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Pitched Roof FAQ

UL2703

What is UL2703? What does the IronRidge listing cover?
IronRidge systems have been fully listed to the UL 2703 standard by Intertek Group plc. UL 2703 is the standard for evaluating solar mounting systems. It ensures these devices will maintain strong electrical and mechanical connections over an extended period of time in extreme outdoor environments.

There are three types of approval that a racking manufacturer can achieve, with listed being the highest level:

  1. Listed: A system is tested & evaluated to all of the requirements of a standard.
  2. Classified: A system is tested & evaluated to only a portion of the standard.
  3. Recognized: A component is tested & evaluated to only a portion of the standard.

IronRidge has passed electrical, mechanical, and fire testing in order to achieve its UL 2703 listing.

How is the grounding different from WEEBs?
The IronRidge listing covers modules, rails, and attachments. This means that the module frames and IronRidge racking are considered an electrically continuous system, requiring fewer jumpers and lugs.

How many times can the UFO be loosened and re-tightened on the module?
The UFO has been tested to re-tighten a minimum of five times.

Can an outdoor-rated bonding jumper be used instead of an IronRidge Grounding Strap?
Alternative bonding jumpers are not included within the UL 2703 listing. Use of these products may cause concern with the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), and could lead to a failed inspection.

Does the module manufacturer need to list IronRidge as a grounding means in their installation manual?
The UL 2703 certification process includes extensive testing of the IronRidge components with the module. These tests are identical to the tests performed in the module listing process (UL 1703). As a result, the UL 2703 listing covers both products, not just the mounting components.

Will it void the module warranty if the IronRidge UFO is not listed in the module’s manual?
The IronRidge System does not harm the module, but you should always confirm warranty questions with the manufacturer before installing.

Will piercing the module anodization cause corrosion in coastal environments?
The UL 2703 certification process included extensive environmental and corrosion testing. The high quality stainless steel used in the IronRidge UFO does not cause significant galvanic corrosion, even in extreme environments.

Which microinverters/power optimizers can I use with the UFO family of components?
The following devices have been tested/evaluated for bonding in the Flush Mount, Tilt Mount and Ground Mount systems. The new microinverter kit (MI-BHW) bonds the following devices to XR Rails:

  • Enphase – M250-72, M250-60, M215-60, C250-72, S230, S280, IQ 6, IQ 6 PLUS, Q Aggregator
  • Darfon – MIG240, MIG300, G320, G640, G6XX
  • SolarEdge – P300, P320, P400, P405, P600, P700, P730

If your device is not listed here, you can still use the kit to mount the device to the rail. However, this requires providing an alternate means to ground each device.

Can I use my Enphase microinverter to ground the system?
Approved Enphase microinverters (M250-72, M250-60, M215-60, C250-72) can provide equipment grounding of all IronRidge systems, eliminating the need for grounding lugs and field installed equipment ground conductors (EGC). A minimum of two microinverters mounted to the same rail and connected to the same Engage cable is required.

Refer to installation manuals for additional details.

FlashFoot2

What is FlashFoot2’s warranty?
FlashFoot2 comes with an industry-leading 25-year warranty.

Where can FlashFoot2 be installed?
FlashFoot2 can be installed on composition shingle roofs with a pitch of 2:12 to 12:12 (9-45 degrees).

What certification documents are available for FlashFoot2?
FlashFoot2 comes with a structural certification letter. This provides lateral and uplift capacity for the product, as well as details on testing.

Does FlashFoot2 meet the new UL 2703 requirements?
Yes, FlashFoot2 conforms to UL 2703’s Mechanical and Bonding requirements. The entire Flush Mount System’s UL 2703 listing can be found on page 3 of the installation manual.

How was FlashFoot2 tested for waterproofing ability?
FlashFoot2 passed both UL 441 Section 27 “Rain Test” and TAS 100-95 “Wind Driven Rain Test” standards, making it the most reliable and robust attachment on the market. The UL 441 “Rain Test” is equivalent to the rain testing done in an IAPMO evaluation.

