Step-by-Step: The Solar Canopy Installation Process Explained

The process of installing an aluminum solar canopy or solar carport follows multiple steps.

It requires an initial consultation to assess your customer’s needs, an initial solar design, an assessment of engineering requirements and final design then fabrication and delivery of the ideal solar canopy. Check out Our Installer Process for more information. Additionally, as an installer, you may be tasked with installing and activating your customers’ solar systems to ensure they are fully functional before a project comes to an end.

In this guide, we will clarify the process of installing a Brooklyn Solar canopy, from initial consultation and ordering to the activation of your customers’ solar power systems of choice. We will delve into each step of the process to ensure that you can provide your customers with a smooth, seamless, and transparent experience from start to finish.

Initial Consultation Process

The process of installing solar canopy solutions for a client starts with an initial consultation. Our team aims to provide installers with extensive knowledge and specifics on the products we offer, enabling you to provide your customers with comprehensive explanations and expertise on the topic of solar canopies and solar pergolas.

The first step of the process will require you to create a new account with us and submit your project proposal using the link provided. If you plan to mount a solar canopy on a rooftop, you may need to enlist the help of a professional engineer to ensure the feasibility of your plans. We can provide a modern solar canopy design and product engineering reports for your engineer to review.

Once you have submitted your project proposal, including a solar panel spec sheet and a solar design PDF, preferably a Helioscope or Aurora design, we will contact you with a quotation for your chosen solar canopy installation and a 3D model of the planned installation. If you are satisfied with the design we have provided, you can confirm this, secure your solar canopy with a 50% deposit, and BSCC will begin to draft a plan set for your final review.

Once you have confirmed the final plans, we will begin fabricating your solar canopy. Delivery times for each canopy model will vary depending on your location and the requested delivery date. You can download our extensive installation manuals that lay out every step of the construction process to ensure seamless project fulfillment. Our team can also review the installation process with your own team if additional assistance is required.

How to Build a Solar Canopy: Your Complete Guide

Securing Tools for Installations

As a solar canopy and solar carport installer, you will require a set of specific tools to successfully complete your installation, which can be downloaded and viewed here. These tools will be common for most solar installers and/or contractors.

Rooftop installations will require some materials as well, including flashing cement, caulk, non-shrink grout, and HILTI HIT HY hybrid mortar depending on whether you are mounting to a rooftop or ground mounting. You will also need to secure the correct number of solar panels and any other required solar equipment to complete your installation.

A-Frame Canopy Rooftop Installations

If you and your customer selected an A-Frame solar pergola as the ideal solution, you will need to determine the dimensions and the layout of the rooftop on which you will be installing the canopy. Your measurements should include the size of the roof’s rafters, as well as their spacing and direction into load-bearing walls. These measurements will ensure that the roof in question can sufficiently support the canopy you have selected. It is advisable to enlist the assistance of a professional engineer in your area to ensure that you choose a canopy that can be properly supported by the roof structure.

Once all components have been assembled according to our installation manual, arrange the components prior to construction in a way that reflects the canopy plan and the intended angle of the canopy. This process helps to ensure that the correct trusses and column legs are positioned in the right places and orientations to achieve the ideal module angle depending on the system your customer has purchased.

Next, your team will need to lay out T-tracks on site, ensuring that none are near or impacting any obstructions. You will need to probe for rafters to locate the correct rafters to be used in your installation and then screw the T-tracks securely to the rafters to hold the canopy in place. From there, your team should assemble the trusses, attach the canopy’s column legs to the T-tracks, and lift the trusses to the column legs before securing them in place.

Once this part of the process is complete, you and your team can install the canopy’s rails, panels, and electrical equipment and test the solar system to ensure that it is functioning optimally.

A-Frame Canopy Ground Mount Installations

A-Frame canopies can also be installed using other mounting options, including footings, grade beams, and ground screws. It is important to note that any of the concrete foundations will need to occur prior to installation including excavation and adequate concrete curing time. Your canopy plan set will include the specs for concrete foundations including dimensions and rebar sizes.

If you are interested in installing you’re A-Frame solar canopy with ground screws, please reach out and we can best coordinate the process and next steps.

Post-Truss Canopy Ground Mount Installations

If you and your customer have selected a Post-Truss solar canopy, this model will need to be mounted at ground level using sturdy concrete footings. The process of installing for Post-Truss canopies will begin with your team excavating holes in which to lay the foundations for the canopy footings.

Once the holes have been excavated, your team will pour concrete footings and lay rebar according to your solar canopy plan set. These footings take 2-3 days on average to cure but may need longer in wet conditions. When the footings are sufficiently cured, your team can assemble the canopy truss on posts on the ground and raise and secure the canopy’s base plates to the foundations you have laid.

Now that the base plates are secured, your team can move forward with assembling the remaining trusses and raising them into place to form the structure of your solar canopy. Once that is complete, rails can be installed, along with solar panels and electrical equipment. Electrical equipment should be thoroughly tested to ensure that it is working correctly and has been safely installed.

Panel Attachment Guide

Brooklyn Solar Canopy Co. canopies are panel agnostic and utilize custom rails, so they can support any model and brand of solar panels. Once your solar canopy or solar carport has been successfully secured and installed, you will need to attach your customer’s solar panels of choice to the canopy to enable clean power generation. Place your solar panels on the canopy’s secured rails, leaving around 2 to 3 inches worth of space from the end of the rail to the solar panel frame.

Begin with one row of panels and complete each row before beginning the next one. You can secure the solar panels by sliding the end of each UFO bolt into the top of the rail and allowing the bolt to rest on top of the frame of the solar panel. UFO bolts will need to be secured with an impact driver to ensure that they remain securely in place.

It is important to note that there may be excess rail on your Brooklyn Solar canopy. Measure 2 to 3 inches of the rail from the end of the solar panel’s frame and cut the rails using your deep cut portable bandsaw if needed. Next, place end caps on each of your exterior rails and Iron Ridge UFO stoppers on all exterior UFO bolts to complete your panel installation.

You will need to mount junction boxes to your canopy as part of the electrical installation. Junction boxes are best mounted to the top column leg of our solar canopies. The conduit can be run flush with the outer member of the canopy’s leg for a clean finish. For grounding, our BSCC canopies are UL certified to have a single grounding connection from the rail to the junction box.

Professional Solar Canopy Installation for Your Customers

Any Brooklyn Solar canopy installation requires a range of tools and step-by-step processes to achieve a robust and enduring result. Solar canopies must be carefully installed according to specific instructions to properly secure and protect your customers’ solar panel and equipment investments and to ensure each canopy is strong enough to withstand its rated wind speeds and snow loads. With our A-frame able to withstand winds of up to 200 mph and snow loads of 70 psf, and our Post-Truss canopies coping with up to 117 mph winds and 25 psf snow loads, this is crucial.

Our installation manuals are designed to lay out every step of the installation process, detailing the tools you need and the instructions your team needs to follow to achieve a successful installation time and time again. Additionally, the BSCC team is ready to provide additional guidance for you and your team wherever it is needed, making sure that you can offer your customers an exceptional and seamless experience from inception to power generation!

Contact our team today to learn more about our solar canopies for installers, get a quote for a solar canopy, and discover how we can work together to make your customer’s vision a reality.