Some of the most overlooked components within a photovoltaic (PV) racking and tracking system are the fasteners. Although relatively simple and inexpensive components, fasteners play a critical role in the structural integrity of PV systems. Each fastener connects two or more components to create a securely fastened joint which transmits both static loads (live, dead and snow) and dynamic loads (wind). In some systems, the joint also serves as a low resistance electrical conduction path for grounding purposes. A typical PV system contains thousands of fasteners, underscoring the critical role they play in the structural reliability and safety of the system.

Lockbolts have several advantages over traditional threaded fasteners for connecting permanent PV racking system joints. Given the large number of fasteners in a typical PV racking system, lockbolts are generally considered a superior alternative to threaded fasteners where the expense of special installation tools and equipment can be justified. Download this paper to learn more.

 Author: Jon Ness, Principal Engineer, Matrix Engineering Consultants