Tag Archives: solar panel mounting hardware

Do I Really Need Special Fasteners for My Solar Panels?

Source: http://www.sxc.hu/profile- /hovard

 

Do you really need a lock on your door? Statistically speaking, depending on where you live, your lock may never be tested by a burglar. It may never serve its created purpose.  The greatest accomplishment it may boast is that it kept practical jokesters, like your fraternity brothers, at arm’s length. But should a thief or criminal try to open your door, whether or not you are at home, you will be glad the lock is there. The peace of mind is worth far more than the cost of the lock.  Some people go so far as to install an alarm system in their home, just on the chance somebody might break-in. They are not paranoid; they are protecting their investment. The same could be said of solar panel fasteners.

Solar panels provide a great return on the investment, but the initial cost can be sizeable. What if somebody decided to climb up on top of your roof and help themselves to your solar panels? In a day and age when thieves are brazen enough to steal copper tubing from church properties, it is not farfetched to think solar panels could be the next hot underground market item. If all it takes to protect your investment (and your peace of mind) is a specialty fastener, it makes no sense to use anything else. There are no guarantees in life, but you might as well make it more difficult for someone to take what rightfully belongs to you.

EJOT 3130851905 Solar Fastening System

Secure solar panel installation involves more than simply securing the panels to your roof. Truly secure installation includes methods that keep your property safe from thieves, too. Basic solar panel rack systems use regular, commercial hardware to fasten the panels to the racks. This means that anyone with a wrench the proper size could remove them. Security fasteners, on the other hand, require a special tool, making it more difficult for the average person to remove them without using something drastic like a grinding wheel to detach the panels. And any resident is sure to hear a grinding wheel being used on the roof.

When the philosopher, Socrates, was asked a question by one of his students, he typically responded with another question. The method came to be known as the Socratic method and is still used in educational circles today. So, to answer the question, “Do I really need special fasteners for my solar panels?” consider the following questions:

  • Does an automobile need a car alarm in order to function?
  • Does a house need dead bolts in order to be structurally sound?
  • Does your Wi-Fi need a password in order to connect to the Internet?

The answer, of course, is no. Your solar panels will collect solar energy whether or not they are installed with security fasteners. However, when you consider how the fasteners protect your investment, you quickly realize what a wise decision it would be to insist on them.

EJOT Solar Fastening Systems

EJOT: “Your best partner for fastening solutions in the building industry.” This hardware is specially developed for securing uprights in solar installations. Made from high quality stainless steel, EJOT guarantees water tightness and a high load carrying capacity. It also allows exact adjustment of your new solar system. Watch this video to learn more about EJOT and how to install solar fastening systems on your home today.

Specialty Fasteners Simplify Difficult Installations

Flat Head Trim Fit UltraCon with White Stalgard Finish

When the industrial revolution transformed industry, manufacturers quickly designed universal fasteners which were suited for virtually every applications. A simple wood screw was used through the furniture industry, while fine threaded bolts and screws were used in metal product fabrication. Not until the end of the 20th century did manufacturers re-examine their approach to fastener design. Maybe it was advanced manufacturing methods or maybe someone in the field looked at a problem and designed a new, better mousetrap to solve an old problem. In any case, one of the most significant improvements in concrete fasteners in the last century is the concrete screw, or Tapcon screw.

Tapcon screws allow installers to drill smaller pilot holes than traditional shielded anchors. A Tapcon screw is manufactured from hardened steel, and features an abrasive, aggressive thread. Once a pilot hole is drilled, the concrete screw is screwed into the concrete with a power drill in much the same way a wood screw is fastened into wood. Quick and efficient, contractors use the tapcons to install low-load fixtures to concrete and cement block walls.

Installers must be careful with Tapcons, or they will create problems for themselves. First the tapcon hole must be drilled to the proper depth. If the end of the screw hits the bottom of the hole before it is screwed all the way in, the screw will likely ream the hole out, and not be able to grip the concrete.  Secondly, installers must use the correct diameter drill bit. If the hole is too large, the tapcon won’t grip the walls. If the hole is too small, the screw will bind as it enters the hole. In this case, a powerful drill will strip the head completely off the screw in just seconds, thus complicating the installation.

Solar panel mounting hardware – JA3 thread for wood substructure

Another application using specialty hardware is solar panel installation. With our nation’s push toward more green energy solutions, solar panels are being designed into new building energy systems, and are typically mounted in multi-panel arrays on the building wall or roof planes. The individual panels are held into the arrays via custom solar panel mounting hardware. When mounting a solar panel array, the fastener needs to create a ridged structure, but also allow for the panel to be installed and removed for inspection, maintenance and repair. For new buildings, or retrofit installations, the solar panel mounting hardware is designed as a single fastener that screws or threads into the building’s structural shell and then allows the solar panel to be mounted to the end of the fastener which is still exposed to the exterior.

When solar panels are mounted to a building’s roof, these specialty fasteners firmly attach the panels to the roofing system and allow for quick and seamless installation of the panels at a later date. For new buildings, specialty fasteners are recommended which fasten the metal roofing systems to the building’s framework and at the same time provide the studs to which the solar panels mount.

When designing a solar panel installation, make sure to research the installation options ahead of time.  A proper installation requires the right fastener and proper preparation and planning.

Solar Panel Theft is Getting More Attention

A recent article over at RenewableEnergyWorld.com focuses on the growing problem of solar panel theft. Solar theft grew by 15% in 2009, and has likely been on the rise ever since. The 15% figure, which the article quotes, is courtesy of SolarInsure, an insurance company specializing the solar industry.

So solar theft is on the rise. What can you do about? The article provides a good run down of options including different types of alarm systems, creating physical barriers, and the use of breakaway bolts, an item we carry at Tanner.

Note, in the article, they refer to breakaway bolts as “tighten-and-break” anti-theft screws. However, the more common term in the industry is breakaway bolts. These are truly tamperproof. Without extraordinary measures, it would be impossible for a thief to remove the bolts, but keep in mind, the same goes for you as the installer or solar panel owner.

Read the full article over at RenewableEnergyWorld.com and if you have any questions we can answer, please share them in the comments section below.

The PV Industry Tackles Solar Theft

Why Solar Companies Need to Address Panel Theft

The purchase, assembly, and installation of solar panels represent a significant investment. The value of solar panels has made them an inviting target for resourceful thieves. Solar panels can have a retail price approaching $1,000 each for some panels.

Very few solar systems today have any security measures to prevent theft. In fact, most solar panel rack systems secure solar panels with simple commercial fasteners. This requires little effort on the part of thieves to remove them.

Where access is easy and the potential for tampering and theft is high, protect your investment with Tanner Security Fasteners. The cost of our solar security fasteners is minimal compared to the potential cost of replacing damaged or stolen solar panels.

We are The Security Solutions Specialists. Tanner offers a complete line of security fasteners, anchors, and tools  including innovative products such as Secure Wedge-Bolt® Expansion Anchors and Trident® Security Nuts

Contractors in a wide variety of industries rely on Tanner for quick solutions to their security problems.