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Issues on the Design and Fabrication of Extruded Aluminum Framing

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Issues on the Design and Fabrication of Extruded Aluminum Framing
for the Solar Industry

Giovanni Barbareschi, Tekna S.p.A., Baranzate, Italy


ABSTRACT—The paper initially presents various solutions that are available for the fabrication
of aluminum extrusions for the photovoltaic (PV) panels frames, racking systems and parabolic
trough CSP space frames. The option between automation and manpower together with the level
of flexibility in the product manufacturing processes determine the capital investment required for
the deployment of the fabrication equipment as well as the achievable production capacity: all
these factors must be properly balanced in order to be able to produce parts whose cost can be
accepted by the solar market. In spite of the manufacturing solution being used, when dealing
with aluminum extrusions used in an environment subject to large thermal excursion, the effect of
Thermal expansion must be carefully considered. Based on a detailed analysis of the thermal
expansion static and dynamic phenomena on aluminum extrusion framing, some useful guidelines
are outlined for the design and manufacturing of aluminum space frames for the solar industry.

© Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation (ET Foundation). All rights reserved. No part of The Proceedings may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the ET Foundation.