Installer Talk: How Each Canopy Attachment Types Work

Brooklyn Solar Canopy Co.’s solar canopies offer a range of unique benefits to residential and commercial customers alike. These benefits span both economic and environmental factors, making them a well-suited option for homes, businesses, and even communities looking for clean solar power generation solutions.

As a solar canopy installer, it’s important to recognize these many potential benefits for customers. However, it’s equally important to understand exactly how these canopies and their different elements work so that you can recommend the best solution to your customers.

In this guide, we’ve delved into how each type of solar canopy attachment works to help you easily install our solar canopy solutions and identify the best fit for your customer’s needs and preferences.

A-Frame Solar Canopy Attachments

Our A-Frame canopies are expertly engineered to be attached to rooftops, as their column legs distribute canopy loads evenly across any number of rafters. It’s important to note that customers can opt for A-Frame ground mounted canopies, which offer equal strength for any area in the United States.

The best attachment for this type of canopy will depend on a variety of factors that ultimately fit the customer’s needs. A-Frame canopies can be attached to concrete decks and metal rafter systems as well as traditional rooftop structures. However, this may require additional coordination with BSCC representatives and local engineers to ensure that they are fastened properly and structurally sound.

There are four main types of attachments for A-Frame canopies: rooftop attachments, concrete grade beams, concrete footings, and ground screws.

Rooftop Attachments

Our patented T-Tracks allow for the attachment to rooftops with typical wood rafter systems that firmly secure the T-Tracks in place with screws. As an installer, you will need to attach the canopy T-Track to two to three rafters for a secure result. This type of canopy attachment system requires wooden rafters that span from load bearing wall to load bearing wall, and the rafters will need appropriate spacing. The attachments also need to avoid any rooftop obstructions (chimneys, skylights, etc.) to produce an optimal installation. Once a rooftop attachment has been used, waterproofing must be completed by using sealants over the attachments to ensure that leaking and water damage are prevented.

Again, while it is possible to attach to buildings with steel or concrete structural designs this will require coordination with a BSCC representative and a local engineer to confirm design and construction.

Concrete Grade Beam Attachments (Above and Below Grade)

As an installer, you can use parallel reinforced concrete beams spanning the ground length of your client’s canopy to secure it in place and complete your professional solar canopy installation. The base plates also contain level holes that give installers the ability to adjust per changes in grade and/or changes in footing elevations. Each canopy base plate should be anchored to each beam with four concrete anchors. The concrete is drilled, holes are cleaned, anchor bolts and base plates are positioned, and then the bolts are epoxied using a specialized epoxy resin (Hilti epoxy is recommended).

The size and dimensions of the beams you use will be determined by unique downward and uplift load factors to ensure that your canopy is installed safely and securely. Whether these beams are above or below grade, they offer a robust concrete foundation design. Above grade beams eliminate the need to dig foundations and are ideally suited to rocky and sandy soils and areas in which digging deep foundations is not a viable option like a brownfield.

Concrete beam attachments can be used in line with one of two options: reinforced ready-mix beams, which can be poured and cured at the site of your installation, or re-cast reinforced beams, which are placed in the excavated ground or installed above ground at grade, depending on the installation site in question.

Concrete Footing Attachments

Concrete footings are the most standard and simplest type of foundation to procure. We offer a standard set of designs (including rebar type and layout) provided with our plan sets and canopy purchases.

This type of solar canopy attachment is fixed in place using four anchor bolts (Hilti anchor bolts are recommended). The base plates also contain level holes which give installers the ability to adjust per changes in grade and/or changes in footing elevations. The concrete is drilled, holes are cleaned, anchor bolts and base plates are positioned, and then the bolts are epoxied using a specialized epoxy resin (Hilti epoxy is recommended). The bolts are then secured to the base plate for a strong and sturdy connection. The size and dimensions of the concrete footing used will also be determined by maximum uplift and downward load factors, and further size and construction guidelines can be provided upon request.

Ground Screw Attachments

Another attachment option is ground screws. These screws have a low impact on the soil at your installation site and offer a simple and streamlined installation process for rapid project fulfillment.

We offer pre-engineering for Krinner Ground Screws to help you securely attach your customer’s A-Frame canopy. Reach out to us if you’re interested in using a different type of ground screws for your project to ensure seamless coordination.

