of the solar power plant for the long term. This requires a comprehensive plan which factors in all details and also includes a professional system that protects against falls from a height.


Fall protection systems for your PV system installed on the roof

There are questions that come up again and again when it comes to the safety of PV systems on the roof. We have summarised the 6 most frequently asked questions by installers and solar technicians and also show the challenges of PV systems on flat and pitched roofs. The focus is always on possible safety solutions to mitigate these.


PV systems on a flat roof can be efficient and safe at the same time

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. Discover the TAURUS rail system and the AIO lifeline system using Autohaus Nägele & Sohn GmbH and Autowelt Reibersdorfer as examples.


5 tips relating to your PV system on the roof

How to save time and money. Installing a photovoltaic system on your own roof is always a good idea, because in this way a previously completely unused surface is availed of for the sustainable production of electricity for your household or company. But so that this success story really comes into being, as early as the planning phase of your PV system you should also create a professional safety concept, or get one created.


Professional fall protection for your PV system on pitched roofs

Installation tasks on the photovoltaic system, as well as its servicing and cleaning, represent a particular challenge. An selection of possible security solutions including advantages can be discovered in the following article. In addition, the topic of access to the PV system on the pitched roof is also covered.


Fall protection photovoltaics

Not all roofs are the same. In the same way that roof forms differ greatly, the dangers concealed during installation and servicing and cleaning tasks on PV systems are just as variable. For this reason, we present solutions for all cases here.

We see that the PV market is growing rapidly and thus the need for fall protection is also increasing.

Michael Duss

With regard to PV installations on roofs, the question of competition for area often arises. This refers to competition between various types of use for the available area. The reason is that in principle all PV system operators want to free up the maximum possible amount of space for their solar power plant. But here, pitched roof inclination, skylights, chimneys, satellite dishes, and air conditioners on the roof have to be taken into account, as indeed do clearance spaces for the fall protection system, and separations necessary to prevent shading and provide maintenance routes. 

However, in this discussion with Michael Duss, who has been Marketing Manager for Utility Roofs – roof greening, fall protection, and photovoltaics – at BAUDER since 2013, we learn that the term “competition for area” is misleading in practice, and is therefore not be used. In 2018 the family company BAUDER, renowned for high-quality, safe roofs which are long-lasting, good value, and sustainable, enhanced its product range with fall protection systems from INNOTECH. The two family-led companies cooperate particularly in marketing and product development.

BAUDER is the exclusive partner for roof applications, and INNOTECH focuses on markets such as industrial applications, building envelopes, etc. In the interview which follows, Michael Duss gives us insights into his approach when it comes to using the available space on the roof for solar panels – in the best possible way, and in the greatest possible safety.


When you hear the term “competition for area”, what do you think?

In itself, I find the term rather misleading, and therefore incorrect. When considering the roof surface holistically, the questions which arise should already be resolved during the planning phase.Let us first of all clarify which data is relevant: Wind and snow load zone, ground category, roof inclination and roof substructure, parapet height, and the fall protection system. On flat roofs with gradient insulation, not every ridge and valley of the insulation can simply be built over with PV equipment. All these items are therefore important. However, my sense is that the matter often boils down to a conflict of objectives between - supposed - maximum usage for PV and allowing clearance spaces for the fall protection system. Further separations e.g. because of shade or for maintenance routes also have to be complied with. If the flat roof is also to be greened, then substructures which stand higher and further horizontal row separations need to be taken into account.


In your opinion, what are the greatest challenges on flat and pitched roofs? And what part does the roof size play in this?

My experience shows the difficulty of making a sweeping statement in this regard. Small or narrow flat roofs can certainly present a challenge in terms of usage. Let’s take the example of an intensively greened flat roof with a PV system. So that the vegetation can develop, the modules should be installed at a distance of at least 30 cm between the eaves and the planting – of course, there are systems such as “BAUDER SOLAR G LIGHT” for this. Here the row separations of the modules should also be greater than for PV systems which are installed to lie flat. We recommend at least 80 cm for this. This alone means a reduced number of modules on the roof. Increased edge distances, e.g. for fall protection, can equally reduce the surface available for the PV system. Our specialists from Marketing or Application Technology have an open discussion with our customers about the subject; in the end they naturally make different choices.

