Structural Engineering for Solar PV (Photovoltaic) and Solar Thermal (Hot Water)
The Milovia Group provides structural engineering analysis for the installation of Solar PV and Solar Thermal. This analysis can be included in a solar installation’s contract, allowing one to take advantage of Federal and State incentives.
The importance of having one’s roof analyzed can be better understood by knowing how the panels can affect a roof’s structural integrity:
When solar panels are installed on a roof, the panels are held in place by rails that have been attached to the building’s roof structure. When snow accumulates on the panels, instead of the snow uniformly covering the roof, the snow’s load is transferred to the roof at the points of rail attachment. This change in roof loading can greatly affect the building’s structure. Careful analysis is required to determine how the rails and rail supports must be positioned on the roof, and how the roof structure is stressed due to this new loading.
If a roof is not analyzed for this change in loading, the rafters may become overstressed, resulting in problems such as drywall cracking, window seals breaking, roofs leaking or more substantial damage.
Every roof that is to support solar panels should be analyzed, since every roof and every installation is unique. An engineering analysis from the Milovia Group will offer you piece of mind, knowing that your roof can safely support panels that will be on your roof for 30 or more years.
Structural Engineering for New and Existing Homes and Businesses
The Milovia Group offers structural engineering services for the construction of new and existing homes and businesses. From providing investigative structural analysis for the renovation of 200+ year old buildings, to providing engineering support for the design of a new passive solar home, the Milovia Group has the experience for many challenging projects.
A passive solar home, for example, presents some design challenges that need to be properly analyzed due to the larger number of windows on the south wall than on any other side of the home. A building with this unequal distribution of windows has a tendency to “twist”, since the southern walls have less shear walls than the northern walls. Basically, there needs to be special building frames surrounding the larger windows on the south wall to avoid this “twisting” phenomenon, which could cause cracking at the building corners, window seals breaking or larger, more extensive damage. The Milovia Group has much experience with this type of analysis, and offers this service in addition to all of the design consulting services offered below.
Structural Engineering Project Examples
The Milovia Group offers design consulting services for homeowners who want to retrofit their homes, business owners who want to make their buildings more energy-sufficient, and future homeowners who want to improve the design of the home they wish to build.
The following design services are offered:
Passive Solar Design for existing homes (& small businesses)
Many homes that exist today were not designed to take advantage of the many benefits that a passive solar design offers the inhabitants, such as free heat from the sun in the winter, cooling factors of properly designed awnings/overhangs for the summer, and good natural daylighting and ventilation.
The good news is that there are many options available to a homeowner to improve the design of their home, and can be simple changes up to more expansive changes:
Evaluation of a home’s layout to determine simple changes of use to better utilize the existing placement of windows
Installation of solar tubes or skylights to improve the natural daylighting
Installation of vents or small windows to improve airflow
Addition or removal of existing awnings or overhangs to improve shading during the summer and/or allow in sunlight during the winter for passive solar heat gain
Enlarging or adding windows in a southern wall for passive solar heat gain, and increased daylighting
A new home addition that has all of the advantages offered by a passive solar design
Passive Solar Design for new homes (& small businesses)
A well-designed passive solar home does not begin with the home, but with the site the house will be built upon. Aspects of the site such as which direction are the prevailing winds, the ease of access to the home, the surrounding terrain and vegetation and how they affect airflow and sunlight to the home, and of course the location of the best views are all aspects that the Milovia Group will first analyze with the homeowner.
Once the home’s final position on the site is finalized, the Milovia Group will work with the homeowner to improve their home plans or help create entire plans from scratch. There are many viable low-cost passive solar home designs available to homeowners, and only require simple changes to best reflect the homeowner’s unique lifestyle and building site. Or, many homeowners have had a particular design sketched-out on paper for many years, but need a fresh look at them to help refine the finer details. Of course, other homeowners desire a complete design package- in this case, the Milovia Group will work as a team with the client’s chosen architects or with our own selectively chosen architects who specialize in passive solar design.
Whatever the needs a homeowner may require, the Milovia Group offers consultation on home-site analysis, time-of-use room design, day-lighting and natural ventilation techniques, creative storage, design of solar heat gain and cooling loads, materials and construction services, and structural engineering services as described above.
Design Consulting Project Examples