The following webinar is designed to cover the fundamentals of solar carports. That includes configurations, space optimization, customizations, additional options, and engineering and installation services. Use the below table of contents to skip ahead to the section that answers your most pressing questions, or watch the video.

  1. Explain More About Snow Loads
  2. What is the height from the bottom of the beams?
  3. Do you have a design for an inverted carport with a single-centered foundation?
  4. How does solar per watt compare to rooftop systems?
  5. Is there a design that concerns battery storage and EV charging?
  6. Are solar carport designs intended for 60 or 72 cell modules?
  7. Is water management systems considered an included cost for solar tax basis?
  8. Can your design team also provide product renderings for the clients to view?
  9. Can you expand on EV charging options?
  10. What options do you have for electrical conduits and wire management?
  11. Do you have US manufacturing or is everything out of Canada?
  12. Is 8 to 10 weeks delivery valid for Ontario?
  13. Are there any residential carports that can be installed in front of garage entrances?
  14. What is the most difficult place to erect a structure?
  15. Does Polar drill foundations and erections?
  16. How would your different foundations work with difficult subterrain? What would the value of your engineering solution be?
  17. What type of price ranges do you see, dollars per kilowatt (Canadian)?
  18. Do you have structural steel carports?
  19. Do you have 14 ½ foot height?
  20. What are the solar module brands and wattages per module?
  21. Can you guys be competitive with Albertan-made projects after you factor in the shipping costs?
  22. Does Polar Racking submit and process project plans through the HJ?
  23. How do you fasten the secondary purlins to the I-beams?
  24. Do you ship nationwide in Canada?
  25. What’s the dollar per watt for the T-shape?
  26. Does Polar performs structural engineering to confirm loads of the carport installed on top of parking decks?
  27. Can you show us an example of a racking system that has marketing on it?
  28. If installed on an existing roof, can you share the typical PSF loads needed to be able to support?
  29. What would be the typical tilt for projects in Quebec?
  30. Are the modules installed with a man-lift?
  31. Is there a minimum size or perimeter for project orders?
  32. Do you design for ASCE 7-16? Can you design for a 175 mile per hour wind speed?
  33. What’s your personal opinion on water management in the North-East versus no water management?
  34. What is the typical length of the purlins? Or what is the length of the purlins?
  35. How do you attach the panels if you have roof decking under the panels for water routing?
  36. Is torsional galloping an issue at low tilts? Like it is with stow trackers?
  37. Do you have a presence in Europe?

Nick Abdeldayem: Welcome everyone to the Carport Presentation from Polar Racking, Everything You Need to Know about Solar Carports.

Vishal Lala: My name is Vishal Lala, I’m the Managing Director at Polar Racking, and today, joining me, I have my two colleagues, Jonathan Mizrachi, who is the Sales Director for Polar Racking in the USA, and Nick Abdeldayem who is the Director of our Carport Products Division.

About Polar Racking

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Before we jump in and talk about solar carports, which is all the reason you’re here today, I did want to take a couple of minutes and tell you all a little bit about Polar Racking, and our company, we’ve been around since 2009, this is our twelfth year in business. We were founded in Ontario, Canada. However, we have customers all over the USA as well as the Caribbean. We sell rooftop, ground mount, and carport racking services along with foundations.

We have a full team of mechanical, structural, and geotechnical engineers in-house to handle any of your project needs, and we’ve supplied over 360 megawatts worth of solar mounting systems, as I said, all over North America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, with a pretty big pipeline of projects coming up for the next few years.

Just to tell you a little bit about our products, here at Polar Racking, we have a very wide variety of product offerings, starting with the PRG which is our ballasted flat roof mounting system. We were founded as a ballasted flat roof mounting manufacturer back in 2009, and it’s a space that we’re very comfortable in. Our PRG system is a fully interconnected grid system, which means that we take advantage of a lot of load sharing, which allows us to have a very low PSF on any roof.

All the components are self-spacing, and all the mounting is done in the green zones, or the module manufacturer approved zones, which makes us a very good choice for any large, or small, or large flat roof product. If there’s a type of roof, flat roof, that you have, chances are we’ve worked on it and we have a system somewhere close to you.

About PRR Flush Mount Racking Solar System

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PRR is our flush mount racking system. It is ideal for residential as well as commercial rooftops. Polar’s really done a lot of commercial rooftops with their flat, flush mount racking systems, we’re extremely competitively priced, and we work with all types of attachments, for any type of roof that you have, any shape of scene, or any residential type of roof, such as shingle roof, we can offer you a solution.

About PRU-D Small Ground Mount Solar Solution

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PRU-D is our small ground mount solution, generally sold through distributors. So, if you have a distributor near you and you have small projects, it comes with a pre-stamped package for your state or your province for foundations as well as for racking.

About PRU Utility-Scale Ground Mount Solar System

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PRU is our utility-scale ground mount. Generally, anything over 500kW we supply through PRU. It’s a custom-designed solution for your site, so we’re able to optimize the amount of steel, the configuration, portrait or landscape, your desired tilt angle, and most importantly your type of, foundation, what your site requires.

