Frequently Asked Questions
No. Insertion rail dimensions are engineered for a +0 -1mm tolerance. If there is more than -1mm difference between the module frame thickness and the insertion rail’s design parameters, the module will be too loose. If the module is bigger than the rail’s ‘nameplate’, it will not fit into the pocket correctly. Rapid Rack Insertion Rails are available in 35, 40, 42, 46 and 50 mm profiles. This covers modules on the market today with a few exceptions.
Why do the middle Insertion Rails require 2 retaining clips while the top and bottom Insertion Rails require 1?
Middle Insertion Rails support modules in 2 separate rows, and therefore have twice the applied wind load compared to an edge Insertion rail which only supports 1 module.
None. The rails and hardware are tested through Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to subject standard 2703. This means that when properly installed, all the exposed mounting rails and hardware are bonded into a single grid. Additionally, this bond has been tested through temperature and humidity cycles, and will resist the effects of environmental and galvanic corrosion.
In order to provide an optimized, P.E. stamped design at the lowest cost for each customer, we engineer every quote. Typically our East-West spans are between 10-14 feet, depending on the wind and snow load loads.
No. As it was originally designed in Germany (where snow is prevalent) water and snow shedding is a primary design function. In addition, the Insertion Rails have rain channels in them to ensure that rain or melted snow does not collect.
Yes, all of our Quotes include wire management for DC wires. The wire clip/wire tie combination allows easy management of DC runs and can be tucked out of view into the slotted Insertion Rail.
All the mounting rails, hardware, steel piles, wire management and grounding equipment for grounding and bonding of the PV modules and mounting system. The installer supplies the modules, wire, and concrete if necessary. For a small additional fee, a full P.E. stamped plan set can be purchased with your system.
Weebs are not compatible with the Rapid Rack system. We recommend the SGB-4 lug and bare copper wire (AWG #6 or #10) to bond modules to the mounting system. Connect the bare copper to the mounting system through the Rapid Rack Ground Shark. When used in conjuction with Dynobond grounding jumpers, only a small piece of bare copper needs to be used once per electrical string.
The Insertion Rail system is similar to the concept of commercial window installation. Once the module is correctly installed into the rail, the unique shape of the Insertion Rail pocket ensures proper retention as long as the tilt of the system is at least 10 degrees. For systems where the tilt of the modules is less than 10 degrees, we specify EPDM T-Stops, which ensure module retention at any tilt.
After basic training, a new crew should install at least 500 watts per man hour. An experienced crew will install a minimum of 1kW per man hour.
All common foundations can be used. We have solutions for driven piles and poured concrete deep pier or grade beam foundations.
With our shared rail system, the lowest cost designs are 3 rows portrait with 72 cell modules or 3-4 rows portrait with 60 cell modules. However, landscape designs also work well and may be up to 6 rows high. We usually recommend an East-West table length easily divisible by string size to ensure the DC wiring is simple and efficient. We can even combine portrait and landscape within the same table for those with specific needs. Tilt angle is very flexible from < 10 degrees to 50 degrees.
Because of our shared rail design, our systems are most efficient with multiple rows, and larger tables are better supported by a 2-post design. Single post designs require stiffer and heavier steel, and are susceptible to wobbling, as all the force must be resisted by the single pile.
We use only stainless bolts and quality self-drilling screws with high performance anti-corrosion coatings. The Rapid Rack system is designed to last as long, or longer, than the PV modules themselves. While some manufacturers use electroplated Zinc hardware and allow relatively thin galvanized coatings for their structural members (G90), we use a minimum of G235 galvanized steel for our structural piles. Our system undergoes quarterly inspections by UL to ensure our manufacturing standards and tolerances are consistent with our specifications and the UL2703 standards.