How do you ensure that the Cap on FlashFoot2 is properly installed?
Place Cap onto flashing in the desired orientation for E/W or N/S rails, then rotate 180 degrees. An audible click will confirm that the Cap has been properly installed and is now locked into place.

Can the mounting rail pull out of the open-slot Cap?
No. If the attachment hardware is correctly tightened, it will prevent the rail from pulling out. Additionally, a constriction at the top of the Cap’s slot stops loose hardware from slipping out.

Why is bonding hardware now separate from attachments?
IronRidge is separating out the bonding hardware from the attachment kits (FlashFoot2 and Slotted L-Foot) in order to give installers the flexibility to choose between square and T-bolt, based on their preference.

Class A Fire Rating

What is the new fire rating requirement?
New language in the 2012 IBC states that a roof mounted photovoltaic system must have the same fire classification as the roofing material the system is installed upon.

Where is this requirement listed in the code?
2012 IBC: 1509.7.2 Fire classification. Rooftop mounted photovoltaic systems shall have the same fire classification as the roof assembly required by Section 1505.

What is the definition of “system”?
The system specified in the code includes the roof covering material, PV mounting system and PV modules. Together all three are tested to determine the system fire rating.

What determines Fire Classification?
Fire Classification refers to a fire-resistance rating system for roof covering materials based on their ability to withstand fire exposure.

  • Class A – effective against severe fire exposure
  • Class B – effective against moderate fire exposure
  • Class C – effective against light fire exposure

Where is class A required?
the general requirement for roofing systems in the ibc refers to a class c fire rating. class a or b is required for areas such as wildland urban interface areas (wui) and for very high fire severity areas. many of these areas are found throughout the western united states. california has the most class a and b roof fire rating requirements, due to wild fire concerns.

What roofing materials are covered?
All fire rated roofing materials are covered within this certification including composition shingle, clay and cement tile, metal, and membrane roofs. The testing is conducted on a basic roof design that represents all listed fire rated roof constructions.

What if the roof covering is not Class A rated?
The IronRidge Class A rating will not diminish the fire rating of the roof, whether Class A, B or C.

Do solar modules have a Fire Class rating? What is a “module type”?
The new UL1703 standard with the updated fire test introduces the concept of a PV module Type that is based on 4 construction parameters and 2 fire performance parameters. The purpose of this classification is to certify a mounting system without having to test it with every module.

What attachments and flashings are deemed compatible with Class A?
Attachments and their respective flashings are not constituents of the rating at this time. All code-compliant flashing methods are acceptable from a fire rating standpoint.

Is the UFO covered within the certification?
Clamps are considered part of the PV “system”, and are covered in the certification.

Am I required to install skirting to meet the fire code?
No, IronRidge achieved a Class A fire rating without any additional racking components.

What mounting height is acceptable?
UL fire testing was performed with a gap of 5″, which is considered worst case in the standard. Therefore, the rating is applicable to any module to roof gap.

What Roof Mount configurations are covered?
IronRidge is currently Class A certified for Flush Mount applications parallel to roof with Type 1 and 2 modules. Tilt Mount systems are certified with Type 1 modules.

What if I have a Class C roof, but the jurisdiction now requires Class A or B?
Generally, older roofs will typically be “grandfathered in”, and will not require re-roofing. However, if 50% or more of the roofing material is replaced for the solar installation the code requirement will be instated.

What are the requirements for fire setbacks?
Every jurisdiction enforces their own requirements related to fire setbacks for rooftop solar, and these requirements are not related to the fire rating of the system.

Ground Mount FAQ

Ground Mount

When should I use 3″ versus 2″ Schedule 40 steel pipe for my sub-structural material?
2″ Schedule 40 steel pipe is generally used for smaller arrays, such as residential applications, because it’s lightweight and easy to handle. 3″ Schedule 40 steel pipe is most useful for larger arrays, where the longer E-W span helps reduce the number of concrete foundations. But, 3″ Schedule 40 steel pipe is also heavier and sometimes requires heavy machinery for installation. Before purchasing your pipes, confirm the specifications with the Parts Catalog.

