Title:
Sloped Roof Safety System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The subject matter of this specification can be implemented in, among other things, a roofing system includes a sloped roof structure extending from a lower elevation area that is accessible from a lower edge of the sloped roof structure, and extending to a higher elevation area. The system further includes an elongate rail structure attached to the sloped roof structure, the elongate rail structure extending from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area. The system further includes an attachment mechanism that slides along and is securely attached to the elongate rail structure, the attachment mechanism includes an attachment structure for securely tethering the person to the elongate rail structure to prevent the attached person from falling off the sloped roof structure, and so that when the attached person travels from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area the attachment mechanism slides along the elongate rail structure while maintaining the secure tethering of the person to the elongate rail structure.



Inventors:
Golden, Edward W. (Monroe, WA, US)
Felske, Brian B. (Monroe, WA, US)
Stewart, Kenneth J. (Mukilteo, WA, US)
Stewart, Kirk D. (Everett, WA, US)
Stewart, Lester H. (Snohomish, WA, US)
Application Number:
12/503579
Publication Date:
01/21/2010
Filing Date:
07/15/2009
Assignee:
Convenient Safety Systems, Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/745.06
International Classes:
E04G3/28; E04B1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Foreign References:
DE3728282A11988-03-10
WO2002074389A22002-09-26
GB2373537A2002-09-25
GB2373537B2005-09-07
Primary Examiner:
BRADFORD, CANDACE L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DEAN A. CRAINE (BELLEVUE, WA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A roofing system comprising: a sloped roof structure extending from a lower elevation area that is accessible from a lower edge of the sloped roof structure, and extending to a higher elevation area; an elongate rail structure attached to the sloped roof structure, the elongate rail structure extending from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area; an attachment mechanism that slides along and is securely attached to the elongate rail structure, the attachment mechanism including an attachment structure for securely tethering the person to the elongate rail structure to prevent the attached person from falling off the sloped roof structure, and so that when the attached person travels from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area the attachment mechanism slides along the elongate rail structure while maintaining the secure tethering of the person to the elongate rail structure.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the elongate rail comprises latch points and the attachment mechanism comprises a latch adapted to allow the attachment mechanism to move past each latch point when the attachment mechanism is moved toward the higher elevation area and to prevent unintended movement of the attachment mechanism past each latch point while the latch is engaged.

3. The system of claim 1, further comprising an elongate traction structure parallel to the elongate rail for giving the attached person additional traction when the attached person travels from one elevation area to another elevation area.

4. The system of claim 3, wherein the elongate traction structure comprises a plurality of handholds, footholds, or a combination thereof.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the elongate rail is within three feet of the lower edge of the sloped roof structure.

6. The system of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the elongate rail extends to within six inches of the lower edge of the sloped roof structure.

7. The system of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the elongate rail extends to within three feet of a ridge line of the sloped roof structure.

8. The system of claim 1, wherein the elongate rail is attached to one or more structural members below a surface of the roof.

9. The system of claim 8, further comprising a plurality of support pieces that are affixed to the elongate rail and to at least one support rafter.

10. The system of claim 1, further comprising fluid distribution conduit for distributing a liquid over a surface of the sloped roof structure.

11. A method of constructing a roof structure, the method comprising: providing a sloped roof structure that extends from a lower elevation area that is accessible from a lower edge of the sloped roof structure, and that extends to a higher elevation area, the sloped roof structure comprising support rafters upon which a roofing surface is provided; affixing a rail structure to the rafters of the sloped roof structures, the rail structure comprising support pieces that are affixed to the rafters and an elongate rail affixed to the support pieces, wherein the rail structure is affixed to the rafters so that the elongate rail extends parallel to and above the roofing surface and further extends from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the support pieces are attached to the rafters before the roofing surface is provided.

13. The method of claim 11, wherein the roofing surface is provided before the elongate rail is attached to the support pieces.

