The biggest competitor for Green Link Eco-Engineering’s KnuckleHead line of rooftop supports is wooden blocks. These have been a traditional solution for raising HVAC units off roofs, but while they are cheap, they often are subject to deterioration. As wood blocks break down, they create debris that often gets pulled into a system. They also require metal fasteners that can find their way into HVAC systems.
“We’re working hard to replace the old and rotten wood,” said Dan Olinger, Green Link’s president.
The KnuckleHead line is molded from weatherproof reinforced nylon. Because they are molded parts, they can be ground down and recycled. None have undergone this process yet, Olinger said, since they are new and come with a 20-year warranty. This means the support system will outlast most of the units mounted on them.
The other advantage of KnuckleHeads is their stability. The newest line comes with a kit to hold mini splits. When these units are placed on wood blocks, they often blow over. KnuckleHeads are fully adjustable, so any unit will fit. In snowy states, it can be elevated from 6 inches to 24 inches. Olinger said 18 inches is standard.
The KnuckleHead system has been around for years, but in the last three years, Green Link shifted from a line that was static to one that was adjustable and versatile. This was a direct response to contractor feedback, Olinger said.
“We traveled to the trade shows and listened to the contractors about what they didn’t like and what they needed,” he said.
Green Link offers a range of support systems for various industries, including solar. This helps contractors looking to expand their services, since they can use familiar products. For larger products, there are four holes for screws that can attach to the deck. When doing that, contractors need to use Green Link’s adhesive, which acts as a sealant. Lisa Mulder, Green Link’s vice president of technical service and product development, said the adhesive offers 300 percent elongation, so it will move without breaking the bond. Mulder said it adheres to a wide range of roofing membranes, including EPDM, PVC, and granulated modified bitumen. It comes in white and grey.
The latest application from Green Link is a patented magnetic product that consists of four neodymium magnets. It can be placed on rooftops and will provide both a tight connection and the ability to move it if necessary. Olinger said the company is testing the product at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where it is being used to hold solar panels in place on a rubber roof. When the roof needs to be replaced in a few years, the panels can be moved during the process and put back into place.
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