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Racking Final Decisions

With the array configurations set now, we were able to make some final decisions about racking our PV system.

The possibilities came down to Unirac SunFrame, Unirac SolarMount, and SunPower Smart Mount. The attachment methods for racking to roof were standoffs or a specialized "QuickMount" solution.

While QuickMount offers a lower style mounting solution, they are only tested with a roof angle of 25 degrees, while we are working with a 45 degree roof. In light of this fact, 4" standoffs will be used.

SunFrame requires no spacing between modules while SolarMount needs spacing. To both optimize our space and maintain the sleekest possible appearance, SunFrame was chosen as the appropriate racking system.

Coming to these conclusions required careful coordination with the vendor, the photovoltaic panel team, and especially the architecture group. This term's project has been an excellent example of how a targeted senior design project such as the Solar Decathlon provides useful, interdisciplinary, real world experience.

With the building choices finalized, we look forward to gathering the components of the house and continuing our work on testing/installation next semester.

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