14. A method for safely ascending a sloped roof comprising: climbing to a position adjacent to a lower edge of the sloped roof structure, the sloped roof structure extending from a lower elevation area that is accessible from the lower edge of the sloped roof structure, and extending to a higher elevation area; fastening a tether from an object to an attachment mechanism that slides along and is securely attached to an elongate rail structure, the elongate rail structure attached to the sloped roof structure and extending from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area; and traveling the object from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area such that as the object travels, the attachment mechanism slides along the elongate rail structure toward the higher elevation area, wherein the attachment mechanism prevents the object from falling off of the sloped roof structure by latching at one or more latch points along the elongate rail structure.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority under 35 USC §119(e) (1) to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 61/080,954, filed on Jul. 15, 2008, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to a safety device for a sloped roof and a method for securely ascending and/or descending a sloped roof.

BACKGROUND

Roof safety systems prevent a person, such as an installer, painter, window washer, plumber, HVAC, chimney sweep, pest controller, inspector, maintenance person, homeowner and others from falling off of a roof. Roof safety systems generally have one or more attachment locations at the ridge or uppermost portions of the roof, depending on roof construction and style. By being tethered to the attachment location using a lanyard/safety line, the person is prevented from falling off of the roof. A person can secure him or herself, or another object, to the attachment location by ascending the roof and fastening a lanyard/safety line to the attachment location. A person can detach him or herself, or another object, from the attachment location by unfastening the object's lanyard/safety line from the attachment location and descending the roof. A roof is typically accessed from the top of a ladder at the gutter line. Because the attachment location is often fixed at the top of the roof, the person must make the initial ascent and final descent without any lanyard/safety line attachment to the attachment location.

SUMMARY

In general, this document describes a roof safety system. In a first aspect, a roofing system includes a sloped roof structure extending from a lower elevation area that is accessible from a lower edge of the sloped roof structure, and extending to a higher elevation area. The system further includes an elongate rail structure attached to the sloped roof structure, the elongate rail structure extending from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area. The system further includes an attachment mechanism that slides along and is securely attached to the elongate rail structure, the attachment mechanism includes an attachment structure for securely tethering the person to the elongate rail structure to prevent the attached person from falling off the sloped roof structure, and so that when the attached person travels from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area the attachment mechanism slides along the elongate rail structure while maintaining the secure tethering of the person to the elongate rail structure.

Implementations can include any, all, or none of the following features. The elongate rail can include latch points and the attachment mechanism can include a latch adapted to allow the attachment mechanism to move past each latch point when the attachment mechanism can be moved toward the higher elevation area and to prevent movement of the attachment mechanism past each latch point while the latch is engaged. The system can include an elongate traction structure parallel to the elongate rail for giving the attached person additional traction when the attached person travels from one elevation area to another elevation area. The elongate traction structure can include a plurality of handholds, footholds, or a combination thereof. At least a portion of the elongate rail can be within three feet of the lower edge of the sloped roof structure. At least a portion of the elongate rail extends to within six inches of the lower edge of the sloped roof structure. At least a portion of the elongate rail extends to within three feet of a ridge line of the sloped roof structure. The elongate rail can be attached to one or more structural members below a surface of the roof. The system can include a plurality of support pieces that can be affixed to the elongate rail and to at least one support rafter. The system can include fluid distribution conduit for distributing a liquid over a surface of the sloped roof structure.

In a second aspect, a method of constructing a roof structure, the method includes providing a sloped roof structure that extends from a lower elevation area that is accessible from a lower edge of the sloped roof structure, and that extends to a higher elevation area, the sloped roof structure includes support rafters upon which a roofing surface is provided. The method further includes affixing a rail structure to the rafters of the sloped roof structures, the rail structure includes support pieces that are affixed to the rafters and an elongate rail affixed to the support pieces. The rail structure is affixed to the rafters so that the elongate rail extends parallel to and above the roofing surface and further extends from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area.

Implementations can include any, all, or none of the following features. The support pieces can be attached to the rafters before the roofing surface is provided. The roofing surface can be provided before the elongate rail is attached to the support pieces.

