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A guide to mounting racks for solar panels (PV)

Mar 01, 2018

When it comes to solar photovoltaic systems, most people usually first refer to solar panels, followed by inverters and batteries, and the third is a charge controller.

But do you need to install your system on the roof or the tracking system? The correct and correct selection of mounting rack (also called installation structure) for your solar system project is very necessary for the overall production, efficiency and life of solar panels.

Since this is an expensive investment, the selection of the mounting frame should not be ignored as a secondary consideration if the purchase of solar systems or installation of solar components.

Solar modules need to be protected, installed and fastened on a very stable and durable structure to protect the array from snow, wind, hail, rainfall and even small earthquakes.

They are either mounted on the ground or on the roof or on the pole. The solar market has basic installation structure type five types 41 fixed angle (A-D) and one variable angle type (E):

Roof Mounting Racks
(b) ground mounting rack system
(c) top mounting racks 
(d) side pole mounting rack system
E) tracking system mounting racks

The roof rack usually keeps the line running distance between the solar array and the minimum battery or inverter, but it needs the roof seepage and operation to cause the risk of roof leakage. Therefore, the roof must be well sealed.

If the roof's direction and angle are not ideal, another disadvantage of roof mounting structure may be generated, which will waste a lot of potential energy generated by your system.

In order to achieve the best system efficiency of roof mounting structure, you need to ensure that there is no shade of trees or other buildings on the best free airflow path of solar panels.

In addition, they need an expensive ground fault protection (GFP), according to the 690-5 American National Electrical Code NEC.


The ground mounts do not require GFP, but the precise foundation is required. Ground - mounted buildings are at risk of being destroyed, and dust, leaves and snow are stacked at the bottom.

Therefore, the ground mounts are only recommended for safety sites, preferably in a clean and stable environment (little snow or soil on the ground).

The frame mounted on the pole is a structure that fixed the rod on the ground and fastened it with concrete. The solar module was mounted on the top of the pole.

The advantage of this is that it does not expose to destruction and accumulation of dust, leaves and snow, but it is not easy to clean.

A rack mounted on a lamp pole is usually used for a solar system containing small modulus. They are especially used for remote lighting systems that have been connected with a pole that they can easily connect to.

The frame installed by the tracking system can be used for various solar tracking systems and solar pumping systems, which can be used for the maximum solar radiation of power generation.

They are particularly rich in the hot climate. There are two different types of installation structures for the tracking system, which is an axis and two axes.

The single axis tracker is designed to track the movement of the sun from east to west, while the two axis system tracks the daily and seasonal processes of the sun, and most of them are used for photovoltaic concentrator system.

Mounting scaffold material
The mounting frame can be made of different materials. Don't forget to ask your manufacturer about the material to install the structure to avoid mistakes and expensive project options.

The manufacturers of most mounts use aluminum. It is not only light in weight, but also reduces the weight and pressure of roofs, poles or tracking systems. It also has corrosion resistance, firmness and compatibility with most aluminum manufacturers.


Another option is to install the structure made of stainless steel. Although stainless steel frames are very strong, they can resist environmental impacts such as hail, snow and rain, and they can last for a long time, but they are still an expensive investment.

The mounting frame made by Wood is both cheap and easy to operate, but the consistency is poor, and it will soon fail in the wet environment.

The plastic - made mounting frame is also cheap, but it's not the best choice, in statics and life. Like wood - made shelves, if the pressure of solar panels (such as snow) is too high, they may burn up or even break up.

Last but not least, the iron mounting rack is also easy to work, slightly more expensive than wooden hangers, but it is quickly corroded and is not recommended in humid environment.

If you buy the installation structure, you can usually choose from a wide range of manufacturers and a set of standard installation structures.

Because each solar project and location requirements are different, this will be the purchase of customized installation optimization