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Case Study: Custom Caster Design for High Rise Solar Panels

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An engineering services firm had a challenging task. They needed to design a rig that would enable someone to change large solar panel tiles. Where did this need to be done? Well, on top of a skyscraper, naturally.

Since these solar panel tiles are exposed to the elements, they can break or become delaminated, hindering their ability to operate effectively, so they may need to be changed. To make things more difficult, these solar panels are set at a 30° angle facing the sun and weigh over 100 lbs. The engineering services firm designed a rig with a hoist (think a crane on a cart) that would roll down on the solar panel to replace tiles, however, they needed casters to support the weight of the tiles while also dissipating the pressure on the casters so the panels would not be dama`ged while replacing others.

The engineering firm contacted Caster Concepts when performing a Google search for the custom caster design.

The engineers at Caster Concepts worked with the firm to design a top plate with its own swivel section that could also support three casters with dual pneumatic wheels.

The design was successful in that it reduced resistance and made maneuvering with the panels much easier. When you’re hundreds of feet in the air on a downward angle, easy maneuvering is much appreciated. The engineering services firm was able to put the Caster Concepts cart to work, but more importantly, they were able to help keep the solar panels in working condition and the building tenants happy.

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