As opposed to some of the other guys, we let the ground tell us what type of foundation you should use, and then we design our system to match your project requirements.

Polar Supplies Foundations: In-House and Sourced

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We also make our own helicals in-house, we make our own ground screws, we supply-driven piles, and we offer many ballasted racking options or ballasted foundation options. Whether it is poured in place, pre-cast, Gabion baskets for stone ballasts, we have worked on all types of projects, and again, we’re happy to work with you on your projects.

We just recently completed some projects on some landfills, so definitely come to us if you have, again, any type of foundation. We’re very open to working with you, and working with you to design the foundation, supply the foundation, supply the racking, and even install the racking if required.

And then lastly, our solar carports, which is the reason that you’re all here today, and we’ll run through the slides and we’ll tell you a lot more, a lot more about that. With that said, I’m going to turn the presentation over to Jonathan Mizrachi, who’s our Director of US Sales, to walk you through our carport offering.

Before I do that, actually, I just want to say that everyone’s mics are on mute right now. However, any questions that you have, we would like to answer them all, so please just jump into your chat, jump into your chat function here on the screen and type out all your questions, I promise you we will read them all at the end of the presentation and review them. And as you come up with questions even after this presentation, please send them over.

You can visit our website for our contact information. Our contact information will also be on the last page of this slide deck, and you will all be getting an email in the next couple of days with a link to this presentation so that you can review it at your leisure. So, feel free, again, to ask questions.

We’re very excited about solar carports, it is a newer product on the Polar line-up, but definitely, one that we’ve received the most interest in. So, with that, I will hand it over to Jonathan Mizrachi.

Jonathan Mizrachi: Thank you Vishal, thanks for the intro on Polar. I’m excited to be here today presenting our solar carports with this webinar. Like Vishal had mentioned, it’s an extremely hot product these days, we’re seeing more and more interest in carports. I think it’s really, because of that efficiency in the use of available space that we’re highlighting here today.

We get a lot of requests from customers that we may have already sold a product. Maybe it’s a ballasted rooftop or something like that, but you have still some capacity there for system size and it’s another opportunity for you to come back and sell some more solar to the customer and put their parking lot to use.

It’s also a great way to use some space in the parking lot to provide some coverage with a canopy to protect from weather conditions while people, go to and from their cars.

Some things that we’re going to highlight here today on the webinar are our products and features of these carports. Our carports are fully customizable. We offer many different types of parking solutions.

Obviously, not every parking lot is in a straight line, not all the parking spaces may be exactly aligned together, so there’s, quite a variety of different solutions that we have to offer, to make them fit your needs.

Polar Racking’s In-House Services

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Everything is done in-house. We have a whole team of structural, mechanical, foundation, engineering, and design services. When it comes down to your project needs, we do offer installation services, as far as the foundation and building of the racking system go as well.

We could offer as much and as little service as you want. Some folks do ask us for, a deeper dive into geotechnical investigation and engineering as well, which we could offer, but again, I think the main point is, tell us what you need, what services you’re looking for, whether you’re looking for us to help you with the installation of these carports, we’d be gladly happy to do it.

We don’t do any electrical installations, so, we’d leave you either at, with the full rack installed, ready to place modules, or we can place the modules for you as well, which would be a separate line item on your order.

Turnaround Time for Solar Carports

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Last but not least, from ordering, our typical turnaround time is about eight to 10 weeks, so, there’s confirmation of engineering, where we do our final wrap-up on the engineering, make sure everything is to your liking, get those plans approved, and fully into production. And then, within those eight to 10 weeks, we’re out there with product and materials, starting, foundations and drilling.

We wanted to go over some key products and features, just to get us started, to give you some idea of what our systems can actually do. Again, Vishal touched on it a little bit, we do investigate the foundations, and it’s the backbone of the system.

Solar Carport Foundations and Spacing

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It’s the key feature that you need in order to set the right foundation, the right base. It’s really important to understand the soil, what’s there, is it a looser soil, rock, whatever it may be so that we could design the foundation to what is needed. Typically, we see a column I-beam type of foundation, but we have done spread footers. There are options for helicals in the ground – we would make that column connection also for the aboveground use.

Typical spacing from column-to-column, kind of like you see here in this photo, is 27 feet. So, typically we’ll design our systems beneath that 27-foot spacing from column-to-column. It does again depend on your soil content. Also depends upon size mix, snow loads, wind loads, things like that, that could add some variation.

Solar Carport Primary and Secondary Structures

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So again, your primary structure is attached to the foundations, with anchors, we use that I-beam base design. So, everything is ready to go when it comes to you on-site, there’s no on-site welding, no on-site drilling, nothing like that. And then, also what we call our secondary structure, so that’s going to be the box channel or purlins above.

Pre-Punched Holes Ready for Assembly

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Everything is pre-punched, for your module spacing. We use a direct-bolt type of connection to the modules, so your purlins will fit exactly what is needed. You would take that module cut sheet that you’ll plan on using, and we actually pre-punch those holes in the factory. So, prior to coming to the site, everything is ready, everything is in place – there’s no figuring it out on-site, so to speak. Everything is where it’s supposed to be.

