What are Solar Panel Frames? Lightweight Aluminium Solar Frames and Their Uses

Solar energy is becoming more popular as it is renewable and reduces environmental damage. PV solar panels are in higher demand, and their frame is critical to their durability and function. 

What are Solar Panel Frames?

Frames are crucial for mounting solar modules on rooftops or the ground. They hold the solar solar panel array in place. Both ground and rooftop solar installations need sturdy frames. The frame you choose affects the solar panel’s performance.

Importance of Solar Panel Frames in Solar Mounting Systems

The design of a solar frame is key to ensuring overall mechanical stability and durability of solar panels. The frames fulfill several vital purposes:


Frames protect the inside parts of the solar PV panel from heat and physical stress. This is very important during transport, installation, and bad weather.

Mounting Points

The frames have points for mounting, making it easier to attach solar panels to rooftops and ground installations.


Solar panel frames can make the solar installation look better. You can match the colours of racks, clips, and frames. This makes the appearance more unified and visually appealing.

Damage Prevention

A good aluminium solar panel frame helps prevent short circuits, insulation problems, and other issues. This improves the solar panel’s performance and lifespan.

Structural Stability

Aluminium frames for solar panels provide robust support to solar panels, protecting them from damage caused by various physical impacts, including bird collisions and weather elements.

Withstanding Adverse Conditions

Aluminium frames for your solar panels enhance the rigidity of solar panels, enabling them to endure harsh weather conditions such as heavy snow loads and storms.

Dust Resistance

Aluminium frames protect solar panels from moisture and debris. They ensure proper drainage and stop damage to electrical parts.

Thermal Management

The frames act as heat sinks, drawing excess heat away from solar cells and maintaining optimal operating temperatures, ensuring consistent performance and extended lifespan.

What are the Advantages of Aluminium Solar Panel Frames?

Advantages of Aluminium Solar Panel Frames

Using lightweight aluminium frames in solar panels brings several benefits that enhance their performance and longevity.

Structural Support

Aluminium frames give solar panels the support they need to keep their shape and stay strong. They stop the panels from bending or getting damaged by wind or snow. Silicon solar cells are made into wafers and then put together with EVA. A solar frame supports these panels, ensuring they stay in the correct position and work well for a long time.

Stress Resistance

Solar panels face mechanical stress during transport, installation, and use. Frames protect these panels by absorbing stress, which helps avoid damage to essential parts like photovoltaic cells, glass, and wiring. This protection is vital in keeping the panel working well and lasting longer, ensuring people get the most from their solar energy investment.

Corrosion Resistance

High-quality solar frames are corrosion-resistant, making them great for solar frames in outdoor settings. They protect solar panels from moisture, humidity, and harsh weather, ensuring they last longer. Aluminium is popular among solar frame manufacturers because it doesn’t rust. This keeps the solar panels looking good and working well over time. Aluminium-framed solar panels are brilliant for those interested in renewable energy.

Enhanced Longevity

Aluminium frame mounting structure is designed to make solar panels last longer, up to 40-50 years. They protect the edges and corners from damage. These frames also stop moisture from getting in, which can cause corrosion or electrical issues. This keeps the solar panels strong and extends their life. Also, aluminium frames are a key to protecting the solar panels against environmental and mechanical damage. This means solar panels work well for many years, giving users a better return on investment.

Weather Protection

Aluminium solar frames protect solar panels from weather. These frames shield the panels from harsh conditions like moisture and humidity. This protection keeps the solar panels safe, helping them work well in different climates. It makes the solar panels last longer, stay efficient, and be reliable for renewable energy, regardless of weather.

Facilitates Installation

Aluminium is affordable and lightweight. It has mounting holes for easy and secure installation. This ensures panels are correctly aligned on rooftops, ground mounts, or other structures. The installation process becomes efficient and dependable.


Aluminium solar frames are suitable for sustainability because they can be recycled. This reduces the environmental impact of solar panels by making them friendlier for generating power with sunlight. The ability to recycle aluminium frames supports the aim of a circular economy, where resources are used again and keep their value. Aluminum is the best material for solar frames, helping the solar industry support a sustainable future.


