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You are here:Home > Learn > Renewable Energy Articles > Sizing your S-5 System

Sizing your S-5! Mounting System

S-5! is a great mounting solution for those with a seamed metal roof who are on a budget. Their rail-free PV kits allow panels to be mounted for as low as $0.07 per Watt, or other mounting solutions can be combined with their regular clamps and attachments for a railed system.

The S-5! PV kit is attached to the top of your S-5! mini clamp, corrubracket, or versabracket. It is a universal clamp that can attach directly to most solar panels (module thickness 33 - 64mm).

This guide specifically addresses sizing a mounting solution with S-5!'s PV kit. If you need help sizing a different solution, contact EcoDirect at 888-899-3509.

Necessary Information

Before you size your system, it would be helpful to have all of the following readily available, listed in no particular order:

Solar Panel Dimensions

This information is very easy to find, as it is usually located right on the Module's manufacturer data sheet. These are listed on all EcoDirect solar panels under the "Data Sheets" tab.

Seam Spacing

This is the distance between seams on your roof (dimension Z in the diagram).

Roof Attachment

Much like finding a stud in your wall before hanging heavy objects, finding the distance between roof attachments is an important step of sizing. This can be found by consulting your roof system manufacturer or installer, checking from the underside, or close examination from the topside along the seam for the slight deformation of the seam at the attachment location.

Choosing an S-5! Clamp

Choose your clamps beforehand; S-5!'s mini clamps, Versabracket, and Corrubracket all work with the PV Kit. The clamps you choose should depend on your roof, specifically the type of seam you have, its dimensions, and its material.

The S-5-U Mini is a universal clamp that will fit 85% of the standing seam profiles manufactured in North America.

Putting it all Together

In the examples below, we will be using the SolarWorld SW245 as an example. If you would like a data sheet on the SW245 to follow along, you can go here.

Spacing in the Horizontal (X) Axis

When sizing in the axis perpendicular to the roof's seams, you simply need to ensure you have a clamp every time the panel crosses a seam.

You can determine the number of clamps in this dimension by dividing the X dimension of the panel by the distance Z between your seams, rounding it down to the nearest whole number, and finally multiplying by 2 for 2 sides:

Clamps = X / Z * 2

In the example of the SW245, we can see that when the panel is mounted "landscape" style, dimension X is 65.94". For our example, lets say that we are mounting our solar panel on a roof with a seam spacing of 21".

65.94" / 21" = 3.14

Rounded down, 3.14 becomes 3:

3 * 2 = 6 Clamps

When you compare this solution (6 clamps) to the diagram, you can see that this solution is correct because the solar panel crosses the seams 3 times with clamps on each side.

Spacing in the Vertical (Y) Axis

The distance Y between clamps should be less than or equal to the distance between roof-building attachments. Attachment spacing is typically 5'0", but this dimension is dependent on your roof and building.

Y Between Clamps = YModule

When positioning your panels on your roof, you should plan to start on an attachment.

If you plan to mount "portrait" style with the S-5 PV Kit, you should compare the solar panel's largest dimension to the maximum allowable distance between clamps. If this dimension is larger than the maximum allowable distance between clamps, you should consider combining a railed solution with the S-5! system. For assistance, feel free to call EcoDirect at 888-899-3509.

Returning to the example of the SW245 Mono, we can see that when the panel is mounted "landscape" style, dimension Y is 39.41". For this example, lets assume that the distance between roof attachments is the typical 5'0" (60").

Because dimension Y is less than 60", we can mount this solar panel on the seamed metal roof with the 6 clamps we determined necessary earlier.

Portrait Style Mounting

Lets say that we want to mount the panel portrait style, meaning that dimensions X and Y are switched:

X = 39.41"
Y = 65.94"
Z = 21"
Max Spacing = 60"

When we calculate the number of times the panel will cross the seam, we see that it has been reduced to 2:

39.41 / 21 * 2 = 2

However, when we compare the Y dimension to our max spacing, we see that the distance between clamps Y will be greater than the maximum distance allowable:

65.94" > 60"

In this situation, you should consider combining a railed solution with your S-5! clamps, mounting your panels landscape style, or choosing a different panel.

Final Notes

This guide is intended to give you a general idea of the cost and number of clamps you will need to order, as well as demonstrate the limitations and benefits of the S-5! mounting system.

Due to outside factors such as the wind, you should run your design by an engineer or licensed professional before you mount solar panels on your roof with S-5! system.

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