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Solar Panel Collapses Continue at Teaneck Schools

Canopy falls at Benjamin Franklin Middle School Thursday morning.

Solar panels fall outside Bryant School last weekend.
Solar panels fall outside Bryant School last weekend.
Solar panels fell Thursday morning outside Benjamin Franklin Middle School, just days after three large panels came down at Bryant School over the weekend.

The solar panel at Benjamin Franklin School collapsed at about 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Parking had been suspended under the canopy after snow brought down three panels Saturday night at Bryant School, trapping about 10 vehicles but caused no injuries.

Teaneck officials on Tuesday met with architects, engineers and construction personnel who installed the solar canopies at Teaneck schools and at Eugene Field, according to a message posted Wednesday on the district website.

"The district has mandated that two things happen simultaneously: the removal of collapsed solar panels from Bryant School parking lot/retrieval of trapped vehicles and the determination of cause for the collapse at Bryant," Superintendent Barbara Pinsak wrote in the message.

The district also closed walkways under the solar canopies at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Hawthorne School although preliminary reports indicated no issues at those locations, the superintendent said.
Art Vatsky February 21, 2014 at 02:55 AM
Again, like the collapse at Bryant school, this looks like a design failure. I suspect that bolts are too few or too small in diameter to handle the snow/wind load in addition to the structure load. Once properly repaired should not happen again.
Teaneck_Resident February 21, 2014 at 06:03 AM
"The determination of cause for the collapse at Bryant," Superintendent Barbara Pinsak wrote in the message. Well I can answer the second part of the question for Barbara Pinsak . It's called buying junk and just barely passable engineering. Duh....
Jonathan Voga February 21, 2014 at 07:06 AM
Steps to correct Within the next 2 days 1)Remove the snow immediately. 2)temporarily shore up ALL solor panels to prevent another collapse. 3)use a new structural engineer to find the problem and solution. It Looks like the bolts installed were not embedded deep enough into the concrete bases. A company was removing ice from the solor panels at BF on Sunday and only removed a small portion of the snow and ice.
Jacob February 21, 2014 at 12:13 PM
@Art - Could this be another Streetscape fiasco? We hope you'll follow up on this like you did on Cedar Lane.
jackie miller February 21, 2014 at 03:50 PM
The only act of GOD was God prevented anyone from being hurt! Thanks Art for all you do!
Mike Butler February 21, 2014 at 07:26 PM
Does anyone happen to know who did the design / install? I would think we should be finding that out and reviewing other installations from the same developer/epc/installer.
Mike Butler February 21, 2014 at 09:15 PM
Looks like a partnership between Home Depot and EZNGRY. Here is a link to the program website: http://www.eznergy.com/uploads/Home_Depot-US_Communities_Trade_Show_Handout.pdf I would think all of these canopy / car ports would get inspected?
Lou, Teaneck Resident February 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM
a gallon of Water weighs 8.5 lbs: a 12 X 12 panel with a foot of Wet Snow (144 cu ft) Must withstand Several *TONS* of Force!! the Dumb bastards in Teaneck can *NOT* figure this out?!?!? PS: a panel covered with snow generates *ZERO* Power!?!?! Cheap Crap made in china... Tear them *ALL* Down, Before someone gets Killed!!
jackie miller February 22, 2014 at 01:20 PM
Is Hudson solar energy the company who installed these panels?

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