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Tops Concerns About Solar Panel Fasteners by Suzanne Martin

Article Author Biography
Tops Concerns About Solar Panel Fasteners by
Article Posted: 06/02/2012
Article Views: 88
Articles Written: 144
Word Count: 563
Article Votes: 0
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Tops Concerns About Solar Panel Fasteners

Solar panels need to be designed for longevity, with durable materials and reliable performance. Each component in alternative energy systems should be carefully considered, with an eye for detail and knowledge of the conditions and exposure. Solar panel fasteners play an important role in these systems and a few common concerns need to be addressed when designing or installing solar panels.

Strength of Solar Panel Fasteners

Are the specified fasteners made from corrosion-resistant materials, such as aluminum or stainless steel? Only these materials provide the protection your alternative energy system requires, avoiding corrosion while providing a strong grip or joint.

Galvanized steel will break down over time, well before the lifespan of your panels (which extends for decades) expires. Plastic clips, mounts and brackets may seem like a wise, affordable option, but today's plastic fasteners do not have the ratings for this type of application.

Certain designs also contribute to a more durable system. Grips or brackets that avoid penetrating the solar panels may prolong the performance life of those panels, resulting in more energy harvested and fewer maintenance costs. Depending on the design of your roof and the size and scope of the solar energy system, look for solar panel fasteners that improve the overall design, instead of compromising it.

Quick Installation and Rapid Repairs

The right solar panel fasteners also aid in the installation process. Clamps with quick-release nuts and washers make mounting and repairs quicker, reducing installation time and cost. Pay attention to how the fasteners are handled, and how many are required to secure your panels. More fasteners equals greater installation time.

It may also be wise to invest in fasteners that can be used for a variety of projects. Alternative energy systems tend to require specialized components, but certain clamps, mounts, channels and screws can be used for other home improvement projects, including HVAC system installation. Talk to your fastener distributor about the value of versatile fasteners.

Consider designing your project with as many commonly found fasteners as possible, reducing the overall cost and shaving time during initial mounting and any subsequent repairs.

Compatibility Concerns

Be sure to avoid pairing metals or materials which are incompatible. Aluminum and galvanized steel, for instance, cannot come into contact without resulting in breakdown. Consider the materials used in solar panel framing and assembly, including sealants, glass and any other elements of the panels. Take a look at the racking or rails, as well as any roofing materials. Some metal roofing may react to the solar panel fasteners and components used. Be informed and choose wisely, always looking at the overall design with compatibility in mind.

Security Concerns

Theft may be a concern in certain applications where solar panels remain accessible and vulnerable. Consider whether security fasteners would provide an adequate level of protection for your investment. Most offer unique heads or special designs to prevent removal and deter theft. The additional cost of security fasteners should be considered insurance, and your installer needs to be made aware of the specified brand and product line.

Designing alternative energy systems requires careful consideration. Think about these common concerns regarding solar panel fasteners before finalizing your design and initiating installation.

Mike Moore is published on more than 300 websites. He writes about industrial fasteners and building, commercial building, and home building projects . He is published on various website including

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