Understanding Solar Panel Rails, Brackets and Clamps: The fool-proof Explanation of Solar Racking Systems

What are Solar Panel Rails, Brackets and Clamps, and How Do They Work?

Solar power systems consist of several components, with the solar racking system being a crucial part that ensures the stability of solar panels. The racking system is assembled using various components, including solar panel rails, clamps, and brackets. These parts are essential for the correct installation and continued operation of solar panels.

The solar panel rails and brackets are engineered to securely fasten solar panels onto different surfaces like rooftops and other structures. The rails provide a foundation for the panels to rest on, while the clamps hold the panels in place. These parts are typically crafted from durable materials such as aluminium or stainless steel, which are capable of withstanding various weather conditions.

Solar panel rails and brackets are both essential components of solar panel installation systems, but they serve different purposes

solar panel rails

Solar panel rails 

Solar panel rails are the structural backbone of a solar panel installation system. They are typically made of aluminium or steel, and for the roof, the rails are mounted to a bracket (or to an Angle for an angled system), and the rails are mounted to the rafters for the ground.  Solar panel rails are designed to provide a sturdy and secure base with minimum deflections for the solar panels to attach to. They are available in various lengths, widths, and thicknesses, depending on the size of the solar panels, tilt angle, supporting span distance, wind loads, and clamping configuration.

Solar panel rails and brackets

Solar panel brackets and clamps

Solar panel brackets and clamps, on the other hand, are used to mount the solar panels onto the rails, and the rails to the supporting surface. They are usually made of aluminium or stainless steel and come in different shapes and sizes. The type of bracket or clamp used depends on the solar panel dimensions, the installation method, and the mounting angle required for optimal solar exposure. Several types of solar panel brackets are available, including railless, top-of-pole (not by Axe Struct), side-of-pole (not by Axe Struct), flush, and tilt.

Axe Struct is a leading manufacturer of solar racking systems, offering a wide range of solar panel rails, brackets and clamps for residential and commercial applications. Our products are designed to meet the needs of different solar energy systems and are built to last.

The Benefits of Using Solar Panel Rails, Brackets, and Clamps

One of the key benefits of using solar panel rails and brackets is that they allow for easy installation of solar panels. The brackets come pre-drilled, while the rails are not. Our rail system has a clipping design that allows connections to be made at the preferred location, eliminating the need for sliding or preassembling connectors.

We offer two clamp designs:

All Purpose and Click Fix.

The All Purpose design requires nuts to be inserted into the rail from the top at the specific location where the connection will be made. Clamps then connect to these nuts.

On the other hand, the Click Fix design features preassembled clamps that click onto the rail. The main differences between the two designs are the method of connecting to the rail and the level of pre-assembly required.

Another benefit of using solar panel rails and brackets is that they provide a secure and stable foundation for the solar panels. This is important because solar panels are exposed to different weather conditions, including high winds, the harsh sun, hail, and even snow.  The rails and brackets are designed to withstand these conditions, ensuring the panels remain in place and continue generating electricity.

Axe Struct offers  a variety of solar panel rails and brackets to suit different types of solar energy systems. Our products include roof-mount rails and brackets, ground-mount rails and brackets, and car-port rails and brackets. Each of these products is designed to provide a secure and stable foundation for the solar panels, and they can be customised to meet the specific needs of the solar energy system.

In addition to their durability and versatility, solar panel rails and brackets are also designed to be aesthetically pleasing. This is vital for residential solar energy systems, where the appearance of the solar panels and racking system is important. In addition, we offer a range of colour options for our rails and brackets, which allows them to blend in seamlessly with the roof or other structures.

When it comes to installing solar panels, it is vital to choose the right solar racking system, including the right solar panel rails and brackets. The selection of the solar panel rails and brackets will depend on the specific requirements of the solar energy system, including the size and type of the solar panels, the location of the installation, and the expected weather conditions. 

Proudly South African with a 10 Year Guarantee

Axe Struct (Pty) Ltd is a South African Manufacturer and wholesale supplier of absolutely efficient PV Solar mounting systems for all applications. In addition, we provide structural analysis and installation support to contractors and solar panel installers.

Designed by our in-house Engineering Team, all the parts and components are made locally using only the highest quality materials. 

All Axe Struct components carry a 10 Year Guarantee against structural failure. See our Warrantee Agreement for all the details.

Consult with us to ensure that your solar panel mounting systems are precisely what you need to maximise the Earth’s natural resource, the sun!