Buyer Beware!

Buyer Beware!

It is generally accepted that if a deal is too good to be true, then it is just that, too good to be true.

There have been some worrying developments in the Solar PV market in Ireland recently, particularly in the area of PV panel roof mounting hardware – namely:

  • Counterfeit aluminium profiles/rails being used (and sold to end users) as if they are the real thing
  • Installers mixing and matching incompatible components from different manufacturers
  • Unbranded and uncertified roof hooks being used in place of genuine parts

The above may be partially understandable (but not excusable) during times of severe shortages and massive demand, but we are far from being in those scenarios – supply of Solar PV mounting hardware, from reputable and certified producers, has never been better.

The consequences of the scenarios outlined above are varied, but the key ones are:

  • If any counterfeit part is used in a Solar PV mounting system, then the warranty of the entire mounting system is likely to be invalid, as warranty conditions would become void


  • Using counterfeit and/or incompatible parts would void any wind or snow loading calculations, these are critical in ensuring both the right components and quantity of fixings are used


  • Using parts that have never been tested together (nor maybe tested at all) risks the overall strength of the system, failure of any part of a Solar PV mounting system can have catastrophic consequences to buildings, and possessions nearby PV panels, as well as human life


  • Any home or building insurance provider is likely to void any claims for damages involving Solar PV systems, where counterfeit or non-complaint materials are used. Leaving building owners out of pocket.


Solar PV mounting systems are just that – ‘systems‘, each part should be tested individually and then as part of the overall system. Quality manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure the integrity of their parts and spend a huge amount of time and money in getting their products certified for multiple countries. Comprehensive tests should include wind tunnel testing, strength limit tests, pull out tests, wind uplift test, weathertightness and fire performance.


In Rexel Ireland we currently stock Solar PV roof mounting gear from Van der Valk. Van der Valk manufacturers its products solely in The Netherlands, and has no production facilities in Ireland or the UK, nor do they licence their product to other parties. Therefore, any component produced outside of The Netherlands and claiming to be Van der Valk, is counterfeit.


If you are an installer or end-user/homeowner and are concerned you have been supplied with an inferior or counterfeit product which would compromise your PV mounting system, please get in touch with our team for advice on what to look out for.