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Structural Engineering and the Solar Power Industry


Solar power is a smart way to "Capture the Power" of the sun to save you money, save our natural limited resources across the United States and save our planet. 

A-1 Engineering is proud to help the solar power industry in forward thinking and pushing the power of the sun to help us live a more resourceful life. This is truly responsible engineering. 

How do structural engineers help the solar power industry?


A-1 Engineering has been providing structural engineering services to the solar panel industry since 2011. As structural engineers, we help the solar power industry by:

1) Structural Capacity Assessment of Existing Buildings

2) Structural Analysis of Solar Power Support Frames

3) Consulting for the Development of Designs for Solar Panel Frames


What is a structural capacity assessment of an existing building?


A-1 Engineering will assess the construction and the condition of the roof framing system to estimate whether the framing can support the weight of the new solar panels. Solar panels can weight up to 10 pounds per square foot; which means the roof has to be able to support the additional weight of the solar panels and the frame. Our structural engineers use leading industry software (RISA2D, Tekla TEDDS) to analyze complicated roof framing systems. 

What is a structural analysis of a solar panel support frame?


The solar panel industry has been advancing the technology of solar panel efficiency and construction. Together with structural engineers, the solar panel industry has looked for efficient structural frames that are light in weight and cost efficient to install, construct and that are capable to carry the weight of the solar panel system.  Our structural engineers use leading industry software (RISA2D, Tekla TEDDS) to analyze complicated frame systems. We have worked with local solar power contractors to develop and construct solar power support frames.

Who hires the structural engineer?

Typically, the contractor will hire the structural engineer. The solar power contractor will layout the solar power panel array system and then the structural engineer will provide guidance to the solar power contractor on whether the roof framing system can carry the added loads. Sometimes, the roof frame needs to be reinforced. The cost of reinforcing is typically not accounted for in the initial bid provided by the solar power contractor. The average cost of reinforcing the roof ranges from $800 to $5000. If reinforcing the roof is not economically feasible (too expensive), A-1 Engineering has worked with the solar power contractor to locate suitable areas for the solar panel array system to be reconfigured.