As the popularity of our Info Point Solar system grows we’ve been asked about the best ways to securely mount photovoltaic solar panels. Brackets play a vital role in this, as they hold the panels in place, preventing them from moving or being damaged by wind, rain, or other environmental factors.
There are several types of brackets available to secure individual solar panels, each with its unique advantages and disadvantages. In this blog post, we’ll explore the most common types of brackets used in solar panel installations.
Z-brackets are the most commonly used brackets for securing a solar panel up to 150 watt. They are Z-shaped and usually made of aluminum, making them lightweight, durable and resistant to corrosion. These brackets are attached to the underside of the solar panel frame and are bolted to the roof deck of bird hides, barns or roofed interpretation panels. They are also suited as an attachment to a user made structure such as a wooden frame or irregular surfaces. This system from Renogy makes the installation of the solar panels easy, affordable and quick.
Solar panels raised up from a roof benefit from natural cooling ventilation that means they will work more effectively. This is because they produce more energy when they are colder In general, May and September will probably be the optimum months for electricity production because they are cooler than the high summer months.
2. Flat Roof Brackets
Flat Roof Tilt Mount brackets can be installed on any flat surface; provided that the correct fastening techniques are applied, and are ideal for positioning solar panels at an angle on a rooftop. The legs can be adjusted to set the ideal tilt angle, which will depend where in the world you are. Use footprinthero.com to calculate optimal tilt angle. The angle will change throughout the year due to the sun’s position in the sky and these brackets allow you to adjust the tilt angle each season.
The brackets from Renogy and Low Energy Supermarket are also excellent options for areas with heavy snow loads, as they allow the snow to slide off the panels more easily. Please note that angle adjustability will decrease as the panel size increases.
3. Pole Mount Brackets
Easy fitting, pole mounting brackets for solar panels. They are ideal for remote locations where there is no existing building or similar structure to mount the panels. These brackets fit metal poles up to about 80mm in diameter. Large fixing bands are available for attachment onto thicker wooden utility poles (up to 300mm).
Pole mounted solar panel brackets are made from aluminium (steel bands are made from corrosion resistant 304 Stainless Steel) and can easily be orientated south towards the sun. They have a set 45 degree mounting angle, which is optimised for winter generation when there is less sun.
The maximum solar panel height on the Low Energy Supermarket bracket is 520mm. The solar panels can be fitted in landscape orientation if required, therefore longest solar panel dimensions widthways
4.Side/corner Mount Brackets
Side and corner mount brackets are attached to the side/corners of the solar panel frame and bolted directly to a surface. They are typically used for installations where the solar panels need to be mounted vertically, such as on a wall. This type of brackets are not adjustable, so it’s essential to ensure that the panels are level and orientated the right way before installation. Ideally you would be looking for one of the first three options that allow for an angled installation.
4. Rail Mount Brackets
Rail mount brackets are attached to rails that run parallel to the solar panel frame and bolted to the roof deck. They are an excellent option for installations with multiple solar panels, as they allow for easy adjustment of panel placement. Rail mount brackets also help to distribute the weight of the panels more evenly across the roof. As most Info Point Solar installations only involve two panels this option is rarely used.
In conclusion, choosing the right brackets is essential for a successful Info Point Solar panel installation. Consider the type of roof, the number of solar panels, and the local weather conditions when selecting brackets. With the right brackets and proper installation, solar panels can provide clean and reliable energy for your Info Point for years to come.
Why not build your own structure, placing the Info Point Solar enclosure below the angled panel to add weather protection just like we did at Thiepval. Take a look at that case study and two others below.
Related case studies
Solar-powered visitor experiences have been installed at two flagship Somerset Wildlife Trust reserves.
Nant Llwynog Park Bedlinog
A solar-powered digital visitor sign near Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales.
The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme is in northern France. It is a war memorial to over…