Solar Carports & Canopies:: Page 3 of 5

A Manufacturer and Product Line Guide

Orion Solar Racking

Headquarters: Commerce, California
Contact: • 310.409.4616

Founded in 2009, the privately owned Orion Solar Racking develops and manufactures solar-mounting solutions for residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and utility-scale projects. Orion Solar offers three standard product models for carport systems: KRONOS, LETO and TITAN. The KRONOS model is primarily intended for single-parking-space residential systems and is available with clearance heights from 8 feet, 5 inches, to 11 feet, 5 inches. Custom colors are available. Its galvanized steel, curved single-post design supports six or eight modules in portrait orientation at tilt angles of 0°, 5° or 10°. The LETO carport system is a steel double-column single-cantilever carport designed to span two parking spots for a total of 18 feet. Intended for commercial applications, LETO structures allow side-by-side installation to shade larger areas. The system’s columns and beams are available with galvanized or primed finishes. Orion Solar’s TITAN carport system is a double-column, double-cantilever tee-style carport designed to cover four parking spots in a two-by-two parking configuration. The LETO and TITAN systems are available with an array tilt angle of 0°, 5° or 10° and feature purlins that allow slide-in module mounting. Options include area lighting under the canopy and electric vehicle charging stations. Orion Solar also offers custom-designed solar carport solutions.

Quest Renewables

Headquarters: Atlanta
Contact: • 404.536.5787

Quest Renewables is a privately owned company launched in 2014 to commercialize solar racking products developed by the Georgia Tech Research Institute under the US Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative. The company’s QuadPod Solar Canopy uses steel top and bottom chords connected with a series of tubular web struts to create 3-D trusses, which support elevated-structure solar arrays such as carports and canopies. This design can handle 60-foot spans between piers, 30-foot cantilevers and array capacities of 30 kW per pier.

The QuadPod’s modular design streamlines shipping costs and provides flexibility on-site. Installers assemble the truss components using bolted hardware, and they then secure and prewire modules on-site at ground level. They use a crane to lift the completed assemblies atop the piers’ tubular support columns. This pick-and-place approach minimizes overhead work and improves jobsite safety. Quest Renewables offers an east-west configuration of its QuadPod system that enables a 15% higher power density than south-facing QuadPod canopies provide and that allows integrators to optimize inverter capacities when sizing for east-west array production curves.

Powers Solar Frames

Headquarters: Phoenix
Contact: • 888.525.0180

Powers Solar Frames is a division of privately owned Powers Steel and Wire, a manufacturer of steel structures, lintels, masonry products, rebar and solar racking systems. The solar product line includes driven-pile and ballasted racking systems for commercial, industrial and utility-scale projects, as well as solar carport frames. Powers Solar Frames’ carports use galvanized structural elements (columns, rafters and purlins) that do not require on-site painting. In addition, all structural members have bolted connections that eliminate field welding and weld inspections.

Power Solar Frames offers two carport designs, its semi-cantilever box-beam model and its tee box-beam model. Both systems use 10-gauge 16-inch-by-8-inch galvanized structural members for the carport’s columns and rafters. The tee box-beam model’s rafter can span up to 39 feet. Both carport models permit modification for tilt angle, clearance height and site-specific requirements such as snow load, wind load, and geotechnical and seismic requirements. Power Solar Frames’ carport structures feature its patented steel Super Purlin. The purlin’s profile creates a channel that allows installers to slide in modules from the carport system’s gable ends. This approach eliminates top-down module-mounting hardware and fall hazards associated with working above the array plane. Each module requires four UL 2703–certified gator clamps that install from the underside of the array to secure the module to the adjacent purlin.

RBI Solar

Headquarters: Cincinnati
Contact: • 513.242.2051

RBI Solar designs, engineers, manufactures and installs solar mounting systems for commercial and utility-scale solar projects. The privately owned company operates US offices in Atlanta; Temecula, California; and Washington, North Carolina. It completed two notable acquisitions in 2014, including PV carport manufacturer and installer ProtekPark Solar, and Renusol GmbH and its subsidiary, Renusol America. RBI Solar’s services include design, engineering drawings for all 50 states, project management and nationwide installation.

RBI Solar offers pre-engineered solar carport structures, including single-slope, gable, inverted and full-coverage designs. It typically utilizes the two-slope gable configuration for north-south orientation with panels sloping 5° on the east and west array faces. This inverted design provides increased clearance at the structure’s eaves while promoting water and snow movement toward the center column row of the structure. RBI Solar also offers a full-coverage design suitable for protecting large parking areas, including the drive aisles between parking rows. Typical applications for the full-coverage carport configuration are parking garages, drive-throughs, and bus or truck loading and unloading zones. RBI Solar carport systems do not require field welding, drilling or other on-site fabrication. The company offers customized designs as well as numerous options including galvanized and epoxy-coated finishes.

Article Discussion

Related Articles