Aluminum Frame-built for solar panel attachment and mounting
Extruded Aluminum frame, heavy duty, built to fit solar panels. Includes cross-braces and metal feet that can be screwed on to flat roof or sit on ground. Aluminum braces may be cut easily to obtain best angle for latitude and also to face due south on any roof angle or orientation. If both the header and footer of a solar tube panel are bolted into place on the roof, then when the wind blows hard or the earth shakes, there will be movement which could twist the tubes and cause breakage. With a frame that is free-floating on top of the roof surface, the header and footer are fixed relative to each other even as the roof flexes and the glass is safe.
Panel top at 55 inches vertically, can be adjusted according to your latitude requirements by cutting down the vertical brace. Solar panels have maximum solar gain at an angle approximately equal to the latitude. A few degrees either way does not matter much, say 5% or less change in gain, and some installers use a few more degrees than their latitude so that there is more gain in winter, when the sun is low on the horizon, and the solar heating is needed the most.
For more solar gain, adjust the angle of the solar panel to be more in winter when the sun is lower on the horizon, and less in summer when the sun is higher, but most people do not have this kind of time on their hands. Most installers point the panel due south and use a vertical angle approximately equal to latitude. In other words, at a latitude of 45 degrees North of the equator, an angle of 45 degrees from vertical would be the best fixed angle for maximum solar gain over the year.
The first cross brace, from the top, is 25 inches across. The bottom cross brace is 41.5 inches across. For a smaller panel size, the legs could be cut at either cross brace and the feet attached just below either brace. If you do not feel like cutting the Aluminum legs (they are easy to cut), then you could always drill holes as required to mount your panels or tubes and leave the legs as they are. The footprint of the frame as originally delivered is 55 inches long by 62 inches wide.
The solar panel frame angle is 45 degrees-perfect for the continental USA. In Northern states, a few more degrees would be desired, and down south, a few less, but the total gain would only change a few percent. The slope of the roof will be the main cause of any chopping and adjusting needed. For a flat roof, face the panel due south.
Should the roof not be facing due geographic south, and also have a slope, then this frame is needed. By cutting down the legs on one side, one can angle the solar panel due south at the correct angle. Be careful about using a compass to find due south, as geographic south is different from magnetic south, especially next to iron ore mountains.