In a third aspect, a method for safely ascending a sloped roof includes climbing to a position adjacent to a lower edge of the sloped roof structure, the sloped roof structure extending from a lower elevation area that is accessible from the lower edge of the sloped roof structure, and extending to a higher elevation area. The method further includes fastening a tether from an object to an attachment mechanism that slides along and is securely attached to an elongate rail structure, the elongate rail structure attached to the sloped roof structure and extending from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area. The method further includes traveling the object from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area such that as the object travels, the attachment mechanism slides along the elongate rail structure toward the higher elevation area. The attachment mechanism prevents the object from falling off of the sloped roof structure by latching at one or more latch points along the elongate rail structure.

The systems and techniques described here may provide one or more of the following advantages. First, a roof safety system can prevent a person from falling off of a roof while the person is moving up or down the roof. Second, a sloped roof safety system can be made accessible to and from a ladder or other roof entry/access point adjacent to a lower edge of the roof. Third, a sloped roof safety system can allow for the attachment of a lanyard/safety line between the person and an attachment location before the person mounts the surface of the roof (e.g., while the person remains on a ladder). Fourth, a sloped roof safety system can be made accessible to and from a safety attachment point at the ridge or other upper portion of a roof. Fifth, a sloped roof safety system can remain in place on a roof after work or other access to the roof is complete, thereby remaining usable by subsequent persons needing access to the roof in the future. Sixth, a sloped roof safety system can provide a tie-off point for securing a ladder to prevent it from shifting or falling over while a person is stepping off of or onto the ladder.

The details of one or more embodiments of the sloped roof safety system are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, objects, and advantages of the sloped roof safety system will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A shows an example of a sloped roof safety system for securing a person or an object moving up or down a sloped roof.

FIG. 1B shows an example of a sloped roof safety system that includes handholds and footholds, which can be used, for example, on a steeply pitched roof.

FIG. 1C shows an example cross-section of a sloped roof safety system that has handholds and footholds, which can be used, for example, on a steeply pitched roof.

FIG. 2 shows an example portion of a sloped roof safety system that includes a traveling, latching, fall-arrest attachment mechanism on a rail.

FIG. 3 shows an example portion of a sloped roof safety system attached to a structural member of a roof.

FIG. 4 shows an example portion of a sloped roof safety system that includes an attachment mechanism with a latch, which provides constant fall-arrest protection.

FIG. 5 shows an example portion of a sloped roof safety system that includes a rail with multiple sections.

FIG. 6 shows an example of a sloped roof safety system that includes a combination vertical and horizontal rail, allowing both vertical and lateral movement across the roof while attached to the safety system.

FIG. 7A shows an example of a sloped roof safety system that distributes an anti-growth medium on a sloped roof.

FIG. 7B shows an example cross-section of a sloped roof safety system that includes an anti-growth medium distribution system.

Like reference symbols in the various drawings indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

This document describes a sloped roof safety system and technique for securing a person moving up or down a sloped roof. The sloped roof safety system provides secure access to a roof from the base of the roof (e.g., the ladder up location) to an attachment location at the ridge or other upper portion of roof. The sloped roof safety system prevents people from falling off of the roof while ascending from, for example, the ladder up position to the attachment position, as well as descending back to the ladder.

FIGS. 1A-C show an example of a sloped roof safety system 100 for securing a person 104 moving up or down a sloped roof 102. Particularly, the sloped roof safety system 100 prevents the object from falling off of the sloped roof 102 while the person 104 moves up or down the sloped roof 102. In other implementations, the sloped roof safety system 100 can secure other objects, such as, construction materials or tools.

The sloped roof safety system 100 secures the person 104 while the person 104 moves from a lower elevation of the sloped roof 102 to a higher elevation of the sloped roof 102, and vice versa. For example, the sloped roof safety system can secure the person 104 while the person 104 moves from a ladder 106 to one or more safety attachment points 108a-c. The safety attachment points 108a-c can be, for example, fixed position eye loops or one or more attachment points that travel across the sloped roof 102 on a track.

The sloped roof safety system 100 includes an elongate rail 110 and an attachment mechanism 112. In some implementations, the elongate rail 110 can be an I-beam, a tee bar, an angle bar, or a channel. In some implementations, the attachment mechanism 112 includes wheels or glides that allow it to travel or slide along the elongate rail 110.

