Avoid the Void!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Training

First and foremost...

 …Correct solar panel installation dictates electrical safety is the most important aspect, as we are dealing with electricity and the inherent dangers that are associated with DC voltages that can be up to 1000V. This is closely followed by mechanical safety, how securely attached are the panels as we do not want any damage to persons/property caused by bad installation practices...

Warranty issues, do’s and don’ts

DO: Read the !@$@%! manual!


Regarding solar panels Installation, you should always read the manual, and be conscious of the fact that it (or an associated warranty) is likely to state something like the following:

The information contained in this manual is subject to change by Company X without prior notice. Company X  gives no warranty of any kind whatsoever, either explicitly or implicitly, with respect to the information contained herein!!


So, Buyer Beware! And ensure you always "Read the !@$@%! manual" (again)!

Contained in the warranty and/or installation manual for your solar panel, you are also very likely to see some variation on the following DON'TS:


  1. Do not immerse modules in water or constantly expose modules to water (i.e. from fountains, sea spray).
  2. Exposing modules to salt (i.e. marine environments) or sulfur (i.e. sulfur sources, volcanoes) incurs the risk of module corrosion.*
  3. Failure to comply with these instructions will void Company X warranty.



* Note; installing solar panels on, in or near volcanoes is not recommended!


Rail position allowances

Manufacturers have specific allowances for where rail is positioned and these allowable points are dependent on wind and snow loading. If installation does not follow stated directions based on the wind and snow loads regime,  warranty void.

Rail Clamps the long side

In this example, let’s assume clamps on the long side and the allowable range is between 340 - 550 mm of edge of panel. This relates to uplift and downforce load of <= 2400 Pa




Rail Clamps, ranges

In another example clamps on the long side and the allowable “window” is  between 410 - 490 mm from the  edge of the panel.

In this case the maximum loads are uplift load ≤ 3600 Pa and the downforce load ≤ 5400 Pa.

In other words no frame at, say, 350 mm, in the case of this particular manufacturer if you want the panel to have the above rating.


Rail Clamps, 0 < 239mm

In this example clamps on the long side again and the range is between 0-239 mm from the  edge of the panel relates to an uplift and downforce load of <=2000 Pa.




Conclusion

Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines as different clamping points relate to different ratings. Read the manual, make sure the selected clamp zone matches up with the conditions the location of your solar project will experience.


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