SALT Energy recently completed a rooftop solar array at the Ocean Reef Club on the northernmost tip of Key Largo in the Florida Keys. Ocean Reef Club is a private club community offering 1,700 waterfront estates, private homes, condominiums and an oceanfront inn.

Credit: S-5!

On the grounds of the resort is a 6,400-sq-ft reverse osmosis water plant featuring 58 kW of solar PV along with an SMA solar inverter. The solar installation is predicted to save the resort on average $1,000 per month on its electric bills.

The club is located on a private peninsula beside America’s only living reef, bound on three sides by water and on the fourth side by federal and state lands. The area is subject to 180 mph, Category 5 hurricane winds, making installation of a low-profile, roof-mounted system essential.

Using the only south-facing roof available, SALT Energy installed 132 SunPower A-Series 440-W modules to maximize the solar output in the space allotted. The modules were secured to the Dean Steel Building Rib-12 roof using the S-5-PVKIT 2.0 solar mounting solution along with S-5!’s RibBracket III.

SALT Energy was challenged with installing the solar adjacent to the local airport’s runway (just 150 ft away) so a glint and glare analysis was required. The findings and resulting action items from this assessment would ensure the reflection produced by the solar PV would not visually impact pilots or air-traffic controllers.

Credit: S-5!

“SALT Energy serves the most demanding market in the U.S. and the Caribbean for solar installations due to projects in High-Velocity Hurricane Zones and coastal exposure by the Atlantic Ocean — our design wind load requirements are the highest in the U.S.,” said David Kaul, operations and engineering director, SALT Energy. “Together, the S-5! products provided a low-profile design solution with minimal equipment on the roof to achieve a design strong enough to withstand the area’s high wind loads. With a fully engineered design, three to five module clamps per side depending on wind zone of the roof (six to 10 points of attachment per module), 15% of the dead load of rail-mounting, and more uniform wind load distribution to the roof structure, this array welcomes any Category 5 Hurricane challenge.”

The Ocean Reef Club hosts a range of amenities, including a spa and salon, medical center, grocery store, cooking school, nature and cultural centers, an independent school and a private airport.

News item from S-5!

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