On March 17th another high wind winter storm blew through the Wasatch Front in Utah, the latest of at least five since November. While roof damage is commonplace, one home's solar panels and roofing material remain perfectly secure due to the engineered solar racking system provided by TRA-Mage.
March 17, 2012 brought the latest of five destructive winter storms to Northern Utah with winds clocked at 50 - 100 MPH, causing damage in many communities. While Wendell and Nola Child's neighbors scramble to fix the damage, they are amazed that their new solar racking design kept their solar panels perfectly secure.
In late 2011, the Childs decided to put solar panels on their house in Fruit Heights, Utah. "When I was negotiating the deal with Progressive Power Solutions, I told them that we can have winds here of up to 100 MPH. So, however they installed the panels, I didn't want them to come off," recalls Wendell. Progressive Power Solutions selected the TRA-Mage solar mounting system which was engineered to withstand hurricane force winds.
Little did Wendell know how seriously his new solar panel system would be tested. Winds of 100 MPH created projectiles of shingles, tiles, and soffits, but the Childs' solar panels didn't move. Some schools closed, cars and homes were crushed by trees, and residents were injured. One day 50,000 people lost power and vehicles toppled over on nearby Interstate 15. That storm caused damage serious enough for the region to be deemed a Federal Disaster Area.
Neighbors watched out their windows, worrying if they would be in the path of the solar panels when they blew off. But Wendell and Nola's solar racking, panels and roofing material never did blow off. Their flag pole ended up at an angle, and according to Wendell it looked like "the Leaning Tower of Pisa," but the Childs' home weathered each storm with only a small piece of aluminum soffit becoming dislodged.
"After one storm, Nola didn't realize the power had gone off during the night," Wendell remembers. "She got up, got dressed, got ready, and the lights worked fine. We had power like normal because of the back-up battery system and the solar panels on top that allowed us to have power. The neighbors had no power and they were wondering why we had lights on. They were on because the panels were still up there just like nothing happened!"
As neighbors reroof their damaged homes and winter morphs into spring, the Childs' solar panels and roof need no repair. Wendell and Nola are grateful they had carefully researched integrators before settling on Progressive Power Solutions and the TRA-Mage system for their home. "I am so thrilled that it worked. We couldn't be more pleased."
TRA-Mage, Inc. manufactures solar racking for all types of solar panels, roof snow retention devices and flexible roof flashings. They provide free engineering of their roof systems for all projects, big and small.
Progressive Power Solutions (PPS) is a qualified licensed electrical contractor with years of experience installing and servicing renewable energy systems in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and California.
For more information on TRA-Mage and how to mount solar panels, contact us at 800-606-8980 or visit sun.tra-mage.com