My soil is very rocky. Do you have any foundation designs aside from concrete footings?
IronRidge provides standard foundation sizes for various soil classes. However, some soils may be extremely difficult to dig into, such as granite or rocky soils. Solutions for these soil types include epoxying rebar into the granite and pouring the foundations above the ground, connecting the piers with low depth grade beams, or casting the piers into above ground ballast blocks. Consult an engineer for structural review if using a foundation design other than those described in the IronRidge Certification Letters.

What determines my North to South pier spacing?
North to South pier dimensions are static measurements in our Ground Mount design that are either 7.5′ or 9′, depending on the number of modules per column. Refer to the assembly drawing found at the bottom of the IronRidge Certification Letter for dimension details. The certification letters can be found in the Documents & Resources section under the Ground-based tab on the IronRidge website.

What design constraints should I be aware of when building an array on an East to West slope?
The maximum “above ground length” for the southern vertical piers is 2’6″. To prevent exceeding this length on either side of the array, break the array into segments. This “stepped” array will prevent the East or West side of the array from being too high. If this is not a viable option, consult an engineer for alternative approaches.

How do I suspend my vertical piers while I pour concrete?
Many installers create a temporary set of “forms” to suspend the East to West cross pipes, with the vertical pipes already attached to them. This approach allows you to assemble and level your sub-structure at the appropriate height, then pour all of the concrete at once. Always refer to the Ground Mount Installation Manual prior to assembly.

How do I calculate row spacing to avoid shading?
This question depends on what is considered an acceptable amount of annual “shade loss” (system output lost to inter-row shading). If your goal is zero shade loss, visit the first the NOAA Solar Calculator (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/) to find the minimum solar altitude angle (El) on December 21st at 10 A.M., by inputting the coordinates of the project area. Use the following formula to find distance (D) between arrays to avoid shading: D’=h/tan(El). Height (h), is the difference between the rear edge of the first array and leading edge of the second array.

Flat Roof FAQ

UL2703

What is UL2703? What does the IronRidge listing cover?
IronRidge systems have been fully listed to the UL 2703 standard by Intertek Group plc. UL 2703 is the standard for evaluating solar mounting systems. It ensures these devices will maintain strong electrical and mechanical connections over an extended period of time in extreme outdoor environments.

There are three types of approval that a racking manufacturer can achieve, with listed being the highest level:

  1. Listed: A system is tested & evaluated to all of the requirements of a standard.
  2. Classified: A system is tested & evaluated to only a portion of the standard.
  3. Recognized: A component is tested & evaluated to only a portion of the standard.

IronRidge has passed electrical, mechanical, and fire testing in order to achieve its UL 2703 listing.

How is the grounding different from WEEBs?
The IronRidge listing covers modules, rails, and attachments. This means that the module frames and IronRidge racking are considered an electrically continuous system, requiring fewer jumpers and lugs.

How many times can the UFO be loosened and re-tightened on the module?
The UFO has been tested to re-tighten a minimum of five times.

Can an outdoor-rated bonding jumper be used instead of an IronRidge Grounding Strap?
Alternative bonding jumpers are not included within the UL 2703 listing. Use of these products may cause concern with the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), and could lead to a failed inspection.

Does the module manufacturer need to list IronRidge as a grounding means in their installation manual?
The UL 2703 certification process includes extensive testing of the IronRidge components with the module. These tests are identical to the tests performed in the module listing process (UL 1703). As a result, the UL 2703 listing covers both products, not just the mounting components.

Will it void the module warranty if the IronRidge UFO is not listed in the module’s manual?
The IronRidge System does not harm the module, but you should always confirm warranty questions with the manufacturer before installing.

Will piercing the module anodization cause corrosion in coastal environments?
The UL 2703 certification process included extensive environmental and corrosion testing. The high quality stainless steel used in the IronRidge UFO does not cause significant galvanic corrosion, even in extreme environments.

