Mounting a solar panel

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Mounting a solar panel Empty Mounting a solar panel

Post by Wingnut on Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:40 pm

Just seen in Johno's reply to Cruizing Comet, the idea of using the factory fitted roof bars to mount a solar panel. I'd had the same thought (2007 Rienza with roof bars fitted) as I don't like the thought of mounting direct to the roof. Anyone else done this, or thought about it? Any suggestions would be welcome!

I'm looking to fit a 90W panel, about 1200 x 500mm.I'd thought of mounting two bars running fore and aft between the front two roof bars, which are just under 1200mm apart, and mounting the panel between them. That would allow the panel to be located clear of all the roof furniture. Probably need to be aluminium bars and mountings, and/or well isolated with plastic, to avoid dissimilar metals corrosion with the aluminium roof bars. Also needs to be rigid enough to hold the panel firmly without flexing, and with no sharp edges - I use a cover in winter. Maybe a risk of interfering with TV reception with the TV antenna nearby? Not a big problem for me, but worth bearing in mind.

On the Rienza there's an upstand on the roof nearby for the gas heater flue, near the front roofbar mounting on the offside and I'd thought of taking a cable gland through that to take the wiring. That would keep the cable entry out of any water standing on the roof. It's also directly above the wardrobe so convenient for routing the wiring.

Thanks in anticipation
John K
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Mounting a solar panel Empty Mounting a Solar panel

Post by burlingtonboaby on Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:06 pm

Hi Wingnut
I have a 85 watt solar panel on my Nuevo roof, fitted by A/S Willersey, it is fitted direct to the roof itself and sits about an inch of the roof, tops up the batteries all day long. I hose it off once in a while to clean the seagull pooh of it and the leaves from under it.
Fixing it to the roof bars, well you need one of the forum experts to help you there.

Good luck and a happy new year.

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Mounting a solar panel Empty Re: Mounting a solar panel

Post by TeamRienza on Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:25 am

Hi Wingnut,

I have a 2006 Rienza and am giving thought to having solar panels fitted, so am very interested in your idea of fixing to the roof bars. My bars are tubular alloy, however they are only secured to each side of the van by 1 bolt. I suspect that this may be insufficient and also that the spacing of the bars might not be appropriate. I would worry also about the flexibility of of the bars. They do not appear to be particularly stiff.

I had already discounted the idea of using them for securing our canoes (discovery 158s) and sit on tops.

Adhesive seems to be the normal method of fixing panels to the roof with the cable gland being the only breech of the roof. I like the idea of the upstand for that purpose. On my van there is a chimney so that is ruled out for me.

I would be very keen to hear the outcome of your research.

All the best

Davy
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Post by roli on Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:26 am

Most panels have brackets fitted directly to the roof with adhesive which seems to work ok. When you swop the van, drill through the pop rivets between the panel and the brackets leaving the brackets on the roof. There is nothing wrong with mounting on your roof bars in fact if you have them its a good idea it could be done with circular pipe clips (ali or plastic)

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Mounting a solar panel Empty Re: Mounting a solar panel

Post by dandywarhol on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:13 am

Standard setup is popped and sealed brackets on the later Clubman (men?) Just make sure you have enough gap underneath for air to cool the panel

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Mounting a solar panel Empty Re: Mounting a solar panel

Post by Johno on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:33 am

One of the reasons why I'm contemplating using roof rails to mount the solar panel is that the panel is easily removed when changing the van. smile!

In the past I've fixed to the roof used a combination of Sikaflex and self tappers and the panel has gone to the next owner at a cost of about £500 to me each time. so_sad

John.
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Mounting a solar panel Empty Re: Mounting a solar panel.

Post by whisky on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:54 am

Hi Wingnut & Johno.

My panel has been on the current van for 3 years. Fixed with some 30mm X 10mm Ali strap/ 15mm chrome plated brass pipe clips(as pic) and 15mm X 4mm brass bolts. No movement and no problems with the use of different metals. This panel was also on my previous van. No probs.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Hope these are some help.

Cheers. Whisky.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

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Post by dandywarhol on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:59 am

That's neat! smile!

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Mounting a solar panel Empty Re: Mounting a solar panel

Post by Johno on Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:06 am

Hi Whisky

You've confirmed my thinking many thanks allthumbz

Great pic's as well.

Best regards John.
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