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How does this conflict of objectives, PV performance versus safety, affect the selection of the respective fall protection system?  

As I already explained, this affects the fall protection system in different ways. We are not always included in the final decision process with the end customer. Where I was directly involved, I always have a positive recollection of discussing the facts about fall protection. Solutions can always be found then. Unfortunately, on occasions I heard that the safety measures took second place to installing a greater number of PV modules. To my mind, that is the wrong approach.


How can fall protection systems contribute to the optimum use of the roof surface for a PV system?

Obviously: the less space available for the PV installation is used up by the fall protection system, the better. The decision whether to use railings or a lifeline system always depends on the actual situation onsite. In this case, as already stated, several aspects should always be taken into account equally – the situation on the roof itself, the performance of the PV system, and maximum possible safety on the roof. We work together with our partner INNOTECH on new technical solutions. We too see that the PV market is growing by leaps and bounds, and so the requirement for fall protection systems is also growing.


In your opinion, what is the role played here by the holistic planning of PV systems which include a safety concept? 

If the fall protection system is planned just before the start of the sealing work, it can then be difficult to find a suitable solution; especially if all roof systems or even the installation of the modules have already been specified. As said at the start, dealing with this as early as the planning phase makes a great deal of sense, and is what we recommend. Because: if the PV system’s kWp output has already been planned, then modifications – i.e. a reduction in the system’s size – are difficult. With some railing systems there are synergies; shorter booms can also help. However, some things are simply a given, and cannot be changed – such as maintenance routes or distances because of fire protection requirements, to name just two examples.


What is required so that roof surfaces can be used as efficiently as possible for PV systems without overlooking the subject of safety?

I hope that the number of assessments in advance continues to increase, because there are so many participants, such as structural architects, landscape architects, specialist electrical planners, building services planners, general contractors, roofers, roof planters, solar system installers, and health and safety protection coordinators. As an industry, we are happy to participate in this, and we also have the know-how to do so. I don’t just mean the areas of PV and fall protection, but of course also everything related to roofs. A particularly current topic here is rainwater management on properties, and therefore on the roofs. These require defined green roof structures, nowadays often also in combination with the PV system and fall protection. This can in turn affect the statics, connection heights, implementation details, and even the entire roof layer structure.

Michael Duss
Head of Sales Utility Roof

We work together with our partner INNOTECH on new technical solutions. We too see that the PV market is growing by leaps and bounds, and so the requirement for fall protection systems is also growing.

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BAUDER is a family-led company with more than 150 years of history. Today BAUDER represents especially high-quality, safe roofs – long-lasting, good value, and sustainable. Almost all roof layers – from the moisture barrier, PIR insulation, seals made from various materials, to greening, solar energy, and the fall protection system addressed here – can be planned and used as one system from a single source. In addition, BAUDER is also characterised by closeness to our customers and employees; this is important for our long-term success.Today Paul BAUDER GmbH & Co. KG in Stuttgart, with more than 1,250 employees, is one of the leading roof system manufacturers in Europe.

As a fourth-generation family firm, BAUDER advises architects, planners, and installers expertly and, thanks to our extensive range of products, we have the right system solution for every roof. So ideal roof structures are provided from a single source – starting with the insulation, to sealing systems, utility roof structures with roof greening, photovoltaic equipment, and fall protection. This gives planners, property owners, and installers the certainty of making the best decision for the roof. In addition to the main factory and administration in Stuttgart, there are seven more factories in Bochum, Herten, Landsberg near Halle, Achim near Bremen, Bernsdorf, and Schwepnitz near Dresden, as well as Bruck an der Leitha near Vienna. Six sales groups in Germany and distribution companies in 16 countries ensure closeness to our customers.

If you want to find out more about this subject, you should contact our experts now. They will team up with you to find the optimum fall protection for the PV system on your roof. Our authoritative guide to fall protection for PV systems on a roof is available here, free of charge. 

Tip: Get more information on the danger areas and fall protection systems for photovoltaic systems on roofs on our photovoltaic application page.


Photo rights: Reference Stockach Paul BAUDER GmbH & Co. KG

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