The elongate rail 110 extends from a lower elevation of the sloped roof 102 to a higher elevation of the sloped roof 102. The elongate rail 110 is aligned, at least in part, along the slope of the sloped roof 102. In the example shown here, the elongate rail 110 is only aligned along the slope of the sloped roof 102. In another example, the elongate rail 110 can be aligned to travel across the sloped roof 102 while also traveling up and down along the slope of the sloped roof 102 (e.g., the elongate rail 110 can be aligned at a slant up the sloped roof 102).

The attachment mechanism 112 slides along and is securely attached to the elongate rail structure. The attachment mechanism 112 slides along the elongate rail 110 as the person 104 travels from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area of the safety system. The attachment mechanism 112 includes an attachment structure 114. The person 104 or other object to be secured, can be tethered to the attachment mechanism 112 via the attachment structure 114. For example, the person 104 may wear a safety harness 116 and fasten an end of the safety harness 116 to the attachment structure 114. The safety harness 116 can have a lanyard/tether 118 and a clasp 120. The person 104 can be fastened to the sloped roof safety system 100 by attaching the clasp 120 to the attachment structure 114. In some implementations, the ladder 106 can be secured to the elongate rail 110.

As the person 104 moves up or down the sloped roof 102, the attachment mechanism 112 travels along the elongate rail 110. Accordingly, the sloped roof safety system can maintain the secure tethering of the person to the elongate rail 110 while the person travels both from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area, and back down. As the person 104 ascends the sloped roof 102 the attachment mechanism 112 slides freely upward along the elongate rail 110, but does not unintentionally slide back down the elongate rail 110 without latching, thereby ensuring that the person 104 will not fall off the sloped roof 102 if a slip occurs.

In some implementations, the sloped roof safety system 100 can include an elongate traction structure parallel to the elongate rail 110 for giving the person 104 additional traction when the person 104 travels from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation areas. In some implementations, the elongate traction structure can have a unitary construction with the elongate rail 110, as shown. In other implementations, the elongate traction structure can be a separate structure spaced from the elongate rail 110 along a surface of the roof. The elongate traction structure can include one or more handholds/footholds 122. FIG. 1B shows an example of the sloped roof safety system 100 having a unitary structure including both the elongate rail 110 and an elongate traction structure along with the handholds/footholds 122. FIG. 1C shows an example cross-section of the sloped roof safety system 100 taken along a line from A to B. The handholds/footholds 122 assist the person 104 in moving up or down the sloped roof 102. The handholds/footholds 122 can be formed in a structure attached to the elongate rail 110. For example, a plate extending from the side of the elongate rail 110 in the plane of the sloped roof 102 can have indentations or apertures for grasping or stepping upon. In another example, individual handholds and/or footholds can extend from the side of the elongate rail 110, such as handles and steps.

In some implementations, the lower end of the elongate rail 110 is located close enough to the lower edge of the sloped roof 102 that the person 104 can reach the attachment structure 114 on the attachment mechanism 112 while remaining on the ladder 106. Conversely, the lower end of the elongate rail 110 can be located close enough to the edge of the sloped roof 102 that the person 104 can reach the ladder 106 while fastened to the attachment structure 114 on the attachment mechanism 112. In some implementations, at least a portion of the elongate rail 110 is within three feet (or other safe distance) of the lower edge of the roof. For example, a portion of the elongate rail 110 can be within six inches of the lower edge of the roof or a distance that can be reached by a person without putting the person in danger of falling off of the ladder. In some implementations, the upper end of the elongate rail 110 can be located close enough to the ridge or upper edge of the sloped roof 102 that the person 104 can reach the safety attachment point 108a while fastened to the attachment mechanism 112. Conversely, the upper end of the elongate rail 110 can be located close enough to the ridge or upper edge of the sloped roof 102 that the person 104 can reach the attachment structure 114 on the attachment mechanism 112 while fastened to the safety attachment point 108a. In some embodiments, a portion of the elongate rail can be within three feet (or other safe distance) of the ridge or upper edge of the sloped roof 102. In some embodiments, a portion of the elongate rail can be within three feet (or other safe distance) of the safety attachment point 108a. For example, the elongate rail can be within arms reach of the safety attachment point 108a.

