A 3 part Exclusive interview with Rob Haddock, Founder and CEO at S-5!
Numerous solar mounting system vendors have appeared in the market, each claiming to be the best, ultimate, first or strongest. How do you discern prudent product selection from sales hype? While the responsible use of a mounting system complements the roof and PV, the design and manufacture of such devices is completely unregulated. There are no codes or standards that govern – no “solar mounting system police.” Many applications are not specifically engineered or proven for design loads. Product selection within this field is up to the system designer or contractor as the ultimate decision-maker for adequacy and product selection with no governance as to rules of play. Without vetting the integrity of the mounting system, its performance and durability is little more than a gamble.
MESIA had the pleasure interview, in Part I, Rob Haddock, Founder and CEO of S-5! As a certified component manufacturing company, Rob highlighted key elements to consider before choosing a solar mounting system manufacturer. S-5! has been a MESIA member for many years and a very active company in several regions worldwide.
How do I qualify a solar mounting system, its manufacturer and why?
It’s essential for clients to seek proof of certified materials, certified testing and certified manufacturing, as well as a solid track record of significant installations. Look for mounting assemblies and hardware that are engineered and load tested with verifiable evidence to ensure all aspects of the product are designed to outlast the life of the PV system. A reputable manufacturer offers meaningful product defect and performance warranties. Look for evidence of warranty on the vendor’s website. It should be 25 years at a minimum and preferably the entire service life of the solar system—or roof. A qualified manufacturer should gladly provide proof of all its sales claims.
Equally important is the mounting system provider’s track record. How long the company has been in business is irrelevant. The question is, “How long and on how many projects has the system been in use?” And, will the manufacturer will be in business for the long-term to honor its warranties?
S-5!’s warranties are the most comprehensive in the industry and are published on our website in full transparency. Our products are the only ones of their kind that have actually outlived their warranties because we have been making PV attachments for nearly 30 years. We are here for the long haul. Our business has grown each year since inception—even through recessionary times. We have always been a debt-free company, so we are bankable and will continue to be there for the long haul to honor any warranty claim.
What certifications are important to consider in a solar mounting structure?
The most critical and highest certification standards to ensure safety and PV systems performance include:
- UL 2703 – a standard for safety pertaining to mounting systems, mounting devices, clamping/retention devices and ground lugs for use with flat-plate PV modules and panels;
- ICC – the International Code Council;
- California LADBS – the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety requirements for system design;
- Florida’s Miami-Dade County – some of the most stringent requirements in North America; and
- ISO 9001-15 compliance in manufacturing, packaging, shipping and other QA and QC assurances
S-5!’s products are certified to the above criteria, and many other standards. We load test all products in certified labs, utilize certified raw material, manufacture in our own ISO-certified factory to ensure the highest performing metal roofing mounting assemblies available. Our load-test data can be accessed on our website to validate any engineered application. Material, water and corrosion testing is conducted to ASTM standards. Our products are designed to last the life of the roof, and we have the track record to prove it.
With an extensive background in the metal construction industry, S-5! Founder, Rob Haddock invented the category of penetration-free metal roof attachments in 1992. S-5!’s clamps and brackets are engineered for a variety of applications, including residential and commercial solar installations on concealed-fix and standing seam metal roofing. Made in the U.S.A., S-5!’s products have revolutionized the industry and are now installed on more than 2 million metal roofs worldwide, including 3.5 GW of PV, providing strength and longevity never before seen. For more information, visit www.S-5.com.
Research and Content Manager