Nylon Composite Replaces Steel In Solar Support System

Load-bearing elements of a new flat-roof solar panel are made of injection-molded glass-reinforced polyamide (nylon), reducing weight and also cutting the number of pieces needed in the assembly.

German molder Ensinger joined forces with BASF to develop the  modular mounting forPressefoto Solar-Goldbeck-BASF11_EN Goldbeck Solar. The first customer project was a 300 kW system that went into operation in Bavaria late last year.

One of the advantages of the new support system is that the roof membrane is not punctured or damaged during installation. The roof remains water-proof without the need for any additional sealing measures.  In another benefit, numerous functions were integrated into the molded structure, including snap-on connections, ribs and cutouts for draining the water and laying the cables. Substructure systems for photovoltaic installations on flat roofs have been made primarily of steel and aluminum.

BASF’s Ultramid polyamide has a very low tendency to creep, even at high temperatures (up to 80°C [176°F]). It exhibits toughness and stiffness to 30°C [22°F]. BASF says it is one of the engineering plastics that has been certified for a life service of 20 in accordance with ISO 4892-2 Cycle No. 1.  

 

About Doug Smock

Former Chief Editor at Plastics World and Senior Technical Editor Design News
Construction, Design, Europe, Injection Molding, Polyamides, Reinforcing Material ,

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