Posted by Brandi Casey on January 24, 2017
*IronRidge Water Tight Design
IronRidge is known as one of the solar industry’s racking manufacturers due to its high-quality components and long lifetime. By the end of 2016 IronRidge introduced their new Flashfoot2 and UFO series that were specifically designed to streamline the installation process, and provide easy grounding and water sealing capabilities. Their unique designs work seamlessly with the established XR series to ensure a strong, secure and easy installation process that should be adopted by Do-It-Yourself installers and installation companies.
The new Flashfoot2 series offers a unique water sealing design that is then completed with a twist on cap. The three-tier design that starts with an elevated platform that diverts water way from the point of installation. Adding a ring of sealant around the drilling site is no longer a requirement. The design with its use of component stacking raises the seal an inch. The seal completes the water sealant by fully encapsulating the stack of components. The design offers a unique opportunity for installers to reassure homeowners that they will not have to worry about leaks caused by drilling on their roof. The FF2 series truly offers a design that meets and exceeds the standards for a truly water-tight design. As of this articles post, the FF2 flashings are, impressively, the only design to pass the strict TAS-100 Wind-Driven Rain Test. The all in one design further ensures that the rails and lag bolt are aligned in a concrete load path. Overall the set-up rail-to-lag offset results in stronger attachments for the system, and takes out unnecessary steps and components in their previous and competitors systems.
*IronRidge FF2 Flashing
For easy alignment, Flashfoot 2 comes equipped with alignment markers, that can easily be set to chalk designs. If chalk is not used in the installation, the clear makers provide a guide that many installers will enjoy. While we still recommend making a clear map of racking components to ensure complete alignment, the markers are a simple touch that shows that IronRidge kept the end user in mind when they were designing the system. The alignment markers further effectively help installers to find pilot holes, and prevent instances of unnecessary drilling. Rounded corners further make it easier to handle and insert under roof shingles; and the reinforcement ribs stiffen flashings to prevent bending and crinkling during the installation process. IronRidge has further attempted to make their racking installations easier to accomplish by designing their system on a single socket design, which allows installers to complete your installation with the same 7/16” socket size used on other components. This cuts out the need for numerous tools to be carried to the roof top and makes your installation team work more effectively and ahead of schedule with more confidence. For a video overview of the new series see IronRidge’s video.
Their UFO series is
one hundred percent compatible with both the FF2 flashings and XR rails, which
saves installers from having to substitute rails that they may already carry on
hand. The UFO series helps installers by first eliminating the need for
separate components such as grounding hardware and bonding straps, which can be
easily misplaced or cumbersome on the job site due to their small size. The
design bonds solar modules directly to XR rails and is listed to UL 2703
standards. The hardware forms a secure electrical bond with both the module and
the rail, and results in many parallel grounding paths throughout the system.
The parallel grounding is an entirely new concept that is ground breaking in
solar racking. In this regard, IronRidge may be setting a new industry standing
in the grounding capabilities of racking components. In the coming years, it
will be interesting to see how their new grounding technology affects the
industry, we further believe that this design will further help concerned
homeowners regarding electrical shortages on their investment. When properly
explained, the parallel grounding of the entire system seems nearly fool proof.
Finally, one grounding lug connects an entire row, bonded attachments attaches
and bonds the L-foot to the rail. The new series make for a compact design that
eliminates unnecessary parts and further drives down the cost to installers and
homeowners which add to their already beneficial design. To find out more about
the UFO’s design check out their
The UFO and FF2
series further work with the XR rails with strength in mind. The XR rails work
in numerous locations and boast three designs to meet environmental specific
requirements. From low-profile mounting for regions with light or no snow, to
areas with heavy snow and wind loads, the rails are specifically designed to
withstand the environmental demands of the roof it is installed on. The curved
design of the rail is unique to IronRidge and ensures greater security during
extreme weather and longer lifetime. The force-stabilizing curve provides
strength against both vertical and lateral forces and resists twisting.
When used together, the unique features of IronRidge work to streamline the installation process and work for the environmental requirements of the roof on which the solar system is being installed. Their unique features also work to ground the system and enhance system performance. In the upcoming years we will be very interested to watch statistics on system performance, and feedback from the installation community on the features of IronRidge’s product designs.