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How do solar panels work? They allow particles of light (photons) to help break electrons loose from atoms. That is, of course, overly simplified. Photovoltaic cells are small units that assist in this process. They generate the flow of electricity and heat.

To install solar panels, there are various methods. Most popular are the following two methods:

  • Pole-mounted
  • Rooftop

Necessary for installations of any kind are solar panel fasteners. Different types of fasteners will be required, depending on the method of installation. Extreme conditions are frequently present where solar panels are used. For this reason, mounting fasteners must have the following characteristics. They must be:

  • Resistant to the elements
  • Stable
  • Reliable

The tilt of the panel is very possibly the most important aspect to solar installations of any kind. If the tilt is wrong, the maximum amount of sunlight will not be absorbed by the exposed surface.

Solar Panel Components

Anodized aluminum is used on many components when installing solar panels. It is highly resistant to corrosion and light, which is perfect for this application. Also used are brass or bronze bolts and nuts, as well as stainless steel rods. Together, these add to the stability and firmness of the mount.

Rooftop Installations

For solar panel systems, rooftop installations are the most common for the following reasons:

  • To collect the highest level of sunlight, the roof typically provides optimal positioning and angle
  • They are out of the way
  • They are affordable

For waterproofing, asphalt roofing shingles are used to fasten the racks. To hold down the mounting base, lag bolts are used. To avoid corrosion, high quality stainless steel should be used for the fasteners involved here. The reason being, roof panels are exposed to the elements on a constant basis.

Solar Pool Mounts

Mounted on top of a pole, a durable frame or rack is used for solar pole mounts. Drilled into the ground is a concrete piping system for stability. To allow the positioning of the panel to be altered during light angle changes or seasonal changes, adjustable struts or clips are used for the mounting process. Additionally, they can be made to tilt electronically or swivel. For the brackets, aluminum clips, and mounting poles, stainless steel bolts are usually recommended due to the system being constantly exposed to the elements.

Which Mounting Application Is Best?

Every situation is different so the mounting method used for solar panels will differ, as well. Each method has its pros and cons. The space you have available and your budget can have a direct effect on the choice you make. Aside from the mounting process, product reliability, and the reputation of the solar panel mounting company, the quality and integrity of materials used in the process is crucial.
If you are in need of solar panel fasteners, look no further than Melfast. For 30 years, we have been providing fasteners of all shapes, types, and sizes. We have over 30,000 items in stock and ready to go. Satisfaction is always guaranteed and we offer custom packing, blanket orders, special bulk pricing, same-day shipping, custom ordering, and more. Contact one of our knowledgeable representatives today to find out more or order our solar fasteners.

About the Author

Larry Melone
By Larry Melone

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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