How to assemble a solar panel structure

The structure of the solar panels is one of the most important elements of the installation. It is what will allow our panels to be well secured and that they resist the wind and the passage of time without problems. For this reason, we teach you how to assemble a solar panel structure and what you should know about it. 

You will see that, in reality, it does not require great knowledge or special tools, except for the part of attaching it to some types of roofs.

What is the solar panel structure for?

The structure is the part of the photovoltaic installation on which the panels are placed . Obviously, these do not go directly on the roof or the surface of the installation, so we need this kind of scaffolding on which to fix the plates.

The structure is what provides the correct fixing and angle for the panels , so that they do not fall or are blown away by the wind .

Structure types of solar panels

There are many types, from the simplest fixed to the most complex, which allow the panel to move freely following the sun to make the most of its light.

However, the two most common structure classes that we are going to find are:

Floor panel structures

In which the fixed panels are mounted on the ground (or on a concrete base) facing in the optimal direction.

For installations on the site of a company, the garden or the terrace, this kind of structure is used.

roof panel structures

Here we have two classes at once.

The first are fixings on which the panels are placed at the same angle of the roof when this is ideal. This is called a coplanar structure . That is, a series of aluminum rails that are fixed parallel to the roof and on which the panels rest.

triangle structures . Very similar to the previous ones, but they also have a triangle-shaped piece on which the panel is mounted. This triangle allows the plate to be given a certain angle to modify that of the roof if it is not optimal.

The different parts of a solar panel structure

Mainly, we will find these types of pieces:

  • The triangles. Large metal pieces, shaped like a right triangle (like those square-shaped rulers we used at school). We will have them if we do not mount a coplanar structure with the roof.
  • The rails. Which are metal pieces similar to metal beams, on which the triangles are attached, if any, as well as the panels.
  • Fixers and Staples. Which are pieces that fit into triangles and rails, fixing them together. 
  • Other pieces. As roof tiles to be placed on the roof or cross rail connectors.

How to assemble the structure of solar panels

The specific instructions will obviously depend on the kit purchased. At Enérgya-VM we always recommend that an expert installer do it . In the case of coplanar structures or on tile roofs, fixing the roof tiles to the roof is more complex. 

  • In traditional Arabic tile , you have to lift it, fix it to the floor and put the tile back on.
  • On concrete or tile roofs that are difficult to lift , there are fixings to the ceiling that are drilled and secured under the tile with a chemical plug.
  • On metal roofs (such as a factory roof), there are L-shaped roof fasteners that are screwed on directly and secured with a plug.

On these fasteners we mount the roof tiles , rails separated from the ceiling at a certain height, on which the structure rests so that it does not rest directly on the roof.

The pieces of the structure are already standardized so that fasteners, rails and triangles fit together like a puzzle . In addition, these parts and structures are approved by the Technical Building Code. 

In this way, it is guaranteed that they can withstand the weight of solar panels on the market, as well as the wind.

In the same way, once the placement of the roof tiles has been solved , you will hardly need any special tools. The fasteners are adjusted with a standard Allen key , which is also usually provided with the kit or can be bought very cheaply in the same place you buy it.

The steps of the assembly of the structure

The first thing we must do is calculate the width of the panels. Normally, we’ll use two triangles for every three panels (or rails directly, if the roof already has the perfect angle).

  1. We give the triangles the right angle . You will see that the triangles can be adjusted to an angle and fixed with a pin. Depending on the optimum sun incidence study, this is usually between 20 and 40 degrees . If it is on the roof and not on the ground, we take into account the angle of the roof and we provide the triangle with the necessary degrees so that the sum of the slope of the roof and the triangle results in the optimal angle.
  2. We attach two triangles to the long rails . As we have already told you, they are like puzzle pieces that fit into the notches they have. We distribute the triangles evenly along the rails, to give the structure solidity. We take the triangle to rail fasteners that are necessary, place them in the appropriate notches and tighten well with the Allen key .
  3. When we have the appropriate structure of triangles and rails according to the instructions in our kit, we place the panels on top of the structure and secure them again with the staples or fasteners, tightening again with the Allen key . 

With that, we will have a “piece” of about two triangles, three panels and several rails to place on the roof- saving elements or on the ground. Our kit may be of another size if, for example, we are only going to place two plates. 

This is, broadly speaking, the assembly process of a solar panel structure. As we told you, everything will depend a lot on the type of structure and also on the type of roof or surface. For this reason, again, we usually recommend leaving it in the hands of an expert. You will gain in comfort and tranquility , especially in the part where the roof and structure touch.

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