Need advise on mounting panels to Superstruts...

jsl10

New Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2022
Messages
15
I'm building a ground mount frame that consists of eight 15' of Superstrut (10'+5') acting as "rafters" to hold 16 large 440W panels (mounted as 4 panels by 4 panels - horizontally). See attached drawing I made. The high end of the mount frame will be anchored to a solid deck. 15' Superstruts then run down to near ground and along 28' of deck. I was originally thinking of simply inserting strut spring-nuts and bolting down from above using large washers (as shown in the drawing). But then realized that the middle panels will be pretty difficult to reach to tighten bolts from above. So, I'm now thinking of simply doing it from below by inserting shorter bolts through the panel frame mounting holes and into the spring nuts. Then all the tightening can be done on the back side where it's more easily accessible.

So my question is... are the panel aluminum frames strong enough in high winds to hold without the aluminum tearing? I would put washers inside the frame to distribute the contact but just wanted to make sure panel aluminum frame mounting holes are strong enough for wind. Thanks in advance!
 

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rmaddy

Full-time Solar-powered Trailer Life
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Nov 16, 2019
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Most solar panel manufacturers provide 2 documents for solar panels - a spec sheet, and an installation guide. The installation guide should cover the acceptable mounting options. I would guess that your 440W panels are designed to be installed using the 4 provide frame holes or by using panel clamps (which are basically the same as using bolts with a big washer as you mentioned).

So yes, using the 4 frame holes should be plenty for securing each panel. Confirm with the installation guide for your panels.

If you are in an area with regular strong winds or the occasional hurricane then more may be required. Again, check the installation guide or look into whatever local code requires in your area.
 
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