Photovoltaics (PV) is a popular method of converting solar radiation to electrical power. Photovoltaic power generation typically involves creating an array of hundreds of solar power panels connected in order to generate a significant source of power. Because the large PV panels need to be in areas of direct sunlight, a popular location to place the panels is on large, flat commercial roofs. The Duro-Last roof system is uniquely qualified to host PV panels because of the ease with which new roof penetrations can be added and removed.
In many modern photovoltaic installations, the panels are elevated above the roof on robotic arms that rotate the panels to face the sun throughout the day. Theses arms are drilled through the roof deck and attached to the building’s steel structural beams. Thick electrical cables, in similar fashion, are often installed through the roof deck and connected to generation systems located inside the building. With Duro-Last, any kind of arm, pole, pipe or cable that penetrates the roof deck is easily flashed in.
Duro-Last can also be retrofitted to cover a roof that already has PV arrays on it, without removing the arrays for roof installation. As part of the custom prefab roof order, all of the penetration dimensions are forwarded to Duro-Last and custom flashings are created in the factory. During roof installation, these flashings are heatwelded on to create permanent, water-tight seals on each item.
Whether you are looking to add PV to your roof, or replacing a roof that already has PV installed, Duro-Last is the best roof system to host your solar power system. And with our unique experience installing and working with PV, RTI Commercial Roofing is the premier contractor to handle the project.
RTI recently completed installation of a Duro-Last premium roof system on a large office complex in Wichita, Kansas. The project included installation of over 400,000 square feet of Duro-Last membrane, flashing thousands of linear feet of parapet wall, and flashing nearly 100 large air conditioner units.
The hail storm that destroyed the roof also destroyed dozens of roof-top air conditioners. But because of the increased heat-reflectivity of the new Duro-Last roof, the owner was able to only replace a small portion of the damaged units and still keep the building cool with no added load on the existing units. The roof is too new to determine the reduction in power usage that resulted from the new Duro-Last roof, but it is safe to say that having less AC units doing the same job will save a lot of power.
One of the tenants in the office building is a call center for a national catalog company. It was critical that noise levels be kept to a minimum during installation so that business was not interrupted. RTI was able to deliver as Duro-Last is one of the quietest roofs to install. With no heavy machinery on the roof and large sheet sizes, Duro-Last allows a quiet installation without any harmful chemical odors. Installation on this project was painless for the tenants, allowing the building owner to have one less headache during installation.
In 2009, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu (winner of the Nobel Prize in physics 1997) gave a speech to his former Colleagues at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in London concerning reducing global warming. One of the key solutions he proposed was painting black roofs white to reflect sunlight, a step that he said could “make a huge difference to global warming.”
It seems like such a small step, but white roofs reflect so much heat during the summer months that a drastic reduction of energy consumption can be achieved. According to the Cool Roof Tool Kit produced by the State of California, black asphalt roofs only reflect 5%-11% of the sun’s heat. Therefore, they absorb up to 95% of the sun’s heat and transfer it into the buiding. Painting the roof with premium white elastomeric coating can increase the reflectivity to 80%, reducing energy usage and wear on air conditioners.
Duro-Last membrane beats even the best elastomeric coating, with an initial heat reflectivity of 87%, making it one of the most reflective roof products in the world. In warmer Southern states, replacing a black asphalt roof with white Duro-Last material can pay for itself in energy savings in as little as 3 years.
Plus, Duro-Last is an amazingly durable roof with an outstanding 15-year warranty. It is a smart investment which will pay for itself. And if you are in the position of needing to upgrade a failing roof, upgrading to a Duro-Last single-ply roof is a fail-proof way to increase your building’s value and save you money for as long as you own it.