Aluminium frames make solar installations look better. They give a finished and matte look, making solar panels fit well with building designs. The sleek, modern look of aluminium frames matches many building styles, appealing to homeowners and businesses. This improvement in appearance is significant for more people to accept and use solar energy. It allows solar panels to blend in with their surroundings, ensuring they don’t spoil the area’s look.


Aluminium is light but strong, making it ideal for solar panel frames. It provides the necessary strength without adding extra weight. This is important because solar panels are exposed to weather conditions like wind, rain, and snow. They need to be durable to avoid damage. The lightweight nature of aluminium makes solar panels more straightforward to handle and install. Solar panels can be mounted on different surfaces and structures without too much weight. This ensures solar panels are secure and can withstand environmental challenges without too much stress on the structure.

Solar Panel Frame Design Considerations

Solar Panel Frame Design Considerations

Closed vs. Open Cavities

Solar panel frames with closed cavities collect water. If the water freezes, it can expand and damage the frame. Using frames with open cavities is better. Open cavities let water drain, reducing damage risk from freezing water.

Tapered Edges

Tapered edges on solar panel frames are essential for keeping the panels clean and efficient. They reduce the area where dust and debris can gather, helping solar panels work at their best. This design is crucial for maintaining panel cleanliness, especially in dusty environments.

Sharp Edges and Special Screws

Solar panel frames must have no sharp edges to avoid injury. Use special screws for solar installations. These screws make the frame safe and secure by being electrically and mechanically conductive and adequately earthed.

Joining Materials

Choosing the suitable materials to connect the aluminium frame to the glass laminate is crucial to avoid stress from temperature changes. Materials that match the expansion rates of aluminium and glass prevent damage and keep the solar panel working well over time. This is important for the solar panel’s long life and strength in different weather conditions. Which is Better: Steel or Aluminium Solar Frames?

Cost Comparison

Cost matters a lot when choosing between aluminium and steel alloys. Steel is cheaper than aluminium. However, not all steel types cost the same. Mild and carbon steel cost less than aluminium, while stainless steel costs more. Even though saving money sounds good, think about everything. Making custom shapes with aluminium can be cheap because the tools and dies don’t cost much.

Durability & Corrosion Comparison

Steel and tempered aluminium are known for their strength, but they have different levels of corrosion resistance. Steel can rust over time when exposed to moisture and air, especially if it’s not treated or coated. Stainless steel resists corrosion better but is heavier and more expensive. This might only be suitable for some uses. Aluminum doesn’t rust because of its properties but can corrode without proper protection. Protective coatings, like powder coating and anodisation, are essential for preventing aluminium corrosion. Aluminium naturally resists corrosion well because of its oxide film. Carbon steel needs protective layers to avoid corrosion in wet conditions. Both materials can last longer with suitable finishes, but aluminium’s natural oxide layer gives it better corrosion resistance.

Weight Comparison

Aluminium is lighter than steel because it has less carbon. Steel is stronger and can resist bending. On average, steel is 2.5 times denser than aluminum. Mild steel is lighter but not as strong as regular steel. Aluminum is easy to handle and cheaper to ship, making it cost-effective.


How much do solar panel frames cost in South Africa?

Solar panel frame costs in South Africa depend on the material (aluminum or steel), size, and manufacturer. Prices range from R250 to R1500 per frame. The cost can also be affected by the material thickness, frame design complexity, and extra features like durability coatings. It’s best to contact suppliers or manufacturers for quotes based on your needs for exact prices.

Are DIY solar frames worth it?

DIY solar frames can save money and let you customise if you’re good with construction or metalwork. It takes time and effort to make them well and durable. Buying pre-made frames guarantees they meet industry standards for strength and durability. Decide if saving money and customising is worth more than the time and effort needed.

Why aluminum frame is used in solar panels?

Aluminum frames are used in solar panels because they are light, durable, and resist corrosion. The metal forms a protective oxide layer, preventing corrosion and damage under harsh conditions. Aluminum’s lightness makes the panels easy to handle and install and cheaper to transport. It is vital, protecting the solar panels from damage and lasting longer. Aluminium can be shaped into different forms, making it flexible for other solar panel designs. This makes aluminum the best choice for solar panel frames, ensuring they are efficient and durable.

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