Solar panels are increasingly popular in the U.S. as homeowners, business owners and more look for renewable energy sources. Solar panels convert energy from sunlight into usable electricity to power homes, businesses and electric vehicles. These converters of a renewable energy source – sunlight – are crucial as industries and individuals seek cleaner energy. Fortunately, there are many ways to mount solar panels that fit a variety of environments and spaces. However, choosing the best mountain system can be challenging because of unique considerations.
Here are a few elements to consider when choosing fasteners for mounting solar panels.
- Waterproofing: Solar panels, by nature, are mounted outside. Subsequently, they are exposed to rain, snow and other environmental hazards. All components of solar panels and mounts must be waterproof.
- Weight capacity: A 60-cell solar panel weighs about 40 pounds, and most users have multiple panels. This weight adds up, and the mounting systems can weigh a lot, too. When choosing fasteners, consider the weight capacity and weight distribution to ensure long-lasting connections.
- Corrosion: Because solar panels and their fasteners are exposed to water and other corrosive liquids, choosing fasteners that are resistant to corrosion is vital. Stainless steel and zirconium are exceptionally corrosion-resistant.
With these considerations, let’s explore different fastener solutions for mounting solar panels.
Expert Ways to Mount Solar Panels with Proven Success
There are countless fasteners available for solar panel mounting. First, two general methods for mounting solar panels are roof and ground mounts. Roof mounts mount solar panels to the top of buildings via the roof. Within roof mounts are rail and rail-less options. Rail options are ideal for metal seam roofs, while rail-less options are ideal for traditional roofs with panels or shingles. As the name suggests, ground mounts are used to mount solar panels in fields, yards and on the ground.
Depending on the method you use, different types of fasteners are ideal. Here are a few fasteners popular for mounting solar systems.
- Lag bolts and screws: Depending on the climate and available space, solar panels are often mounted to metal or wooden frames placed in yards or fields. Lag bolts and screws are ideal for mounting these materials.
- Self-tapping screws: Mounting brackets are ideal for angled placements, especially on roofs or in fields. Self-tapping screws make it possible to attach mounting brackets to metal surfaces without pre-drilling.
- Hex bolts and nuts: Connect mounting rails or brackets with hex bolts.
- Roofing screws: Solar panels are often mounted to roofs for direct sun exposure. Roofing screws are designed to penetrate through roofing materials while protecting the structural integrity of roofs.
- Clamps: For rail mounting, clamps hold solar panels to the rails. Clamps are available in various sizes to accommodate different panel dimensions.
- T-bolts and nut inserts: Another method to attach solar panels to mounting rails is t-bolts, which slide into the rail and secure with nuts.
- Adjustable feet: If you’re mounting your solar panels on an uneven surface, adjustable feet offer additional support that helps level the solar panels.
- Ground screws or piles: Secure solar panel mounts to the ground without the need for concrete. Ground mounting is critical when placing personal solar panels in your yard.
- Butyl tape and sealant: A weather-resistant seal between mounting brackets and surfaces prevents water infiltration.
- Rail splices: For rail mounting systems, rail splices connect and extend mounting rails to add multiple solar panels.
- Cable clips: Because solar panels generate electricity and send it into homes and businesses, many wires are involved. Securing and organizing wiring on the solar panel mounting system with cable clips can reduce clutter and prevent hazards.
Schedule Your Consultation Today for Proven Help
When you’re ready to purchase fasteners for your solar panel installation and mounting needs, check out the high-quality selection at Global Certified Fasteners. Our specialty, customized fasteners can be made to fit your needs. Contact us today to get started.