Solar panels must be designed and manufactured to meet stringent industry standards. But they must also be built to withstand extreme climate conditions every day. Understanding what your PV panel system and the solar panel fasteners used in that system are exposed to will help you to choose the optimum materials.
Sun and Heat
Obviously solar panels are subject to the sun, and all of the potential damage that comes with that exposure. UV rays have very little effect on metals and glass, but will certainly fade plastics and cause nearly any synthetic material to deteriorate over time. All fasteners used on the PV panels and within the mounting system must be able to withstand the full power of the sun for hours at a time.
Heat is another factor of sun exposure. Extreme heat can damage paint on solar panel frames and fasteners. Powder coating is the way to go when finishing your panel frames and solar panel fasteners, although in many cases aluminum provides an attractive finish that doesn’t need to be coated at all.
Any adhesives used in solar panels should also be resistant to sun and heat. Lower quality adhesives may lose bonding power under direct sun, but those graded for use with solar panels should be able to hold out.
Rain and Snow
Your PV panel system must be able to withstand moisture. Standing water may not be a problem, but the panel components will need to be strong enough to hold up against constant moisture. Snow can easily pile up around your panels and within the framing or mounting structures. All fasteners used in those areas should be made of stainless steel or aluminum to ensure that corrosion isn’t a problem.
Rain dries quickly, but blankets of snow produce moist conditions for months. Even top quality galvanized steel will rust out under those conditions, leaving stainless and aluminum as your only options for brackets, clips, grounding connectors, mounting blocks, clamps and base plates.
Ensure your solar panel system is durable and ready to take on nature by using quality made solar panel fasteners. Opt for aluminum fasteners or those made with stainless steel in order to withstand sun, heat, rain and snow for years.
Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.