FIG. 2 shows an example portion of a sloped roof safety system 200 that includes an attachment mechanism 202 on an elongate rail 204. The attachment mechanism 202 includes an attachment structure 206 for fastening an object to the attachment mechanism 202. The attachment mechanism 202 also includes a latch 208. The elongate rail 204 includes one or more latch points 210 along its length. The latch 208 latches on the latch points 210 as the object fastened to the attachment mechanism 202 moves up and down a roof. The sloped roof safety system 200 also includes one or more support pieces 212 for attaching the elongate rail 204 to a sloped roof.

FIG. 3 shows an example portion of a sloped roof safety system 300 attached to a structural member 304 of a roof 302. In particular, the sloped roof safety system 300 includes an elongate rail 306 and an attachment mechanism 308. The elongate rail 306 is fastened to one or more support pieces 310 for attachment to a sloped roof. As shown here, the elongate rail 306 is fastened to the support pieces 310 using multiple bolts 312. In some implementations, the elongate rail 306 is fastened to the support pieces 310 using another fastening method, such as welded joints or a unibody construction.

The support pieces 310 are fastened to the structural member 304 or to multiple structural members in the roof 302. The structural member 304 can be, for example, a rafter, a purlin, or a truss. The support pieces 310 can include two parallel plates spaced for placement against opposite sides of a structural member of the roof. The support pieces 310 can be fastened to the structural member 304 using, for example, bolts or screws.

In some implementations, one or more of the support pieces 310 can be fastened to the surface of the roof 302 as opposed to the structural member 304. In some implementations, the elongate rail 306 can be directly attached to the surface of the roof 302 without the use of the support pieces 310. Additionally, an elongate traction structure can be fastened to the roof 302 with or without the support pieces 310.

FIG. 4 is an example portion of a sloped roof safety system 400 that includes an attachment mechanism 402 that shows a latch 404a-b in engaged and released positions, respectively. As previously described, the attachment mechanism 402 slides up and down along an elongate rail 406. As the attachment mechanism 402 moves along the elongate rail 406, the latch 404a, in the engaged position, latches on one or more latch points 408.

In some implementations, the latch 404a automatically moves up and over the latch points 408 as the attachment mechanism 402 moves up the elongate rail 406 as the person travels from the lower elevation area to the higher elevation area. In some implementations, the latch 404b, in the released position, is manually disengaged when moving the attachment mechanism 402 across the latch points 408. In some implementations, the latch 404a-b has an associated spring mechanism that biases the latch 404a-b into the engaged position.

In some implementations, the attachment mechanism 402 can be removed from the elongate rail 406. For example, the attachment mechanism 402 may be removed for storage, cleaning, servicing, replacement, or repair. In some implementations, the lower and/or upper end of the elongate rail 406 includes a removable stop that allows the attachment mechanism 402 to be removed from the elongate rail 406. Alternatively, the wheels, glides, or other structures that maintain the attachment mechanism 402 on the elongate rail 406 can be removed or disengaged to remove the attachment mechanism 402 from the elongate rail 406.

FIG. 5 shows an example portion of a sloped roof safety system 500 that includes a rail with multiple sections 502a-b. In the example shown here, the sections 502a-b are fastened together by bolts through a rail-to-roof attachment structure 504. In another example, the sections 502a-b can be directly fastened together or fastened together without the use of the rail-to-roof attachment structure 504. In some implementations, the rail can be made using a unibody construction or the sections 502a-b can be welded or glued together. In some implementations, the sections 502a-b can have two different orientations. For example, the section 502a can be oriented up and down along the slope of a roof and the section 502b can be oriented from side to side (horizontally) across the roof.

FIG. 6 shows an example of a sloped roof safety system 600 that includes a horizontal rail. The sloped roof safety system 600 provides secure access to a sloped roof 602 for a person 604 accessing the sloped roof 602 from a ladder 606, for example. The sloped roof safety system 600 includes a horizontal rail 608 and a vertical rail 610. An attachment mechanism 612 can travel up and down along the vertical rail 610 and side to side along the horizontal rail 608. The vertical rail 610 and the horizontal rail 608 are joined by a curved rail 614. The curved rail 614 allows the attachment mechanism 612 to travel from the vertical rail 610 to the horizontal rail 608 and vice versa.