Corrosion-Resistant Racking Systems and Wire Management

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Of course, our systems are corrosion resistant, typically our I-beams are hot-dip galvanized. We do have stainless steel hardware that goes along with the connections to the panels, and then we have some other variations that we could use. We’ll talk about that in a little bit, further into this presentation: where you need some higher galvanization or corrosion-resistant type of material. For example, if you’re along the coastline, where there’s a saltwater environment, we can increase that corrosion resistance. Everything also has integrated bonding, bonding wires, bonding washers, and wire management, so that everything is grounded.

Configuration Types of Solar Carports

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I’m going to talk to you a little bit about the different types of configurations we have in our arsenal here at Polar Racking. We wanted to show you a few different examples of configurations.

L-Shape Configuration

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First, we’re showing here an L-shape, a fully cantilevered design.

We see typically this where you have one row of parking spaces, maybe it’s up against the building, or up against the end of a parking lot. So that’s typically where we see this L-shaped design.

When we design our carports, we’re looking to add as many panels as possible, with fewer foundations. We’ll talk a little bit more about that later on when we discuss the key features. This fully cantilevered design does hold the modules in portrait. What you see here is a three, tall, in-portrait type of design, fully spaced out on one side. We could adjust the cantilever if needed – we do see that from time-to-time where we’ll make it almost a little bit more of a T-shaped structure.

T-Shape Configuration

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This is our T-shaped structure, and again you have a cantilever to both sides of the column, so you have three panels, on the Southside, three panels on the Northside, both spanning over those column beams. Typically, this is a North-South type of solution, that you would look at, where you want to tilt your modules towards the South, because we’re on the Northern Hemisphere of course, and again, you’re going to hold six panels in portrait on this type of design. This is also the most cost-effective design that we see when looking at the structures.

Y-Shape Configuration

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Our Y-shaped design is very typical when we have the columns going from north to south and you’re facing modules obviously, east to west. So, with this type of design, we want to keep in mind that we do have six panels, three on either side of the columns. With water-retention, water runoff, you’re going to see everything flow towards the center, towards the columns.

P-Shape Configuration

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So, this is our P-shaped design, an interesting design. We get this in a lot of schools or office buildings, places like that, where you might want a walkway path, and some coverage over the walkway path. Then we would offer this type of design. It also allows us to have a few more modules up there. So, typically, what we’ll see is four panels on either side for a total of eight, which is the span. You’re going to have eight panels on two beams. Again, another unique design that we can offer when either you have a walkway or some sort of dirt or soil in between parking lot spaces like you see in that bottom-right hand picture.

Long-Span Structures

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Long-span structures are unique in that we still keep to our bases of 27 feet from column-to-column on the shorter side, but on the longer side, we can span over 100 feet. We see these a lot on parking decks or parking garages where you want to limit the number of columns, but you want to have a max coverage type of feel. This is a really great structure where you’re limited on space and you want to get the most panels up there. A long span might be the best option for you.

You also want to note on this as well that you want to keep your tilt angle at a lower tilt angle. You only see maybe one, two, or three-degree tilts, depending on the size, because you don’t want to pitch it up on the top side – too far up.

Pre-Design Solar Carport Considerations

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We get a lot of questions on design considerations, and this prompted this webinar here today. What do you look out for pre-design when offering a structure to a client?

Tilt Considerations

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Typically, we design these structures with one to seven-degree tilt. And the reason for that is twofold. When you get above a seven-degree tilt, you have a larger wind sail, and you are going to need bigger columns, a heavier duty foundation, et cetera. So, it usually increases costs over a seven-degree tilt. You will also lose some coverage over the parking spot. We recommend that you keep your canopies from a one to seven-degree tilt.

Roofing Substrates and Water Management

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We also want to think about any water or snow management. Where are we pushing the water towards, do you want gutters, do you want leaders, do you need some roofing type system? That does come up as well.

We do offer roofing substrates that could go underneath the system. We have a rubber gasket, which would go in between the panels and help keep water from dripping through the panels.

Site Layout Considerations

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You also want to consider where you are placing these canopies in general. Is there a location where there are a lot of trees that may impact how we install or, obviously, sunlight to the canopies? Again, our spacing from column-to-column is typically 27 feet.

We do see variations. We had a project recently in Massachusetts where there were a few things happening. There were some handicap spots right alongside the building, and then there was an entranceway that they wanted us to skip over. We did span 27 feet in most of the column spacings, and then we came down to about 17 feet in some, and then 24 feet in some others. So, there was critical design work. We had to optimize to get the least number of columns, which reduces labor costs but also to have a very secure system.

Solar Carport Height

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So, structure height is another one that comes into play. So, you want to know how tall you want the leading edge of your structure. Are you going to have a firefighter lane for ambulances, fire trucks, emergency vehicles that may pass underneath? Typically, if you have to have emergency vehicles pass underneath, you’re going to need about 13 ½ to 14 feet in the minimum clearance. If it’s a location where for whatever reasons you may not have that you may want to go with a lower leading-edge height off the surface.

