Solar panel support

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10 Mar 2013 23:01 #21 by OKA in Africa
OKA in Africa replied the topic: Solar panel support
Thanks a lot for the measurements of the roof area!

Tony Lee,
looking at your set up on picasaweb.google.com/1146117281102541343...#5600904487100886354 I was wondering if you have a close up pictures of your bracket and fitting of the front solar panel? What are the dimensions of your front panel?
Looks like your panel is close to to roof but still has enough air flow between roof and panel.

Thank you and best regards

OKA #327 in Africa
www.oka4wd.com/forum/members-vehicles-pu...47-oka-327-in-africa

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11 Mar 2013 06:18 - 11 Mar 2013 06:19 #22 by Paul Scherek
Paul Scherek replied the topic: Solar panel support
I used the very thin and light semi-flexible solar panels. They simply glue on to the roof without significantly increasing height, and only minimally raising the centre of gravity compared to heavy conventional panels.



But of course there is no cooling breeze between the panels and the roof.

Will this mean that on a hot day I will get reduced output?

Cheers,
Paul
Last Edit: 11 Mar 2013 06:19 by Paul Scherek. Reason: Ebay link did strange things!

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12 Mar 2013 02:09 - 12 Mar 2013 02:19 #23 by Tony Lee
Tony Lee replied the topic: Solar panel support
The output of solar panels does drop with temperature, but some types are worse than others.

OIA - no, don't seem to have anything closer and that configuration is no longer. I never worry too much about maintaining the mythical 25mm air gap anyway and the installation on the crew cab was no exception. As you can see the mounting angle varied between the two cabs and along the sides I used 65 x 30 x 3mm angle (two separate sections meeting at an angle) plus some extra short brackets on each of the long sides for extra support, plus the bits of pool noodle to reduce bounce.

All the brackets were just glued to the roof using Sikaflex and the brackets were pop-riveted to the sides of the panel frames.
Basically just sat the panels on the roof and adjusted spacing from the roof to give at least some ventilation and to get the back of the front panel and the front of the back panel at the same level.

BTW - the sides of the solar panel frames seem to be double walled and I'm not sure whether we are supposed to drill holes because if there was some sort of hermetic seal, there sure isn't after I finish with it. Seems to me that unless this was actually sealed construction, an easy way to solve supposed ventilation requirements would be to drill a few 25mm diameter holes through the side walls to let the hot air out. Might also make for some interesting sounds as you drive. Others have pointed out that a panel sitting in the sun in high summer is going to be hellishly hot regardless of underneath ventilation and anyway, once you are moving, even a slight gap is going to provide enough ventilation. Worst that can happen is you lose a bit of efficiency.
Last Edit: 12 Mar 2013 02:19 by Tony Lee.

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12 Mar 2013 05:23 #24 by Peter and Sandra OKA 374
Peter and Sandra OKA 374 replied the topic: Solar panel support
I did the same as tony to mount them on the poptop roof but used 6mm nutserts in the sides of the panels so that they can be removed relatively easily if required.
The two panels over the cab are mounted the same way on the outer sides and between them I used a channel section with the bottom bolting to the roof rack and the sides to the panel frames with nutserts.
I too wondered about flex while travelling from rough roads and also wind gusts from trucks going the other way but decided not to fit anything under them like the pool noodles etc. So far in about 30,000 kms we've had no problems despite one big wind gust from truck lifting the sun visor right off the turret.
The other thing to watch with any panel installation is that nothing rubs against the back of the panel, if the coating is removed even by a small amount it stops the panel working properly if at all.

OKA 374 LT Van, converted to camper/motorhome,
400ah Lithiums, 1100w solar, diesel cooking heating and HWS,
Cummins 6BT, Allison 6 speed auto, Nissan transfer.

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19 Dec 2013 18:56 - 19 Dec 2013 19:02 #25 by OKA in Africa
OKA in Africa replied the topic: Solar panel support
Thanks for the input. I finally decided to get two panels.
1. A small one (30W) which I can easily remove and extend on top of the garage roof when the OKA is in storage for a couple of months. This keeps the batteries charged.
2. A big one (100W) to help the batteries getting charged while camping.

Looking into different ways to connect the panels I decided to use galvanized angle iron which is glued with Sikaflex to the roof. Perfectly strong, low profile, Sikaflex reduces vibration and the panel can be removed from the angle iron taking out the metal screws. Cables wired through the roof and Anderson plugs used to connect them to the panels.

Below picture does show the panels in Namibia


location: maps.google.com/maps?saddr=-23.45302,15....ft&mrsp=0&sz=17&z=16

Thank you and best regards

OKA #327 in Africa
www.oka4wd.com/forum/members-vehicles-pu...47-oka-327-in-africa
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Last Edit: 19 Dec 2013 19:02 by OKA in Africa.

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