After exceeding expectations on their first solar installation, a recent client selected DCE Solar’s highly-adaptable Contour DB (Driven Beam) racking system for their second installation. The original project over-delivered in terms of ease of installation despite very uneven terrain, which normally would have had to be significantly graded to accommodate traditional racking systems. However, since Contour can be adjusted to follow topography up to a 20-percent grade, the client was able to forego a majority of the cost and time associated with grading the site, saving enough money to completely offset the costs of the racks themselves.
“Sites like this are exactly why we developed Contour,” said Bill Taylor, CEO of DCE Solar. “Being able to utilize sites with minimal site grading presents far more opportunities to expand solar. We’ve routinely found that Contour has been the turnaround factor for projects that would otherwise have not been built due to additional construction costs.”
Contour’s high level of adaptability and ease of installation are attributed to a few key elements:
- Single point purlin connection – Allows the rack to pivot and seamlessly follow the topography up to a 20 percent grade
- Ease of alignment – A top beam adapter gives unmatched adaptability and simplifies the alignment process
- Nesting of zees & cees – Increased structural stiffness provides a compact design
- Jig assembly – Allows for greater module installation efficiency, significantly reducing labor costs and ensuring perfect panel alignment
- Integrated grounding – No additional module grounding accessories and only minimal grounding wire required
- Built-in wire support – No further wire trays needed
Considering the size and scope of this project, which totaled 4,256 modules capable of producing over 1.38 MW of power, the ability to work with, instead of against, site topography was a huge advantage. The project was led by EnterSolar, who has used DCE Solar products in other installations as well. On-site installation was completed by Next Era Integrated.
“Over the years we’ve installed many of top-tier racking products and found DCE Solar’s Contour product to be unmatched,” said John Penton, President and Owner of Next Era Integrated. “Contour not only allows for reduced labor time but easily follows significant changes in elevation. In addition, the design accommodates heavy snow loads and challenging, rocky soils using screw foundations.”
“We’re proud to be the company behind the industry’s most topographically adaptable racking system,” said Taylor. “DCE Solar’s mission has always been to elevate the future of solar. Expanding its use and implementation is essential to achieving that goal.”