 

Post-Truss Solar Canopy Attachments

Our Post-Truss solar canopy’s durable design will meet a wide variety of needs and can be used in commercial settings to create expansive solar carports, customer parking solar canopies, and shaded areas for industrial activities. They can even be fitted with additional extras like EV charging solar carport stations to provide as many functions as needed, helping your customers maximize the returns on their investments.

Post-Truss canopies are ideal for ground mounting, as the minimal post designs allow for a robust structural finish which does not obstruct foot or vehicle traffic. Base plates are the standard when securing canopies to concrete or ground mounting systems for a strong result. Although best designed for ground mounting, Post-Truss canopies can be installed on existing structures but that does require additional coordination.

The main Post-Truss canopy attachment types include concrete footings, ground screws, and rooftop attachments.

Concrete Footing Attachments

Concrete footings are the most standard and straightforward type of foundation to procure as an installer. Brooklyn Solar Canopy Co. offers an engineered design for your specific location, which is included in our plan sets, all of which are stamped by a professional engineer.

These footings are attached using four anchor bolts (we recommend Hilti anchor bolts). The concrete is drilled and cleaned, and then anchor bolts and the base plates are set in position. From there, the bolts are epoxied and set (we recommend Hilti epoxy), and the bolts are secured to the base plate to hold your Post-Truss canopy firmly in place.

Ground Screw Attachments

Ground screws can be used not only for A-Frame canopy attachments but for Post-Truss canopy attachments as well. Customers and installers who are interested in using ground screws for their projects can reach out to our team to coordinate the process with our engineers to ensure that they meet the engineering requirements for your project area.

Choosing ground screws ensures minimal impact on the soil at the installation site, and provide a seamless and quick installation process, helping you to fulfill your client’s solar power needs as rapidly as possible.

Rooftop Attachments

Rooftop attachments for Post-Truss and A-Frame solar pergolas work in a similar manner. While Post-Truss canopies can certainly be installed on rooftops, this process may require additional coordination with your engineering and architectural teams.

This is due to the fact that the point loading from the post columns is more significant in this type of attachment and should be reviewed by an engineer to ensure that the existing structure can handle the additional load of the canopy while maintaining structural integrity over time. Here, the standard attachment is the same as the A-Frame canopy in which our patented T-Track is used to spread the loads of the canopy across several structural rafters. It is possible to attach it to buildings with steel or concrete structural designs. However, this will require coordination with a BSCC representative and a local engineer to confirm the design and construction.

Once a rooftop attachment has been used, waterproofing must be completed by using sealants over the attachments to ensure that leaking and water damage are prevented.

Solar Canopies To Suit Your Customers’ Needs

Our durable, easy-to-construct solar canopies are designed to meet a wide range of needs while providing an aesthetically pleasing, multi-functional solution to solar structure requirements.

Our A-Frame and Post-Truss solar canopies are crafted from durable aluminum (6061, GA) and finished in your customer’s choice of mill finish or matte black/white powder coating. All aluminum solar carport models are panel agnostic and can support a wide range of solar panel brands and sizes.

Being a high snow load solar canopy, the A-Frame canopy class can withstand a snow load of up to 0 – 70psf, while the Post-Truss canopies can withstand up to 0 – 25psf. This makes them ideal for use across the US, even where snowfall is heaviest.

Both designs are wind resistant, with A-Frame canopies able to withstand winds of up to 0 – 200 mph (Exposure ‘C’) including hurricane force winds and Post-Truss canopies able to withstand winds of up to 0 – 117 mph (Exposure ‘B’). Plus, both solutions come with extensive 30-year equipment solar canopy warranties, helping to protect your customers’ energy generation capacity and investments over time.

Expert Support for Installers

Brooklyn Solar Canopy Co. empowers our installers to deliver exceptional customer experiences with our extensive product knowledge and expert advice. Our team can provide product engineering reports for your engineers’ review and comprehensive quotations and 3D solar canopy design models of your selected solar canopy system to guide your installation process.

We can also provide a complete plan set of the best solar carports for each job, including a foundation design if applicable, stamped by a professional engineer. Additionally, we provide installation manuals that detail each step of the construction process to ensure that your installation project goes smoothly from start to finish and that your team knows exactly how to build a solar canopy.

If you have any additional queries about solar canopy attachment types, the cost of a solar canopy, or solar canopies for building rooftop use, reach out to a BSCC representative. One of our team members will be happy to answer your questions and review the installation process with your team.