Installation Preparation, including 3M™ VHB™ Tape Applications
SolaTrim® Solar System Protection is the most effective and easy-to-install residential solar system protection solution and finishing skirt on the market.
Only three tools are needed for the job:
- Metal shears to cut .024” thick aluminum
- Tape measure and a clean cotton cloth.
- Scribe with a white or yellow marker is helpful but optional.
Only three easy steps are required for SolaTrim installation success:
- Plan Ahead
Watch the weather forecast and plan your installation jobs accordingly. Ideal application temperatures for SolaTrim are between 50℉ – 85℉ (10℃ – 30℃). SolaTrim cannot be applied at temperatures above 105℉ (40.5℃ ) or below 40℉ (4℃ ). Attempts to install SolaTrim above or below these temperature guidelines may result in unsatisfactory adhesion.For best results, store the SolaTrim product in a climate-controlled area, between 45°F to 100°F (7°C to 38°C) and 0-95% relative humidity. Under these conditions, the SolaTrim adhesive should retain its properties for up to 24 months. SolaTrim is best used when stored at room temperature before application, so avoid leaving the sections exposed on a job site or stored in a truck bed overnight in cold weather.
- Prepare the Surface
Make sure the solar module frames are free of dust and debris. Use the Polywater® ACE-1L wipes to prepare the frames for SolaTrim’s peel and stick adhesive. Each wipe should be adequate to prepare 10-20 feet of module frames. The acetone will dry quickly.
- Apply with the right pressure
When applying SolaTrim material, start at the corners of the array and work toward the center. Wherever possible, place full-length sections of SolaTrim material on the corner edges of the modules. Check the piece for proper fit before peeling off the adhesive. Remember, SolaTrim pieces do not need to make contact with the roof surface. It’s perfectly acceptable to have a 1/8” to 1/4” gap and still provide protection.After checking the fit, remove the adhesive strip and press the SolaTrim piece against the module frame. Apply pressure with hands along the length of the frame or rub the frame with cotton cloth with pressure to help the adhesive foam conform to the frame surface. SolaTrim skirting will stay in place immediately but will achieve lasting adhesion in about an hour.
3MTM VHBTM Tape Applications
3MTM VHBTM tape is pressure-activated and requires a minimum of 15 lbs. PSI for the adhesive to “wet out” and achieve the strongest bond. While this PSI threshold can be reached manually under normal conditions, a laminate roller (“J roller”) should be used in colder weather to increase the pressure on the SolaTrim adhesive to ensure adequate adhesive activation coverage over the solar module frame.
According to 3M guidelines, the bond strength after application will increase as the adhesive flows onto the surface. At room temperature, approximately 50% of the ultimate strength will be achieved after 20 minutes, 90% after 24 hours and 100% after 72 hours.
As you can see, planning ahead and working from the center in manageable sections will make SolaTrim your most profitable residential solar pest, debris barrier, and finishing skirt option. The installation is designed to allow you to move on to the next job quickly.
Reach out to SolarTrim at www.SolaTrim.com to learn more and find a SolaTrim distributor in your area.