In today’s times, the panel mounting structure is an important element in a solar PV system. This is mainly due to the ability of the structure to provide structural support to solar panels. However, most of the panels have been supported by galvanized iron or coated mild steel frames and are commonly used for the mounting structure to avoid corrosion due to weather conditions. These frames are also heavy in weight and thus require a strong foundation to withstand the overall weight of the structure.
Council’s lead partner Owens Corning has a solution to this issue, which was deployed in a 100 kW solar PV project at Solapur district in Maharashtra. The solution — Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP) — has emerged as a better alternative material for frames and mounting structure, which has rendered the Solapur solar project’s entire mounting structure lightweight and corrosion free. FRP, due to its inherent properties, offers a sustainable solution for solar panel applications.
The solution in question is Advantex® Fiber Glass. This solution, backed by Owens Corning’s patented corrosion-resistant ECR glass not only provides increased mechanical properties compared to standard E-Glass but also provides the corrosion resistance recommended by ISO 2078 for acidic environments. The solution was used by Composite Craft Pvt Ltd while installing its 100 kW project.
The panels were fitted on rooftops and in open fields. The places for installation were leveled and the end-user anchored the frames in concrete blocks to avoid displacement due to heavy winds, etc. The FRP Mounting Structure also offered faster installation in comparison with metal structures. This project was completed in 2015 and sustained all weather conditions at the site.
Advantex is formulated to be a boron-free E-Glass and possesses significantly improved resistance to the corrosive effects of a range of environments. Data comparing the acid resistance of Advantex glass to that of traditional E-Glass indicates that Advantex glass provides significantly improved resistance to the corrosive effects of acidic environments. Advantex glass is both an ECR-Glass and an E-Glass, in accordance with ASTM D578. In all aqueous environments tested to date, the Advantex glass reinforced composite materials have provided better corrosion-resistant performance than similar materials reinforced with traditional E-Glass.
Advantages of FRP Mounting Structure for Solar Panel:
- High strength and light weight;
- Electrically non conductive – shock proof;
- Corrosion free and non-magnetic;
- Dimensionally stable – good impact resistance;
- Easy and faster installation;
- Custom colour variants;
- Lower life-cycle cost.