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Up on the Roof and Securing Solar Panels

Since you’re reading this blog, you likely know that VELCRO® Brand products are ubiquitous – they’re used by consumers, brands and manufacturers in everything from grass seed packaging to stylish ottomans and clutches, connecting medical equipment and monitors to patients, and securing containers and boxes during transportation.

However, we’re also involved in some heavy-duty connections (and no, not the celebrity kind of connections). Recently, nearly 6.5 miles (34,537 feet or 10,527 linear meters) of our hook-and-loop technology were used to affix 3,200 solar panels at a 30 degree angle onto a factory roof.

At the end of 2013, General Membrane – a leading manufacturer of waterproofing membranes – installed the solar panel system, helping to generate 800kW of energy to power the factory, naturally. General Membrane worked with Velcro Industries to create a solution called General Fix that could adhere the panels to the waterproof roof, without puncturing the roof or adding weight to the roof (General Fix only weighs 2kg/m2). The system was tested at the Polytechnic University of Milan’s wind gallery to ensure optimal resistance to wind extraction on rooftops. Since General Fix eliminated the need to create holes in the roof, it helps to minimize leaks from rain and keeps the roof in better condition, for longer.

While the mechanism behind the General Fix bonding system is the same as the hook-and-loop that you might use to attach a calendar to a wall, this application is a true breakthrough in heavy-duty fastening. The loop portion of the system features an adhesive bituminous membrane while the hook section includes a sturdy aluminum backing.

This massive solar panel installation is the first of a large number of installations planned for Italy and central Europe that used this heavy-duty, ultra-light, hook –and-loop technology.

Tell us in the comments below: what else do you think could benefit from General Fix?

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