The renewable energy industry, also known as green energy, is experiencing rapid growth as emerging technologies in wind power, solar power (including photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power), hydroelectric, and geothermal power generation continue to develop. This expansion is largely driven by changes to existing legislative policies aimed at reducing the environmental impact of traditional energy sources such as coal, petrochemicals, and nuclear power, in response to our increasing energy demand.
To achieve these environmental goals, significant infrastructure investment is required to manufacture and install these innovative green energy generating systems. Among the many vital components required for this infrastructure are various types of fasteners, including screws, bolts, nuts, and washers. With many of these systems being designed, engineered, and manufactured in Europe or according to European standards, there is a high demand for DIN metric fasteners for the production and installation of these units.
What kind of Fasteners are used in the Solar and Green Energy Industries?
Common structural fasteners used to mount the systems (eg wind turbines and their components) to their supports include:
- large high strength structural bolts (eg ASTM A325, A490; metric DIN 6914)
- structural nuts (eg ASTM A563, A194, F594; metric DIN 6915)
- structural washers (eg ASTM F436; DIN 6916)
A myriad of screws are also used to fasten the drive train and internal electronics to the appropriate substructures. These include:
- hex head cap screws (DIN 931, DIN 933, DIN 960, DIN 961
- nuts (hex nuts DIN 934; nylon insert lock nuts DIN 985)
- socket head cap screws (DIN 912)
- washers (flat and lock; DIN 125, DIN 127)
Due to exposure to environmental elements, several of these fasteners must have corrosion-resistant coatings, such as a hot-dip galvanized finish, or be crafted from corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel and aluminum. In many cases, high-strength stainless steel bolts and nuts are necessary. A4-80 austenitic, acid-proof stainless steel metric bolts and nuts are often required. These components have undergone significant cold working to enhance their tensile strength for mechanically strenuous applications, while simultaneously providing exceptional corrosion resistance.
One type of specialty fastener for solar installations is and all encompassing part called, appropriately enough a Solar Bolt. These bolts are basically hanger bolts (a stud one side machine thread and the other lag thread) with flat washers. sealing washers, hex nut and nylon lock nut attached.
The components are all made of stainless steel and are specifically designed to hold down solar panel systems. They are available in a a variety of sizes depending on the specific requirement. Please contact us for any further information on these specialty parts.