What kind of structures are needed for photovoltaic panels?

Kategoria: Aktualności

Before investing in solar energy, several decisions are necessary to make the whole venture profitable. Structures to be used for photovoltaic panels are one of such concerns. What elements does a photovoltaic system consist of? How are structures for use with photovoltaic panels assembled on different roof types?

What elements does a photovoltaic system consist of?

The key components of any photovoltaic system include the PV modules and an inverter. Photovoltaic panels are made up of cells capable of absorbing sunlight. This is then used to generate electricity. For this electricity to be used in electrical systems in residential buildings, businesses, or farms, it must be converted from direct current to alternating current. This task is performed by an inverter. Additionally, it is used to monitor the operation of the entire photovoltaic system.


In addition to the aforementioned components, a photovoltaic system also includes cabling and a structure supporting photovoltaic panels. When choosing cables and connectors, attention should be first paid to their application. They should be designed for use in photovoltaic systems and have cross-sections suitable for photovoltaic power. It is also worth verifying whether they are resistant to a wide range of temperatures and other atmospheric conditions.


The last element included in every photovoltaic system, which we will discuss in more detail, is the structure supporting the photovoltaic panels. Depending on where the photovoltaics are installed, there are different load-bearing structures for use on roofs or the ground. They can also be made of various materials. Aluminium provides the best quality, followed by stainless steel, whereas galvanised steel fares the worst in this comparison due to its susceptibility to corrosion and the negative influence of atmospheric factors.

Assembly of structures supporting photovoltaic panels

The market offers various versions of structures for photovoltaic panels. The final selection depends on the place of installation. When assembling photovoltaic panels on a roof, the key factors include roof shape, inclination, and type of roofing.


  • PV modules on a tiled roof


On tiled roofs, rafters or battens can be used for assembling a PV system. In the rafter option, as the very name suggests, the fitter screws the PV panel mounts directly to the rafters. In this case, the spacing between fixings is determined by the structural elements of the roof. It is worth knowing that rafter mounting does not allow for assembling the panels at the edge of the roof. Therefore, if the photovoltaic project assumes maximum use of the roof surface, the rafter mounting may pose some difficulties. It should also be noted that rafter mounting may require the removal of individual tiles from the roof and cutting them locally.

However, the batten mounting of photovoltaic panel support structures consists in screwing s-type brackets to the battens. In this case, the batten serves as a catch for the photovoltaic structure. The advantage of such mounting lies in the possibility of placing the photovoltaic system closer to the roof edge, which is important if roof space is limited or the demand for PV power is high.


  • PV modules on a steel tiled roof


Photovoltaic systems can also be mounted on the ground. Such solutions are chosen not only by investors interested in photovoltaic farms but also by individuals with a sufficiently large area around their house. Support structures for ground-mounted photovoltaic panels consist of poles anchored in the ground, to which the support system for the photovoltaic panels is then attached.

Investors interested in green energy and owning properties with flat roofs can still benefit from renewable energy sources. Manufacturers of PV panel support structures have provided dedicated solutions, allowing photovoltaic modules to be mounted at a suitable angle. Support systems mounted directly to the roof structure are most commonly used, along with ballast systems that provide an angle of inclination of the photovoltaic system ranging from 10° to 30°. Eventually, the choice of a support structure for PV on flat roofs depends on the technical conditions of the roof and building.


  • PV modules on the ground

PV systems can also be successfully mounted on roofs covered with roofing paper or bitumen shingles. Support structures for PV panels are then attached to the wooden roof structure using L-type stainless steel brackets. An aluminium profile rail is then mounted to them to form the base for the PV modules.


  • PV modules on a flat roof

It is also possible to install photovoltaic systems on roofs covered with profile roofing sheets. There are two options to choose from when mounting the photovoltaic support structure: a profile bridge or an Oborniki-type bracket. Both of these solutions take the form of an aluminium profile with an EPDM seal. It is mounted directly to the roof using self-tapping stainless steel screws, which also have EPDM seals. Profile bridges, once mounted on the roof, become the basis for mounting photovoltaic panels. However, an Oborniki-style bracket requires a rail (aluminium profile is most often used), which then serves as a support for the PV modules.


  • PV modules on a roof covered with roofing paper or bitumen shingles

In Poland, steel tiles are an extremely popular type of roofing. As photovoltaics grow in popularity, the market must not miss support structures dedicated to mounting on this type of material.

When installing a PV system on a steel tiled roof, it is usually recommended to use double-threaded screws to fix the structure supporting the photovoltaic panels. A double-threaded screw has a screw for the wooden rafter on one side and a screw with an M10 thread for mounting an aluminium profile adapter on the other side. Depending on whether the PV panels are mounted vertically or horizontally, the screw spacing is adapted to the photovoltaic system selected by the investor. Attention should be paid to properly sealing the joints, preferably using EPDM gaskets.


PV modules on roofing sheets

Support structures for photovoltaic panels offered by CORAB



CORAB offers a wide range of support structures for PV modules, both for flat roofssloping roofs and free-standing PV systems. With almost 30 years of experience in manufacturing support structures for micro-systems and commercial solutions, we offer systems that are appreciated by fitters, investors and PV system designers.


We can advise you on the choice of the best support structure for photovoltaic panels and provide the remaining elements of a photovoltaic system, which come from reputable and recognised RES manufacturers. We know how important it is to choose quality components for a PV system and how it translates into the profitability of the entire investment. Therefore, we deliver our production process with utmost precision and do our best to select the most appropriate assortment from contractors.

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