A solar frame is an aluminum structure that is fitted into an encapsulated and laminated solar module. This frame is usually made of anodized aluminum and has been machined according to the solar panels design which is a design that is usually compatible with most racking systems for mounting and can be grounded in many different areas of the frame. The frame provides the overall rigidity of the solar panels but is also supported by the PV glass and back-sheet. Idaho Solar
The choice of material, which is aluminum, is very important because this element is non-conductive and does not interfere with the electrical conversion of the solar cells. Aluminum also does not rust and is ideal when used at sea or placed near a body of water.
The aluminum frame is also anodized and this is done to ensure excellent resistance from corrosion in any types of weather. Anodizing the aluminum also toughens and helps the panel in withstanding heavy accumulations of snow and ice or even dust.
Using only a regular aluminum may result in an irreversible problem. Regular aluminum is soft and can easily bend. High temperatures from the sun can also deform a regular aluminum. When the aluminum frame of solar panels get damaged, the solar module will be heavily affected causing significant reduction in its performance.
When making your own solar panels, it is a great idea to use anodized aluminum and make your own frame. If you want a straightforward and fast method, you can start off with a wooden frame but it has to be painted with a protective coating, usually a latex acrylic paint. We have used regular aluminum frames in our solar panels before but after just a few months, the frame started to deform because the heat from the sun seems to be “melting” it very slowly. Anodized aluminum may not be readily available from your local aluminum shop but you can probably get enough pieces to construct a frame from sellers or manufacturers of solar racking systems. The parts used in these racking systems are made of anodized aluminum. You can buy a couple of rails and then you can cut them according to your solar panels’ dimensions.
If you find it difficult to acquire the material locally, you may try purchasing a racking system online to mount one solar panel because that one set can already be used to make your own frame. There are also some ready-made solar frames that can be purchased online but they are designed for factory-built solar panels but you can still use them for your purpose.
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