The vital role of sheet metal in the solar industry

Sheet metal helps solar energy companies develop faster, cheaper, and better solutions

Many companies are trying to find better, cheaper, and faster ways to build renewable energy solutions so they can win the global race to provide cleaner energy. They often overlook the simplest way to capture more of the renewable energy market: to use more sheet metal. Sheet metal isn’t the first material that comes to mind when thinking about modern solar technology, and many solar power experts don’t understand the importance sheet metal plays in renewable energy.

Solar power trends in Canada

In North America, around 11% of the total energy consumed in the US comes from renewable sources, while in Canada, renewable energy contributes to 17%. And, according to projections by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), sources like solar and wind are expected to be the most rapidly expanding contributors to US electricity generation in the coming years. Although hydropower dominates the renewable energy landscape in Canada—especially in BC—wind and solar power are quickly becoming the most rapidly adopted electricity sources.

Sheet metal is the perfect choice for solar infrastructures

Solar infrastructures, which are called photovoltaic systems (PVS) can be made of a variety of materials. While the main cells are primarily made out of silicon, the supporting components, which typically account for over half of the system’s cost and most of the maintenance, can include inverters, mounts, combiners, disconnects, and circuit breakers, can be made out of other materials such as sheet metal. These components must be cost-effective, durable, and sustainable, which is why sheet metal is the perfect choice for many PVSs. For example, having solar electronic control boxes manufactured from sheet metal allows for more internal space, whereas plastic solar control boxes tend to be constrained in size due to plastic molds.

The adaptability and versatility of sheet metal in solar energy

Sheet metal works well with solar energy because it’s so versatile and adaptable, allowing it to be molded into diverse shapes and sizes. This proves invaluable for varied solar projects, ranging from expansive solar farms to compact rooftop installations. In corporate settings or residential spaces, where aesthetic considerations are crucial, sheet metal can be shaped and styled to complement architectural designs while still providing the structural integrity required for solar installations. Despite its flexible nature, sheet metal strength isn’t compromised. It can effectively endure environmental extremes, from desert heat to frigid cold.

Cost-effectiveness of sheet metal

While the cost of solar panels has decreased by as much as 50% over the last decade, they are still a large upfront investment. This is why the need for cost-effective materials is even more important. Here, sheet metal shines again, offering affordability without sacrificing quality. Lowering the cost of the overall PVS will accelerate the adoption of solar energy, decreasing the reliance on other forms of energy. 

Sheet metal manufacturing can handle the demands of solar power suppliers 

The growth of the solar and sheet metal industries presents significant economic opportunities. The versatility and adaptability inherent in sheet metal manufacturing position it uniquely to scale up operations effectively in response to market demands. Unlike other industries grappling with extensive lead times and complicated supply chain adjustments when ramping up production, sheet metal manufacturers like Wesgar possess streamlined processes and a relatively straightforward production workflow. The malleability of sheet metal and advanced manufacturing techniques enable rapid design and production run modifications. 

Wesgar has the experience, capacity, and technical ability to meet solar power energy supplier needs 

As the sheet metal component supplier to one of the largest solar organizations in North America, Wesgar has extensive experience in this field. Wesgar’s state-of-the-art machinery and computer-aided design tools on our four-acre manufacturing campus allow us to quickly adjust to industry requirements. Additionally, the raw materials used in sheet metal manufacturing are readily available, ensuring supply constraints rarely bottleneck production increases. In essence, the intrinsic characteristics of Wesgar’s sheet metal fabrication operation and the modern tools employed in its manufacturing converge to provide a robust framework readily adaptable to the ebb and flow of market demands.

Last thoughts on the future of solar energy 

The solar market’s growth is inevitable as the world leans more towards sustainable energy solutions, and sheet metal is essential in ensuring solar installations are functional, durable, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing. With the added benefits of sustainability, technological advancements, and positive economic implications, sheet metal’s importance in the solar market is undeniably invaluable. 

Recap of the benefits of sheet metal for the solar industry 

  • Durability and resistance to corrosion for the construction of solar panel frames and mounting structures, ensure the longevity of solar installations
  • Sheet metal’s lightweight yet strong properties make it easy to transport and install, reducing labor costs and environmental impact
  • Sheet metal can be customized into various shapes and sizes, allowing for efficient design and integration with solar panels. 

When you add this all up, sheet metal is invaluable in constructing and supporting solar power systems.

Let Wesgar solve your sheet metal requirements for solar energy systems 

If you have any questions about how sheet metal can meet your needs, contact Wesgar, we’re experienced in the solar energy industry and Pacific Northwest’s leading sheet metal manufacturer. If you’d like a free consultation on how we can benefit your solar energy project please give us a call. 

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About Wesgar

Wesgar is the fastest-growing one-stop-shop precision sheet metal fabricator and the largest producer of high-mix, variable-volume products in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

From its world-class 100,000 square foot plant, located in Port Coquitlam, more than 200 fabrication specialists, engineers, metal technologists, and quality control professionals operate round-the-clock as a cohesive team to expertly manage the reliable delivery of thousands of quality components and assemblies—crafted in light gauge steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and copper.

Specialists in serving a growing range of industries, including energy storage and backup power systems, power distribution, telecommunications, commercial electronics, medical, OEMs, and more, Wesgar customers value its wide range of innovative services tailored to mitigate supply chain disruptions and deliver exceptional quality, precision, operational innovation, unbeatable value, and personalized service.

Wesgar specializes in the delivery of unrivalled responsiveness, collaborative engineering, and a flexible approach to ensuring components and assemblies arrive precisely when needed.