Why is the frame of a solar panel important?
The majority of solar panels are fitted with aluminium frames which provide mounting attachment points and protection for the edges of the glass laminate. Importantly, the expansion and contraction ratio of aluminium and glass are different and hence the materials used to join them together are important to avoid stress build up.
Most manufacturers use butyl rubber or flexible double sided tapes which allow some movement but ensure the glass is retained within the frame. Obviously, the long term adhesion strength and UV stability of these materials is crucial and cost saving measures through the use of inferior materials have demonstrated rapid failure of the bond. The old rule, you get what you pay for applies. The frame itself can come in various types from double walled and highly rigid, to quite thin walled and relatively flexible. Both serve the same purpose when attached securely to quality mounting systems. In double walled frames, it is important that the cavity between the walls is vented so that water can evaporate and ice cannot build up inside and split the frame in cold climates.
Some frames are screwed together and some are joined using push fit mitre joints. LG’s frames are screwed together. Have a look at our detailed product datasheets to find out more about our product advantages.
When you are assessing a solar panel, look very closely and observe the type and integrity of the materials used to bond the frame to the glass laminate