Carport Options and Customizations

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We spoke about options and customization briefly at the beginning of the presentation. We do have higher levels of galvanization if needed, depending on where you’re located. We often see this along the shoreline, where we have saltwater mist in the air. Increasing galvanization could offer an extra layer of protection.

Powder coating often comes about when you may be offering a solar system to a certain company. They have the branding colors that they might prefer. I have even heard about it from solar companies where they want to brand the system with their company colors. So, there are a lot of different options that we could offer with different powder coating colors. So just let us know what that may look like. It does, of course, add cost and another step in the manufacturing process.

Water Management for Carports

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We did speak briefly about watertight structures and water management. Essentially, we could offer some roofing substrate to go underneath the panels if there is a corrugated roofing structure, and again, we could offer gutters and leaders. You want to consider as well where you want the water to flow in the parking lot. So, you don’t want to push water to a location where drainage is not in place there. So, you want to have these things in mind and consideration.]

Snow Guards for Northern Regions

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Snow guards do come into effect, especially more in the Northern regions. So, we can offer snow guards. It’s a typical ask in Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Maine. We are quite often asked about snow guards and how to engineer these solutions, which we could certainly help.

Integrated Lighting and EV Charging Stations for Solar Carports

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Another frequently asked question is about integrated lighting underneath the canopies for places where there is going to be a lot of traffic at night. Also, EV charging stations, we could set up these parking structures to be integrated with EV charging and locations to have those places.

I think what we’re going to do is we’re going to open it up. I see there are a few questions coming in. We do have Vishal and Nick on the line here. So, let us go through some of these questions that we have here today.

Q & A Session for Solar Carports

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Vishal: Yes sir. So yes, thank you so much Jonathan for going through that. Appreciate that, and we tried to keep it succinct and to the point because we realize carports are very new to the industry for most people. Even though carports have been around for a long time, their popularity has really grown exponentially in the last couple of years. What we found and hopefully that information was very useful to you. As we get more and more into it, we’ll have more webinars about this topic and about other products as well.

I’ll run through the questions here and let us see. With the help of Jonathan, Nick, and Mike who is also in the room, we’ll answer as many questions as we can.

Explain More About Snow Loads

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Vishal: Just keep in mind to start. For Canadian companies, snow loads, and frost uplift is something that we have always had to consider. The system is really custom-designed to your location. So, whether you’re in Northern Alberta or in California, Texas, we take the loads for the given area, and we apply that to the design of the structures.

So absolutely, we can handle your heaviest snow loads, and that’s why if you look at our design versus some other that you might see, online, our design is much more robust. It’s much easier to assemble with fewer components because we’re oftentimes building in high snow, high frost areas, where you don’t necessarily want to be putting up extra bracing or extra components together.

Snow is something that we consider on a regular basis. We’re happy to look at your project and come up with a proposal to meet the loads of where you’re at, so.

Nick Abdeldayem: I just want to touch upon that, Vishal. Here we follow your local building codes and requirements per project. No two jobs are going to be the same. So, we’re going to work with our engineers and your engineers if you have a team, and we’re going to make sure that it accommodates all the snow loads, all the wind loads with the extra safety factors, as well. That goes along with the corrosion resistance per location as well.

So, we’re seeing a lot of questions about that, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all that you see out there. We are factory direct – everything is under one umbrella. So, you’re getting that customized carport that is installer friendly, customer-friendly, engineer-friendly, and it is literally a one-stop-shop. We’re not dealing with variously timed from different suppliers. It is a one-stop-shop when it comes to us.

Jonathan: Just one other thing I wanted to mention there, as well, is that we use an I-beam-based solution. So, a lot of folks ask us how we are getting those longer spans from column-to-column, where we’re advertising 27 feet as a typical span. It’s because of our I-beams.

Some other competitors use a truss-based solution. Our structure is stronger than a truss-based solution, which allows us to span and would allow us, as well, to hold some of the heavier snow loads.

What is the height from the bottom of the beams?

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Vishal: Back to our previous point, each one of these structures is custom. When you’re giving us your information, we’ll send you the carport intake form. What is the requirement that you need? And based on that, we’ll design the solutions to fit your project requirements. Typically, we see anywhere from 10 to 14 feet, but you need to tell us what your given requirement is.

Nick: To go along with that, this is your job, this is your project, so tell us what you want to see. For example, is it 10 feet or is it 12 feet? We’ll work with the local building requirements to make sure what you’re asking and what your wish lists are, does follow your local codes.

So, it starts just like Vishal mentioned, and it’s all on the intake form. Fill out what you would typically like to see, give us your wish list, and we’ll make sure that it is to code and aesthetically fits your project.

Do you have a design for an inverted carport with a single-centered foundation?

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Vishal: Yes. So generally, that’s the Y-structure, as we presented. I’ll let Nick talk more about that.

