Friday, June 17, 2005
Solar shingles installed!
At 7:30 in the morning, the house didn't know what was about to hit it...
Although the stacks of roofing materials on the back side might have been a clue.
Once the team arrived--Rick, Lee and Zach--they went quickly to work stripping the old roof from the south side of the house.
Soon, the roof was stripped bare.
Hidden defects, including a rotten fascia board, had been exposed.
By the time the crew left for lunch, these had all been repaired.
Putting down the ice-guard underlayment on the bottom part of the roof was next.
Followed by the Elk Versashield fire-resistant underlayment recommended by Uni-solar for use under the solar shingles.
Ordinary asphalt shingles were installed starting at the bottom.
Holes were drilled in the top half, using a template. The holes were for the wires from the Uni-solar shingles to pass through into the attic. A 3/8-inch length of 1/2 inch PVC conduit lines each hole.
Inside the attic, the holes are temporarily covered by the channel portion of some electrical raceway.
Rick had to work in some tight quarters to install the raceway. Fortunately, it was not hot in the attic.
Once the raceway was in place, 1/2 inch holes were drilled through it to allow the wires to pass. (The PVC conduit lining the holes was placed after these holes were drilled.)
The spacing of the solar shingles was carefully determined (Uni-solar has fairly elaborate instructions for doing this).
The solar shingles are nailed in place!
As the shingles are installed on top, wires begin to appear in the attic.
After the first couple of rows, installing the shingles went relatively quickly.
The details of laying a solar shingle: First, short the wire leads by twisting them together (the short-circuit current from each shingle is small enough that this isn't a problem).
Next, feed the wires through the hole.
Line up the shingle.
And lay it into place, making sure the wires go all the way through.
Fourteen of the 21 rows of solar shingles in place.
Most of the holes have wires coming through them now!
Placing the last row of solar shingles.
And the last shingle!
The remainder of the roof was covered with conventional shingles, the roof cap was installed, and Rick and Lee did a few additional repairs and finishing touches, finally finishing after 9 pm. The weather was nearly perfect throughout.