Grant's feeling the heat
IF you think the weather has been hot lately then spare a thought for Grant Bond and his team at Solartech.
Solartech is one of the region's leading solar panel installers, which Mr Bond said was usually hot work, but had been especially difficult this past week due to the high temperatures.
Rockhampton reached 36 degrees yesterday, while Tuesday's maximum was 38.
But as Mr Bond explained, it got even hotter than that on a roof.
"The surface temperature of a metal roof can get to around 60 degrees, while each solar panel, if left in the sun long enough, heats up to around 65 degrees," he said.
"We try to get all the roof work out of the way before midday, when it gets really hot, but you inevitably have to be up there past then."
He said because roofs got so hot, workers felt the extremes of the sun from underneath as well as above.
"All work outdoors in summer is hot, but working on a roof is particularly so, due to the hot surface beneath you and the reflectance of heat off the roof," Mr Bond said.
"The guys on the roofs cover up with hats and sunscreen and always have water bottles nearby for regular drinks breaks, but it's really hard to keep up with that on the really hot days like we have had this week."
Mr Bond said while it was not an ideal time to do these jobs there was no other option.
"It would be nice to sit back and not work during the hot summer days, but we have too much work on and really have to work all year long.
"We have over 40 jobs to do over the next three weeks so we'll be spending plenty of time in this heat," he said.
Working with the Wattelse bulk buy group, Solartech performed more than 25% of the solar panel installations in the Rockhampton region last year.