Nick: Sure. The structure is either going to be the Y-structure or the T-structure. Either one depends on the orientation of your project, or again, aesthetically, what you would like to see. This Y-structure typically runs on a center of any dividers that you may have, or just right along the centerline, bumper-to-bumper. We typically want a gutter right down the middle here, where it’ll funnel all the water that’s coming off both leading edges. We’ll also calculate the downspouts – how big the downspouts need to be, how big the gutters need to be, per code, and help with the runoff. This is a good bang for your buck, so to speak, when you’re designing your carport, the center-lying columns, like Jonathan mentioned earlier. Just like ground-mounts, we typically like to put on more modules with the least number of foundations.

The same goes for the T-structure. It also has the same concept. With that centerline, one column supports both leading edges – they’re well balanced, cantilever, the same, so we’re able to reduce some of the weight of the material on that. Again, the I-beams, they’re very structurally sound. Typically, as Jonathan mentioned, we span 27 feet.

In the picture, that’s three parking spots from column-to-column. We’re currently doing another project right now, where we’re actually spanning 33 feet. Every job is different. If there are any obstructions on the site, that will dictate how far we need to spend or would like to spend with you.

How does solar per watt compare to rooftop systems?

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Vishal: Again, it’s an entirely different solution. With rooftops, you have an existing structure, and you’re building on top of it. With this one, we’re building the structure, and then mounting purlins and then mounting modules.

There is a big difference between a traditional, going-to-an-existing-building-and-putting-solar-on-the-roof to a carport. On the flip side, there are other advantages, especially when the roof doesn’t have the capacity. It’s also much more visual. You could do, again, different types of marketing on a carport that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to do with a rooftop system.

There are lots of advantages of carport versus rooftop, but the pricing is very different. I hesitate to talk about pricing because again, every job is different, and every location is different. If you have a project in mind, reach out to Polar, reach out to Jonathan, get him the project information, and we will definitely get back to you with your proposal. You can see where we’re at, and how we go about engineering our project.

Nick: There’s something I want to mention to that. You mentioned a marketing tool; this is a huge marketing tool for all solar customers or solar-related companies. If you’re an EPC, if you’re, any type of installer, having this system on your parking lot is huge. People are going to drive by and people are going to see. If you can put your logo on it, any banners, any signage, and keep in mind to go past customers as well, that this is real estate they already own.

We’re not going out to secure any real estate, farmland, so on, so forth when it’s already there. So, might as well utilize the space that you have. It’s not like at extra cost to the client.

Is there a design that concerns battery storage and EV charging?

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Vishal: So, in summary, yes, absolutely. We are working on several projects right now where EV charging is being considered. The type of structure will vary based on your different project requirements, and we’ll work with you to incorporate your needs to allow the space to put the chargers and to put your battery. The short answer is yes, and then the long answer is let’s talk about some projects and we’ll come up with a proposal for you.

Again, with lower than seven-degree tilts, how are the snow loads? Again, that’s very project-specific and location-specific. Depending on where you are, at a certain temperature, whether you’re at 20 degrees, 30 degrees, or at seven degrees, the snow is not shedding, and in certain places, it is shedding. So again, let’s talk about your project, and then, we can definitely look at something together. The obvious answer is with less tilt the less shedding you have, but again, it depends on location.

Are solar carport designs intended for 60 or 72 cell modules?

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Frank asks, are their designs intended for 60 or 72 cell modules? Again, the short answer is yes.

Jonathan: I’m just going to jump in and say yes, typically we’re designing these projects with 72-cell panels. It brings up a great point. Now, we have a lot of different types of modules on the market with the half-cell cuts and, more boxy frames, and different things like that. Again, we’re, we’re going to speak to a more custom solution if needed, but yes, typically it’s 72-cell. We have seen some projects that go with 60-cell. I think 72-cell offers the most cost-effective option from a price per watt standpoint because we could span that length of the panel and portrait.

Is water management systems considered an included cost for solar tax basis?

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Jonathan: I would say consult your tax advisor. Yes, it could be included within the system. We’re building the foundation and structure, which is the carport. If you’re considering the whole cost of these carports and everything’s coming from us, it depends on how you present this to your client. Or if you’re owning the project yourself or you’re taking our invoice from Polar Racking. Definitely consult your tax advisor.

But we’ve seen people that have and have not included water management systems with carports, and it really comes down to safety as well. So, if you look at it from that standpoint, I think it’s in your favor.

Can your design team also provide product renderings for the clients to view?

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Vishal: We can provide some renderings, we have in the past, and depending on the amount of detail you want to see we can discuss.

Can you expand on EV charging options?

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Are you able to explain how this integrates and what the potential capabilities are?

Nick: Yes, we did a project not too long ago in Florida where they did have lighting like Jonathan touched on there and they wanted the whole nine yards.

They wanted water treatment, as far as a waterproof roof; they wanted gutters; they wanted downspouts. We did the lighting and then at the eleventh hour they wanted to do electric charging stations. We were able to talk to our structural engineers, that we have in-house, and accommodate mounting the brackets to the I-beam structure, the post. We did all the connections, and that project was a full turnkey, electrical and everything, mechanical install, and all the materials.

