Fitting solar from scratch

Discussion in 'Mech Tech' started by 1973daisey, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. are all silkaflex the same ?
     
  2. 1973daisey likes this.
  3. do you know which one to fix a cable gland to the roof.
     
    Mathew Clarkson likes this.
  4. 252 is the one they recommend for replacing mechanical fixings for bonding on caravans etc.
     
    Pickles likes this.
  5. Hey,
    I guess this thread is as good as any other about solar panels to ask this.

    Has anyone tried installing solar panels "in" the roof rack of a front hinged westy roof?

    Judging by the space available it seems like I could fit pretty descent panels there. Plus as opposed to fitting the panels on the pop top, it would save me the hassle of having to have extendable cable for when the top is up.
    Drawbacks are:
    - the fact that I'm loosing the roof rack as an extra storage. But to be honest we hardly ever use it and I could make it detachable using clamps on the rack bars and with extension cables to make a deported unit).
    - it might be in the shade during part of the day. But I guess it's the same for any partially opening pop top wherever I put it.

    Any ideas?
     
    Zoedanbus and 1973daisey like this.
  6. This is what I'm thinking about doing. Sure I have seen someone who has done it, i think I can avoid any new holes with this method as well

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    agaric likes this.
  7. Please keep me posted if you find any new info!

    With this setup I thought I could use rigid panels. I just need to find some with the correct dimensions.

    What cable routing are you planning to avoid any hole? Back inside the van via the pop top cutout and then to the leisure battery via existing hole?
     
    1973daisey likes this.
  8. Yup that's pretty much it for the routing. I was planning on placing the wire through the zipped panel at the rear of the poptop as the wire can just feed in and it would nearly zip fully up. Probably won't happen until winter or early spring though

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
     
  9. If everything goes well the plan for me is to do a first install next month. Use it like that for our holidays in September and then clean up the setup at the September techenders (leveraging some people knowledge about clean wiring ;)).
    I'll let you know what I find.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  10. Take plenty of pics :D

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  11. I'm going to dothe same.

    Using this panel https://www.photonicuniverse.com/en...-made-of-high-quality-German-solar-cells.html as it fits in the gap fine. the roof rack bars have been removed and I'm planning on fitting a couple of aluminium box sections for the panel to fix to using https://www.photonicuniverse.com/en...torhomes-caravans-boats-or-roof-mounting.html and this cable gland https://www.photonicuniverse.com/en...pervans-boats-and-building-installations.html because no one will see it.

    as regards the aluminium box sections I'm pondering on how to secure, thinking I might use a couple of rubber mounts (demi John bungs cut to length) and bolting through both the roof rack and also the roof.

    I haven't got the aluminium box section but I have panel and have offered it up, fits fine, but I have a couple of more urgent things to sort on the bus so unlikely to get done until late August.
     
    agaric likes this.
  12. Thanks, that's very helpful!

    I still have the roof bars so I was planning on using tube clamps to fix everything. Just need to check if this is strong enough to keep the panel from sliding.
     
  13. Spotted this today at DATC. Similar cable routing to what I had in mind but I think I will try for the zip on ours. Also I want to secure a flexible to the luggage rack bars.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

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    agaric and Pickles like this.
  14. Nice setup! Roof bars removed as well like @Pickles wanted to do.

    I need to finalize the plan next week but ideally I would like to mount the panel in something like that:
    [​IMG]
    This way I would be able to angulate or even dismount the panel fairly simply.

    One question, for those with panels already installed. How bad is shade affecting your power output? (And are your panels polycrystalline or monocrystalline?)
     
    1973daisey likes this.
  15. Nice setup! Roof bars removed as well like @Pickles wanted to do.

    I need to finalize the plan next week but ideally I would like to mount the panel in something like that:
    [​IMG]
    This way I would be able to angulate or even dismount the panel fairly simply.

    One question, for those with panels already installed. How bad is shade affecting your power output? (And are your panels polycrystalline or monocrystalline?)
     
  16. @agaric i've seen a thread about solar panels in a westy roof somewhere, perhaps the samba?

    i think they used two panels, one was fixed and the other moveable on a long wire
     
  17. agaric likes this.
  18. §
    I think I saw this one with the tilting panel on early bay but probably no longer due to photo bucket picture issue. I dont put my roof up that much so I'm not overly concerned and going to make it simple i.e. fixed.
     
    agaric likes this.
  19. Thanks! I thought about something like this but was afraid it wouldn't be solid enough to resist the wind (on an early roof the panel would have to tilt opposite from driving direction). I'll have a look at the thread though as I like the hidden second panel. :)

    I should learn from you... I'm not really good at keeping things simple. I always want to try the slightly better yet ten times more complex approach... tuesday_wildchild
     
  20. There's obviously a benefit to be hand by tilting it in the direction of the sun. But the mechanism to do this would have to be simple so that you used it and the issue is if it only tilts in one direction then you won't get any 'added' benefit if you have to park the wrong way round.
     

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