In the example shown here, the vertical rail 610 is aligned diagonally along a hip 616 of the sloped roof 602. In some implementations, the vertical rail 610 is only aligned or substantially aligned up and down along the slope of the sloped roof 602. For example, the vertical rail 610 can be placed along a gable 618 of the sloped roof 602 or set back from the hip 616 of the sloped roof 602. In some implementations, the vertical rail 610 can be aligned along a valley (not shown) of a sloped roof.

In some implementations, multiple rails, such as the horizontal rail 608 and the vertical rail 610, can be used to form a network of secure access across a sloped roof. For example, a sloped roof can include many ridges, hips, valleys, and gables. A network of interconnected horizontal and vertical rails can be placed along the ridges, hips, valleys, and gables to provide secure access to the various surfaces of the sloped roof.

In some implementations, the horizontal rail 608 and/or the vertical rail 610 can be placed directly at or substantially along a roof feature, such as a ridge, hip, valley, or gable. In some implementations, the horizontal rail 608 and/or the vertical rail 610 can be set back from a roof feature (as shown in FIG. 6). In some implementations, the horizontal rail 608 and/or the vertical rail 610 can be placed in a location on the sloped roof 602 irrespective of any roof feature.

FIGS. 7A-B show an example of a sloped roof safety system 700 that distributes pesticide or anti-growth material on a sloped roof 702. In some implementations, the pesticide or anti-growth material of the sloped roof safety system 700 prevents or reduces accidents due to slipping on the sloped roof 702. The sloped roof safety system 700 also provides secure access to the sloped roof 702 for a person 704 accessing the sloped roof 702 from a ladder 706, for example. The sloped roof safety system 700 includes a horizontal rail 708 and a vertical rail 710. An attachment mechanism 712 can travel along the vertical rail 710 and the horizontal rail 708.

The sloped roof safety system 700 includes a fluid distribution conduit 714. The fluid distribution conduit 714 distributes a liquid, such as an herbicide, pesticide, fungicide, moss kill, or other anti-growth medium over the sloped roof 702, as indicated by arrows 716. In some embodiments, the fluid distribution conduit 714 can distribute water as a fire retardant, a soap solution, or even a simple bleach-water mixture. The distributed liquid can remove or prevent growth of organisms, such as molds, fungi, lichen, and moss, and may be used to repel or discourage various pests. The medium can be a fluid that is applied to the sloped roof 702 as a spray, a mist, or a drip.

The fluid distribution conduit 714 can be attached to the sides of a rail, such as the horizontal rail 708, as shown in the cross-section of FIG. 7B. The fluid distribution conduit 714 can be attached to both sides of the vertical rail 710 and/or the horizontal rail 708 or a single side. In some implementations, the fluid distribution conduit 714 can be attached to an anchor, such as the support pieces 212 shown in FIG. 2. In some implementations, the fluid distribution conduit 714 is integrated with a rail, such as in a unibody construction. The liquid can be dripped from the horizontal rail 708, such that gravity spreads the medium across the sloped roof 702.

The sloped roof safety system 700 includes a reservoir 718. The reservoir 718 stores a supply of a liquid (such as a herbicide, pesticide, fungicide, moss kill, or other anti-growth medium) for later distribution on the sloped roof 702. The sloped roof safety system 700 also includes a pump 720. The pump 720 pumps the medium from the reservoir 718 through the fluid distribution conduit 714. In some implementations, gravity can be used to move the medium from the reservoir 718 by placing the reservoir 718 above the vertical rail 710 and/or the horizontal rail 708.

Although a few implementations have been described in detail above, other modifications are possible. For example, while shown here as small or residential in scale, the sloped roofs 102, 302, 602, and 702 can be of any size, such as a large commercial, industrial, multi-residential, apartment, hotel, governmental, community center, sports arena or other sizeable roof. Other components may be added to, or removed from, the described systems. Accordingly, other implementations are within the scope of the following claims.