We ended up attaching everything, connecting everything in with the lighting, and the EV charging station. So, if there’s a certain brand you like to use if you’re doing the install, or we’re doing the install, that’s something we can work with.

What options do you have for electrical conduits and wire management?

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Nick: A lot of wire management is done naturally through those purlins, the channels, and box channels. They also have weed holes for water drainage, and a lot of people use just a standard zip tie, they attach there and kind of tuck the wires underneath.

We also have some clips that you could attach to the purlins to help with the wire management, but, everything’s uniform, clean-cut, and you can run your wires down. We’re also working on another project right now, where they’re trenching all the way up to the foundations, and they’re running the conduit into the foundation. That way everything’s clean, tucked away, running uniform with the columns as well. We’re more than happy to work with your electricians on site.

Do you have US manufacturing or is everything out of Canada?

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Vishal: Actually, our carport product is manufactured in the US, so hopefully, that answers that question.

Is 8 to 10 weeks delivery valid for Ontario?

We’ve done smaller units, 20 to 50 kW. We like to have the minimum project size. First of all, our business is based in Toronto. Although we do a lot of business in the US, the Caribbean, and Mexico, we’ve done a lot of business all over Canada as well. The 8 to 10 weeks, yes, it does include delivery to Ontario.

Our minimum size is 100kW, however, if you have many smaller systems, we can look at putting a program together with you. Please feel free to reach out, and we can discuss.

Are there any residential carports that can be installed in front of garage entrances?

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Our minimum project size is about 100kW. However, if you have a big portfolio of small projects, we would be interested in talking to you.

What is the most difficult place to erect a structure?

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Nick: On sandy soil? That was just, solar humor there – nobody likes that. But we’ve done it all. We’ve done anywhere from Florida to Massachusetts, New York. Some of the challenging ones are on top of parking garages but, we have a fantastic system for logistics, like cranes, such, and so forth.

Every project’s different. One of the most challenging ones I’ve done is on top of a parking garage, where there was a corkscrew parking garage, so limited space and in the city, actually in New York. It had its challenges, working with the locals and with the permitting office, just making sure we have everything lined up.

We got it done, eight stories high, 200kW, and it was a real challenge. We worked with great installers and the customers were great. They really complimented us on how everything fit, precise, all lined-up, measurements spot on, and so, that was the most challenging one.

Does Polar drill foundations and erections?

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Would you offer to install services to Polar or direct your clients to find your own solutions?

Vishal: We sell this product all over North America, and we do work with local trades, directly with the Polar construction manager, to put these projects up depending on where it is. We would be definitely interested in getting your contact information and discussing this further with you.

How would your different foundations work with difficult subterranean? What would the value of your engineering solution be?

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For example, a project with construction debris and old brick walls under an asphalt parking lot. Sonic tubes are not suitable for this and we’re running into major issues.

It’s interesting that you’re asking this question now; we’re working on this exact situation today, again in Queens, New York, on another site. So, generally, what we’re using on that site is a spread footer solution, which goes less deep and it is obviously not our go-to solution because it’s a little bit more expensive, but depending on what you have there, it could work.

I strongly suggest is you send us whatever Geotech information you have, any pictures you have of what’s there, and definitely get it into our team to be able to provide you with some possible solutions.

What type of price ranges do you see, dollars per kilowatt (Canadian)?

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We’re hesitant to say any pricing here but happy to talk to you afterward, it just varies so much from location to location, loads, heights, design, etc. We’ll come up with a proposal for your project.

Nick: We’re definitely in line with what you’re seeing out there in the carport industry, we’re very competitive.

Vishal: Yes, exactly. We’re very competitive for a higher quality solution. A lot of the other solutions out there basically take a ground-mount rack, elevate it, put modules on it, and call it a carport.

We haven’t done that at all. You’ll see just from the pictures in this presentation and online, that we’ve come up with a proper carport solution. It is able to handle heavy loads of wind and snow, and that works all over Canada, the coast, and the Caribbean, and basically everywhere. It is a proper design that looks great, and that assembles very well. I say that because a lot of the other solutions that I see out there are just an elevated ground mount and, in my opinion, that’s not the right way to build these.

Obviously, I’m extremely biased now but take that for what it is. If it is a visible project, for you, yourself, or for your customers, this is the type of solution that you’re going to want. You’re going to want to see and they’re going to want to see it in their parking lot.

The other advantage is the install, whether we’re doing it or you’re doing it – it goes together much better and simpler. There are a lot fewer components and it is a very robust carport solution.

Do you have structural steel carports?

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Nick: Yes, this is structural steel that we’re talking about. It’s not room channels and then calling them posts and putting them in the ground. This is structural steel. If you slap on walls and put windows and doors, this is an actual building. So, you are getting the quality, and so it’s bar none.

