OEM companies need to be on the leading edge of innovation and technology, especially in a fast-moving industry like solar energy. As consumer demand grows, the drive to create better solar energy fasteners, and more efficient, flexible components grows as well. All those involved in the industry need to work hard to keep up. Innovative […]

OEM companies need to be on the leading edge of innovation and technology, especially in a fast-moving industry like solar energy. As consumer demand grows, the drive to create better solar energy fasteners, and more efficient, flexible components grows as well. All those involved in the industry need to work hard to keep up.
Innovative Fasteners
Solar panels and PV setups require fasteners for assembly and mounting. In the past, aluminum and stainless steel provided the highest levels of reliability and efficiency. These materials continue to dominate the solar power industry, with aluminum coming out as the clear leader in fastener design.
Aluminum provides a lightweight, corrosion-resistant design for PV panel clips, and mounting racks, as well as bolts, nuts and washers. Z clips, U channels and mounting blocks made from aluminum allow greater flexibility in terms of panel placement, all while providing security and durability consumers can count on.
Ground connectors need to be made from copper, according to current electrical codes. Other components in the solar panel system are made from stainless steel or galvanized steel, designed to resist corrosion in an exterior environment.
Adhesives are also being used in the assembly process, providing a smooth, reliable seal on the panels. Manufacturers look for durable adhesives made to withstand conditions solar panels are typically exposed to, such as heat, cold and moisture.

Innovative Components
Solar power technology is used in many applications, including residential and commercial panels. But paper-thin film PV materials are gaining ground in the industry, providing smart solutions for various applications. This flexible and adaptable material provides the technology of harvesting solar energy in a thin, bendable product perfect for application on small devices, cylinders and in solar integrated roofing products.
Flexible solar panels and travel solar chargers are perfect for mobile applications as well, and can be included in a whole solution system provided to high demand clients. OEMs are working hard to adapt solar energy into as many applications as possible, while continuing to follow the heart of this thriving industry – renewable, responsible energy made available to everyone.
Whether you’re looking at solar energy fasteners or components, innovation continues to provide solutions to tomorrow’s needs in this cutting edge industry.

About the Author

Larry Melone
By Larry Melone
President

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.

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