Which microinverters/power optimizers can I use with the UFO family of components?
The following devices have been tested/evaluated for bonding in the Flush Mount, Tilt Mount and Ground Mount systems. The new microinverter kit (MI-BHW) bonds the following devices to XR Rails:

  • Enphase – M250-72, M250-60, M215-60, C250-72, S230, S280, IQ 6, IQ 6 PLUS, Q Aggregator
  • Darfon – MIG240, MIG300, G320, G640, G6XX
  • SolarEdge – P300, P320, P400, P405, P600, P700, P730

If your device is not listed here, you can still use the kit to mount the device to the rail. However, this requires providing an alternate means to ground each device.

Can I use my Enphase microinverter to ground the system?
Approved Enphase microinverters (M250-72, M250-60, M215-60, C250-72) can provide equipment grounding of all IronRidge systems, eliminating the need for grounding lugs and field installed equipment ground conductors (EGC). A minimum of two microinverters mounted to the same rail and connected to the same Engage cable is required.

Refer to installation manuals for additional details.

Class A Fire Rating

What is the new fire rating requirement?
New language in the 2012 IBC states that a roof mounted photovoltaic system must have the same fire classification as the roofing material the system is installed upon.

Where is this requirement listed in the code?
2012 IBC: 1509.7.2 Fire classification. Rooftop mounted photovoltaic systems shall have the same fire classification as the roof assembly required by Section 1505.

What is the definition of “system”?
The system specified in the code includes the roof covering material, PV mounting system and PV modules. Together all three are tested to determine the system fire rating.

What determines Fire Classification?
Fire Classification refers to a fire-resistance rating system for roof covering materials based on their ability to withstand fire exposure.

  • Class A – effective against severe fire exposure
  • Class B – effective against moderate fire exposure
  • Class C – effective against light fire exposure

Where is class A required?
The general requirement for roofing systems in the ibc refers to a class c fire rating. class a or b is required for areas such as wildland urban interface areas (wui) and for very high fire severity areas. many of these areas are found throughout the western united states. california has the most class a and b roof fire rating requirements, due to wild fire concerns.

What roofing materials are covered?
All fire rated roofing materials are covered within this certification including composition shingle, clay and cement tile, metal, and membrane roofs. The testing is conducted on a basic roof design that represents all listed fire rated roof constructions.

What if the roof covering is not Class A rated?
The IronRidge Class A rating will not diminish the fire rating of the roof, whether Class A, B or C.

Do solar modules have a Fire Class rating? What is a “module type”?
The new UL1703 standard with the updated fire test introduces the concept of a PV module Type that is based on 4 construction parameters and 2 fire performance parameters. The purpose of this classification is to certify a mounting system without having to test it with every module.

What attachments and flashings are deemed compatible with Class A?
Attachments and their respective flashings are not constituents of the rating at this time. All code-compliant flashing methods are acceptable from a fire rating standpoint.

Is the UFO covered within the certification?
Clamps are considered part of the PV “system”, and are covered in the certification.

Am I required to install skirting to meet the fire code?
No, IronRidge achieved a Class A fire rating without any additional racking components.

What mounting height is acceptable?
UL fire testing was performed with a gap of 5″, which is considered worst case in the standard. Therefore, the rating is applicable to any module to roof gap.

What Roof Mount configurations are covered?
IronRidge is currently Class A certified for Flush Mount applications parallel to roof with Type 1 and 2 modules. Tilt Mount systems are certified with Type 1 modules.

What if I have a Class C roof, but the jurisdiction now requires Class A or B?
Generally, older roofs will typically be “grandfathered in”, and will not require re-roofing. However, if 50% or more of the roofing material is replaced for the solar installation the code requirement will be instated.

What are the requirements for fire setbacks?
Every jurisdiction enforces their own requirements related to fire setbacks for rooftop solar, and these requirements are not related to the fire rating of the system.

Questions?