You can’t compare to others. And it’s something we’re very proud of. This is something that we are unveiling now, but it’s proven. We have over 35 MW of this same structural design in the ground today. So, it works. We’re looking for the repeat customers, repeat business, repeat projects. We’re not, one-and-done, we’re not, you’re not going to hear about the negative, you’re going to hear about when we can come and see one, where’s the closest project we could come and kick the tires on, and we’re going to walk one of these.

Do you have 14 ½ foot height?

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Vishal:  Definitely, we can do 14 ½ foot height. Send us your project requirements, we’ll work through the design, and provide you with a proposal.

What are the solar module brands and wattages per module?

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We’re a custom solution, so you need to tell us which module you’re working with and we will design a carport that will fit your module.

Can you guys be competitive with Albertan-made projects after you factor in the shipping costs?

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The answer is absolutely. We’re a Canadian company, and we do a lot of projects in Alberta, rooftop ground mounts, and carports. We know for a fact that we’re very competitive in the Albertan market.

Does Polar Racking submit and process project plans through the HJ?

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Well, we’ll provide you with all the stamps and building design documents that you need for you to work with your local HJ to get whatever permits or approvals that you need to work with.

Jonathan: I could just add on that, we sometimes get asked, who do we recommend using as far as engineering goes, above and beyond what we could provide? We can definitely make recommendations there, and the same thing for the construction side of it. Sometimes, we get developers who just want to develop the project, and they want to have a turnkey project. “Hey look, you guys, do the electrical and full installation.”

We’re going to say, “Hey look, we’re not the final construction company, here, but we could certainly make recommendations to some really great construction companies throughout the US, wherever your project may be located, in order to fulfill that full installation, and they could partner with you on that aspect as well.

So, similar to what Nick said we’re here for relationships. And through those relationships, we do have a lot of connections that could put you in touch with the right people to help you get your project completed on time and at the right price point.

Nick: Yes, I just want to add on. If you are going to take that install in your own hands, don’t be intimidated. We talked about its numerous times. It is definitely user-friendly, and there’s no additional drilling, or fabricating, or welding on-site, and we do offer service for one of our engineers, or myself, to come out to your project and help supervise it for a few days, just making sure that you’re comfortable with it. It’s your first time looking at it, even though it’s easy, to help reduce the man-hours or woman-hours on-site to do the install. We’re there to help you, hold your hand, and then guide you through it. We want you to be successful in getting this project kicked off and put together correctly.

How do you fasten the secondary purlins to the I-beams?

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Nick: Jonathan touched about it a little bit a while earlier. Everything is high-strength steel. When it comes to the primaries, we do a lot of the A325 galvanized structural bolts and washers, and nuts. We make sure that everything is matching to the building code. We are using hot-dip galvanized structural bolts as well.

Now mounting the modules to the purlins-the box channels, those are the ones to be typically standard stainless steel, serrated flange nuts, and bolts, with the grounding bond washer that we provide as well. That way, their modules attached directly to the purlins, with the bonding connection, so they’re grounded and that’s pretty much it. You’re not going to see, like others, boxes, and boxes or pails of hardware. Everything’s pretty simple.

Vishal: Exactly. Yes, and that’s exactly why we’ve gone with this design.

Do you ship nationwide in Canada?

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Yes, we ship. All over the US, Canada, Mexico. We’re quoting good portfolio jobs in the Caribbean right now. We’re currently building lots of ground mounts and-and rooftops in the Caribbean, and with some existing customers. We’re quoting carports as well. Wo yes, we’re shipping all over.

What’s the dollar per watt for the T-shape?

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Reach out, we will work with you on the project and get the pricing out to you.

Does Polar performs structural engineering to confirm loads of the carport installed on top of parking decks?

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The short answer is yes, in terms of, we will give you the loads for the loads that the carport will put on your deck. For sure, we can come out and give a scan of your, your parking deck as well, to make sure that we’re not, hitting anything that we shouldn’t be, within the parking deck, but we will look for you to give us the velocity or the structural drawings for the existing structure.

Nick:  Yes, we’ve looked for them to provide the as-built of the existing structure and the engineer, the architect who did the structure. Good, no great point, it is one of our services. If your project progresses, we will come out and do the scan of the parking garage, making sure we’re not hitting any tension rods, or any structural rebar or anything like that, that is part of the original design. We’re making sure that when we design the structure for you, it is working for you, exactly what you’re looking for. But at the same time, we’re making sure that we’re not, hitting any unforeseen, voids in the concrete.

Can you show us an example of a racking system that has marketing on it?

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Vishal:  We actually have some pictures. What we’ll do is we’ll add that to our carport project gallery. Some of the pictures show carports with different colors on it, so it doesn’t necessarily have the logo. It’ll have the color of the building, or the university, it’s one of the ones that we do have.

If installed on an existing roof, can you share the typical PSF loads needed to be able to support?

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If are you planning on putting the carport on the roof? Again, probably makes more sense for us to have a conversation about what you require, and we’ll definitely get back to you.

What would be the typical tilt for projects in Quebec?

