[Photo Guide] Installing Solar PV Racking on Flat Roofs in NYC

For residential applications everyone knows that a 10 pitch metal seam room is as easy as you get can for residential solar, followed by high quality asphalt shingles.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of places in the country, specifically in cities, where these roofing conditions simply don’t exist. New York City is no different. First, we don’t really […]

[Photos] Repairing a 30 Year Old Solar Thermal System in NYC

Last week, I spent a day repairing a solar thermal system that has been operating for more then 30 years in NYC. I just wanted to share a few pictures and points because it’s super cool.

The system was installed in installed in 1980, expected “payback” (don’t ever use that term again) was just around 3 years
The client paid $3,200 for the system, which is about $8,900 in todays dollars.
The system was providing 70-80% of the hot water for 2 families
It was offsetting natural gas, which was expensive for a long time, and current prices are going back up, to the tune of 70%.  
DAS Solar Systems was the name of the EPC contractor in NYC. They’re aren’t around anymore.
The name of the module manufacture was SunWorks, the spec sheet said New Haven, CT but I’m assuming they were imported from Israel.

The system is in the heart of NYC
You can even see the module from google earth! There were 6 existing modules, but we replaced them with 4.

Front of the house. Getting equipment on roofs in NYC can be an issue.

The old modules. They held up pretty well, and managed to work 12 years after their “warranty” expired.

Again, the help up remarkably well well. There was a small amount of rust on the back sheets.

The rack was pretty simple and standard using unistrut. In fact, I’ve built a system that was 6 modules in Medford and were used the exact same parts as this! Though the roof flashing was a little different.