As the world turns to green energy to meet increasing demands for cleaner and more sustainable power sources, solar power is quickly becoming the go-to for both homes and businesses. Harnessing the sun’s energy requires the use of photovoltaic (PV) cells—more commonly known as solar panels. These cells convert sunlight into electricity for a clean, reliable, and renewable resource.
While solar energy has plenty of benefits, including eco-friendliness and reduced dependence on the electrical grid, setting up solar panels can take a lot of work. It’s vital to have the right components to ensure a long-lasting installation. Nine Fasteners has the parts you need to get your solar panels up and running.
Solar Panel Components
Before putting solar panel hardware on your roof, you should understand the parts and how they work. Here is a breakdown of the anatomy of a solar panel system.
The primary component of this system is the panel itself. For residential installations, homeowners can choose between polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels. The term refers to the shape and construction of the piece. Here is a quick comparison:
- Polycrystalline panels. These models are cheaper but produce less energy. On average, a polycrystalline panel will convert between 15-17% of sunlight into energy.
- Monocrystalline panels. These units are more expensive, but also more efficient. Mono panels can convert up to 22% of sunlight.
In either case, homeowners can choose between 60-cell or 72-cell panels. Due to the size of the 72-cell version, most homes use 60. The appearance of the panel may also be a factor where aesthetics are of concern. Polycrystalline cells are blue, while mono cells are black with white spaces.
Overall, a home’s climate and energy needs will dictate which panel works best. Some homes are better-suited for solar power based on roof placement and the amount of sunlight it receives on average. Since mono panels are more efficient, a home can use fewer of them to generate the same electricity output.
When sunlight hits a solar panel, it produces a direct current (DC). Unfortunately, all electricity that flows through a house is on an alternating current (AC). Solar systems need to convert DC power to AC, which is where an inverter comes in.
There are three types of inverters used for this purpose:
- Microinverters. Although these models are the most expensive, they’re the most reliable. These inverters are highly efficient even when the roof is shaded.
- String or centralized inverters. These units are highly affordable but may function inefficiently if there’s any shade on the panel.
- Power optimizers. These inverters work in tandem with centralized models. A power optimizer generates the most DC energy from each panel and sends it to an inverter to convert to AC. This option is less expensive than a microinverter.
Instead of mounting solar panels directly to the roof, installers will attach them to a rack. The purpose of solar racking is to allow optimal panel placement in direct sunlight, particularly for roofs with less-than-ideal conditions.
One of the primary issues with solar power is its inconsistency. Even in bright, sunny climates, some days may have more sunlight than others. A solar monitoring system allows users to view data on the panel’s performance by hour, day, month, and year. Over time, you can anticipate when the panels will generate the most energy and when you might have to tap into battery storage to make up the difference.
Solar storage enables you to use electricity on overcast days or at night once the sun sets. To maximize savings, some local governments allow solar users to send excess power into the grid for payment credits.
Because solar racking is vital for the system’s performance, installers need high-quality fasteners to position each panel for maximum efficiency. These fasteners have to be weather and rust-resistant so that they can last for years. Otherwise, panels may shift or fall off the rack, which can result in breakage and replacement. Solar fasteners can also help organize wiring by ensuring that the wires stay out of the elements and work as efficiently as possible.
Get Your Solar Fasteners From Nine Fasteners
While the panels are the star of the solar show, solar fasteners are vital components that work behind the scenes. Using high-quality fasteners is essential to ensure that panels won’t detach and break. Nine Fasteners has the best parts in the business to help you get the most out of your solar power generation set-up for years to come. Nine Fasteners also produces other solar components, including rails, bolts, screws, and clips.
All of our parts are made in the United States, allowing us to fabricate and ship orders quickly. Contact us today to speak with one of our experts and identify the right parts for your solar equipment.