September 25, 2023

Why is it important during the permit review of a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system to understand structural elements of the design?

Code official and plans examiner review and approval of a solar PV system plan impacts the safety of the final installation. As a result, an accurate and comprehensive review is critical before issuing a permit. When it comes to the structural elements of a solar PV plan, you will want to focus on fire safety, structural attachments, and weather sealing.

Learn More:

In our free course on, Structural Elements: Plan Review & Permitting of Residential Rooftop Solar PV Systems, you will learn a three-phased approach to analyzing the compliance of structural attachments: 1) a prescriptive process that works for many systems when criteria for the area have been determined; 2) using a rafter span table for systems that don’t meet the determined criteria; and 3) understanding when an engineered drawing of the system should be required. You will also gain an understanding of how to distinguish between access pathways and setbacks to ensure safe and unobstructed access to solar panels for firefighters. Finally, you will learn to look for weather sealing details in the plan and base on what is acceptable for your jurisdiction according to the area climate conditions. 

This course serves as an introduction to a series that covers the permitting process for a residential solar PV system. Start today and gain the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively and efficiently inspect these types of systems in your jurisdiction.

Looking for further information about high performance buildings, energy storage, solar, and more? Visit the Clean Energy Clearinghouse for an expanded list of expert resources and CEU’s: