A reliable and durable mounting system is key to the success of a solar array system. The mounting system—also referred to as a racking system—serves as the foundation of the solar array, allowing the individual panels to remain attached and secured to the surface of the roof or ground.
Types of Solar Panel Mounting Systems
The majority of solar array customers opt for one of two mounting systems: roof or ground mounts. The ideal system depends on the requirements and restrictions of the application. For example:
- Roof mounts allow solar customers to mount solar panels to existing space on their roofs. They are suitable for structures that are relatively modern and can support the full weight of a solar system. Compared to ground mounts, they are simpler and less expensive to install and generally do not require additional structural support.
- Ground mounts grant customers the freedom to install their solar systems anywhere on their property. They serve as standalone structures and are easier to clean and maintain than roof mounts. However, they often come with a higher cost of installation.
For customers with little to no free space on their property (including on their roofs), there is a third option—pole mounts. Pole mounts are a variation of ground mounts that involve using sturdy vertical poles to raise the solar panels above the ground. They accommodate easy repair and maintenance and allow customers to adjust the angle of panels to maximize solar input.
Components of a Solar Panel Mounting System
A solar mount system can employ several different components to facilitate secure attachment, such as:
Solar Panel Mounting Brackets
Solar panel mounting brackets are one of the most commonly utilized components in solar mounting systems. These heavy-duty parts are often made of stainless steel or aluminum and, like all mounting and racking products, must adhere to strict industry guidelines.
Solar Panel Mounting Clamps
Solar panel mounting clamps find use in roof mount installations. These components attach to the seam of a solar panel and employ stainless steel setscrews to ensure the panels stay in place. When tightened, the setscrews compress the seam material against the opposite side of the clamp, causing a visible dimpling that does not damage the system or fully penetrate the seam. Each clamp set (including the provided stainless steel hardware) may also feature threaded holes that facilitate the attachment of additional objects.
Solar Panel Wire Management Products
As solar panels are installed outdoors, their components are subjected to harsh environmental conditions, such as direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and elements such as rain, snow, and hail. Employing proper wire management helps prevent damage to critical system parts, ensuring the safety of operators and the reliability and longevity of the solar panel system.
Some of the most commonly utilized solar panel wire management products include:
- Hangers. Wire hangers are suitable for managing wires in ground mount setups. The ones from Nine Fasteners are made from hard drawn galvanized steel and hold up to 25 wires.
- Clips. Wire clips are ideal for managing wires in roof mount setups. Nine Fastener wire management clips are available in standard models made from 410 stainless steel or 301 ½ hard stainless steel. Custom fabrication options are available for highly unique or complex applications.
Solar Panel Mounting and Management Solutions From Nine Fasteners
At Nine Fasteners, we supply standard solar mounting hardware, including rails, bolts and screws, clamps, and wiring clips and hangers. All of our hardware is designed, sampled, tooled, and manufactured right here in the USA. This quality, combined with our inventory management services, ensures the timely delivery of high-quality products.