June 2009
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A rooftop solar power system installed on the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, N.J., features nearly 13,500 monocrystalline solar panels that cover about 85 percent of the 480,000-square-foot roof surface. The 2.37-megawatt rooftop solar power system will produce up to 26 percent of the convention center's annual electricity requirements.

Before the solar power system was installed, Thomas Co. Inc., Atlantic City, cleaned and re-covered the 12-year-old smooth-surfaced polymer-modified bitumen roof system with a white reflective EverGuard® TPO membrane from GAF Materials Corp., Wayne N.J. Agawam, Mass.-based OMG Roofing Products' OlyBond 500 was used to attach the insulation to the roof deck.

"Because the roof was going to house a solar array system, the owners wanted a white, reflective roof system to help minimize rooftop temperatures and produce better solar panel performance," says Jim Hagel Jr., senior project manager and estimator for Thomas Co. "The roof system was installed according to FM 1-90 requirements, and OMG Roofing Products' OlyBond500 was the starting point for the project. We used 250 sets of the adhesive to adhere 3/8-inch Securock® cover board to the existing polymer-modified bitumen roof."

After the Securock base was installed, Thomas Co.'s 23-person crew fully adhered the EverGuard® TPO membrane to complete the system.

A series of exhaust fans and several large air-handling units required time-consuming detail work during the project. Drill-Tec Impact Locking Nails were used to enhance the fastening pattern around the roof's perimeter.

The project was completed in three months. The solar panels will prevent an estimated release of more than 2,300 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere-equivalent to removing 390 cars from the road or reducing oil consumption by nearly 5,000 barrels per year.

"We were pleased to be involved with this historic project," Hagel says. "You don't often get the opportunity to install a roof system of this magnitude or importance, so when it comes along, it always is special."

The Atlantic City Convention Center's rooftop solar system is the largest roof-mounted, grid-connected rooftop solar system in the U.S.

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