Sloping Skyscraper Roof Presents Challenges for Onsite PV

January 9, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

evo londonEvoEnergy has completed installation of a 250-panel, 50 kW PV system on top of London’s new 38-story ‘Walkie Talkie’ skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street.

The project required installing a completely rail-less system on a glass roof 525 feet above street level and three floors above the inverter.

Because of space restrictions in the heart of London, materials could only be moved to the site as they were needed, with one delivery being made as one was being used.

A specially-trained, four-man team had to use rope access techniques to get to the working area because of the slope of the glass, while everyone and everything had to remain tethered to the building at all times, including every panel, tool, nut, bolt and screw.

The team wore specially designed rubber shoes in order to avoid scratching the glass roof, but these made working challenging in wet weather conditions.

Each 200W panel was fixed to the roof individually using four twisting, movable jigs instead of the mid and end clamps that are usually used in commercial installations.

Connecting the finished panels on floor 37 to the inverter on floor 34 required more than 295 feet of cabling.

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