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We say seven degrees, because that’s where we’re very cost-efficient but we can do 15 degrees, we can do a 30-degree system, it just ends up being more expensive. Your structure is beefier, and you’re covering less ground space. If you have a requirement for your project, feel free to share it. If you’re in Quebec, share the details with Mike, his contact information’s on the page right now, and let’s have a call and discuss.

Are the modules installed with a man-lift?

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Jonathan: Yes, so the modules are installed with some sort of man-lift, a scissor lift, and with a direct bolt system. You’re going to be underneath the panel, underneath the carport, and direct bolting to the module with the pre-punched hole in that secondary purlin system. So, it’s a direct bolt, the guys would be on, some type of scissor lift up there, and then working overhead to make those connections.

Vishal: The next question is, how are the modules attached to the purlins? How competitive is Polar Racking versus Powers Super Purlins?

Jonathan: Oh, we knock the socks off of Powers. Come on. Not even a real question.

Vishal: Well, we’ll leave it at that. Again well, let’s connect afterward and look at your projects and let’s do something.

Jonathan: Send us your projects. We’d be happy to take a look, guys. I know there’s a lot of questions about pricing and things like that. Send us your projects. We’re very competitive in the marketplace and again Nick mentioned before to us about retaining accounts while offering quality. Pricing does come into play obviously and service.

Those are the main factors that we’re really keen on and focussed on. So, we want to talk, we want to understand your needs and help you get there.

Is there a minimum size or perimeter for project orders?

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Vishal: Generally, we look for at least a 100 kW system or about. That’s where we provide the most value. And if you have a portfolio of smaller projects, we’d be happy to look at it.

Do you design for ASCE 7-16? Can you design for a 175 mile per hour wind speed?

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Vishal: Yes, the answer is yes. We’re doing that right now; we’re doing several proposals for some projects in the Caribbean. And there are 175, 180 miles per hour winds. The loads play into the size of the members that we use and the size of the foundation. But if you have a project and a heavy wind zone like that, we’re happy to look at it and provide you with a proposal.

What’s your personal opinion on water management in the North-East versus no water management?

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Will snow sitting on the modules melt fast and refreeze on the ground or the cars below?

Nick: Yes, so, typically most carports are carports. They’re not buildings, they’re not garages, they’re typically there to provide some kind of shading to try to get the cars out of the elements. But for those projects that are concerned about snow thawing out, whole icicles, stalactites, so to speak, coming down and possibly injuring pedestrians or cars, that’s when we start talking about having a corrugated roof membrane as well, or just rubber gaskets, and cutting, limiting or preventing all icicles from forming.

So great question, we’ve done those in Massachusetts where the electrical company wanted to do a solar carport and they wanted to use it for their trucks and their buses and such, and they didn’t want icicles to form. So, they used the rubber gasket formula, and we ended up designing it, did some gutters and some downspouts as well, and helped minimize any of the icicle build-up. It’s an option, it’s project-by-project, and helps design and engineer the best solution for your project.

What is the typical length of the purlins? Or what is the length of the purlins?

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Nick: Yes, I’ll take that one. It’s again, it’s job-specific, so it depends on what lengths to accommodate, what panels we’re going to, you’re going to be using on your job. How far are we standing. So, they could be anywhere from 30 to 45 footers, so, depends on your project.

How do you attach the panels if you have roof decking under the panels for water routing?

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Nick:  Not quite sure. If you put a roof decking on the structure and we do have L-brackets and clips, and rails that attach to the top of the actual roof decking. That way it will have the space gap between there for airflow.

Absolutely, we could provide some cut sheets to show you exactly how they’re attached. So, just send over your request, and we’ll show you the cut sheets, so it’d be a purlins roof decking, and we have the L-foot and L-brackets that we attach, and the rails will go on that.

Vishal: Yes, exactly so we’ve done a couple of things. When you have a roof deck, we’ve built, rail system on top of the roof deck, and we can get gutters, and downspouts, et cetera, and if you want to do it a little more cost-efficiently, we- you do a direct bolt and then you can attach roof panels underneath.

It is a solution. The only-the only downside to that is, obviously, when you have to do any ONM or maintenance, you- you would have to remove the-that roof decking to-to access the panels. But, again, we’ll work with you and show you both-both options, and-and-and take it from there.

Is torsional galloping an issue at low tilts? Like it is with stow trackers?

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Not with our structure, not that we’ve seen, because we are building a very robust structure here that’s supporting the modules. Trackers are the design. Philosophy is entirely different. It’s generally designed for when the loads get high – it’s going to snow, or it’s, one direction or another. I don’t think we’re going to have that issue. We can definitely discuss with you in more detail.

Do you have a presence in Europe?

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No, we don’t have a presence in Europe today. However, we would love to, so if you have ideas let’s definitely discuss.

If anyone has any more questions you can feel free to add them in the comments. Our contact information is on the screen, please reach out. We’re happy to answer your questions, we’re happy to work with you through your projects, we are very excited about this product. And the feedback so far has been very great and so I’m very excited to get working with you guys on upcoming projects.

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