Founded in 1959, Kern Steel Fabrication has long been one of the leading steel fabrication companies in the country. As part of their commitment to innovation and exceeding client expectations, the company branched off into solar structures in 2016 with the launch of Kern Solar Structures. We have featured their structures many times over the years but wanted to provide a feature for their work on the solar industry.
Today, Kern Solar Structures produces a variety of solar products, including a residential solar carport.
About Kern Solar Structures
Kern Solar Structures was launched in 2016 as a unit of Kern Steel Fabrication. The company is licensed by the city of Los Angeles and the state of California to manufacture structural steel. They are also certified by the AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction).
Kern Solar Structures produces its products using environmentally friendly materials and manufacturing processes. Kern Steel Fabrication, their parent company, uses solar energy to power the entire fabrication process, including:
- Material handling
Additionally, the company uses steel that is made from 88% recycled material and minimizes waste to further reduce their environmental impact.
Kern’s Residential Solar Carport Structures
Kern Solar Structures has made solar carports accessible to the everyday homeowner. Their Resi-PorT product is one of the first solar carport kits to be made available from a commercial structure provider.
The Resi-PorT provides homeowners with an additional option for solar power generation using the same technology used in commercial settings.
These carports feature the following:
- Hollow structural steel tubing
- High-strength aluminum extrusions
- High durability
- Solar Speed RaX (the company’s solar racking system)
- Two canopy configurations: Peak and Plateau S
Resi-PorTs are designed to be easy to install, making them an excellent choice for residential installation.
Solar Speed RaX makes these carports compatible with a wide range of PV Modules. The company recommends using Tier 1 modules, but the system is compatible with many widely produced modules.
Maximum and minimum dimensions are as follows:
- Length: 76” minimum; 82” maximum
- Width: 36” minimum; 39-3/8” maximum
- Height: 1.26” minimum; 1.81” maximum
Kern’s residential solar carports are pre-designed and pre-engineered to meet conditions in California. Currently, the company is working on creating pre-engineered packages for other locations.
The ordering process is quick and easy. Kern will generate a pre-engineered package in as little as a day after an order is made.
Solar Speed RaX
Kern Solar Structures’ Resi-PorT is easy to install thanks in large part to the company’s Solar Speed RaX system. The rack system allows for a secure and straightforward way to install your solar carport.
The rack system is intuitively designed so that installers can work from underneath the structure rather than from up top. Not only does this make the installation quicker and more efficient, but it also reduces the risk of damage to the PV Modules.
The Solar Speed RaX system also features a built-in wire management system that allows for easier cable management.
The solar rack system plays a vital role in the solar carport’s design and installation. The system is:
- High-strength and highly durable
- Designed to span the entire length of the frame
- Fabricated to provide a high level of long-lasting support
Let’s take a closer look at how this system works:
- Insertion Rail System: Solar Speed RaX uses an insertion rail system that allows you to install from underneath. Modules are installed in a labyrinth pattern. To remove the modules, you must follow the same path.
- Clamping: The modules and rail system are securely fastened using tie-down bolts. As each bolt is tightened, it pulls the rail down. Finally, the module is clamped on the top and bottom of the frame.
- Endcaps for Safety: Rail end caps are fastened at both ends for extra security. The end caps grab the top rail and keep it in place once it’s clamped into position. In addition, the caps help prevent the top rail from releasing.
These components work together to ensure that the solar carport is durable, long-lasting and secure. It also speeds up installation, allowing homeowners to start enjoying the benefits of their carport much more quickly.
More Than Just a Carport
Kern Solar Structures’ Resi-PorT features a simple design that makes installing and producing solar power easy. It’s more than just a carport and can easily be integrated into a home’s current solar system.
While it’s designed for use as a car covering, Resi-PorTs are free-standing structures that can be placed virtually anywhere. They don’t rely on any other nearby structures for support, which makes them highly versatile. Kern Solar Structures’ Resi-PorTs can even be used as shade structures to cover patios or other outdoor areas.
Resi-PorTs provide homeowners with yet another solution for generating solar energy. Kern Solar Structures has created a simple solar carport that is easy to install and easily accessible to anyone wanting to increase their solar power generation. The added versatility of the Resi-PorT being a freestanding structure makes this product even more appealing.