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Old 05-09-2019, 12:54 AM   #11
HarryN
 
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Default Re: T1N Roof Solar Panel Install Successes / Issues

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Originally Posted by marklg View Post
I have noticed quite a few panels that are about 58 X 27. It seems a popular size. Is that a standard size or are they all a little different?

Mark
Yes, it is a fairly standardized RV size panel size and is produced by multiple suppliers.

IMHO, it is risky to use panels that are substantially different than this unless you have a really good reason. Looking back 10 years, there are nearly no solar panel suppliers in existence today that existed back then.

As you mentioned in a separate note, a 25 year warranty on a solar panel is a meaningless number. Might as well be 1000 years because no one will honor it.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: T1N Roof Solar Panel Install Successes / Issues

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Originally Posted by HarryN View Post
Yes, it is a fairly standardized RV size panel size and is produced by multiple suppliers.

IMHO, it is risky to use panels that are substantially different than this unless you have a really good reason. Looking back 10 years, there are nearly no solar panel suppliers in existence today that existed back then.

As you mentioned in a separate note, a 25 year warranty on a solar panel is a meaningless number. Might as well be 1000 years because no one will honor it.
From what I can see, panels vary from about 660 mm to 675mm wide and are up to 1500mm long. I'll plan for 680mm between brackets and should be able to fit any of them on that. Length is not as big an issue as long as it doesn't hit the fan or AC.

So, I should be able to start with my ancient Kyocera panel and replace it later with a higher efficiency one if I decide to.

Regards,

Mark
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:26 PM   #13
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Default Re: T1N Roof Solar Panel Install Successes / Issues

Just here to say that I recently removed my two 100w panels for a whole roof redesign, and had them attached with VHB only, no screws. I had read about a failure of the primer on here where someone had used VHB to attach a panel, and the original primer delaminated from the skin so I didn't want that.

I located the panels and used a marker to mark the foot locations. Sanded those areas down to bare metal. Cleaned thoroughly with 91% isopropyl alcohol, VHB panel feet down (I did it alone, not fun, you only get one shot but luckily I nailed it), self-leveliing lap sealant around the feet sealing all possibility of water intrusion under tape, then a couple coats of rattle can over the whole shebang just for fun. I was paranoid at first not having mechanical fasteners, but eventually forgot they were up there. Taking them down two years later was insanely hard. I had to pry and cut and slice like crazy, felt like I could've lifted the van up by the panels if need be. If I were doing it again I'd do it the same way, bypassing the paint and primer just for peace of mind. That said, I'm not weary of roof penetrations because as long as they're well sealed you'll likely never have an issue, just check them once in a while.
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Old 05-09-2019, 07:00 PM   #14
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Default Re: T1N Roof Solar Panel Install Successes / Issues

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Originally Posted by Zundfolge View Post
Just here to say that I recently removed my two 100w panels for a whole roof redesign, and had them attached with VHB only, no screws. I had read about a failure of the primer on here where someone had used VHB to attach a panel, and the original primer delaminated from the skin so I didn't want that.

I located the panels and used a marker to mark the foot locations. Sanded those areas down to bare metal. Cleaned thoroughly with 91% isopropyl alcohol, VHB panel feet down (I did it alone, not fun, you only get one shot but luckily I nailed it), self-leveliing lap sealant around the feet sealing all possibility of water intrusion under tape, then a couple coats of rattle can over the whole shebang just for fun. I was paranoid at first not having mechanical fasteners, but eventually forgot they were up there. Taking them down two years later was insanely hard. I had to pry and cut and slice like crazy, felt like I could've lifted the van up by the panels if need be. If I were doing it again I'd do it the same way, bypassing the paint and primer just for peace of mind. That said, I'm not weary of roof penetrations because as long as they're well sealed you'll likely never have an issue, just check them once in a while.
I am worried about the paint / primer coming off, but adding the screws is my solution, rather than removing the paint.

I really only have room for one panel on the roof and so I will mount one of what appears to be a standard size of 1500mm X 680mm or a little less. I can replace it with one of similar size later if more efficient ones come out. I have four 100W panels that I store in the back and deploy when camped, so I just want some power from the roof for when I don't have them deployed.

Regards,

Mark
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Old 05-10-2019, 04:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: T1N Roof Solar Panel Install Successes / Issues

I attached my 150 watt panel using 3M VHB tape on four brackets (if memory serves, about 6" of contact on each), directly on the cleaned up original paint, sealed with Dicor, no mechanical fasteners. Four years, 1000+ miles including a lot of gravel, anf still dead solid. It is stored inside over the winter. Roof penetration forward of the panel using a small plastic junction box with a threaded nipple through the roof, sealed with Dicor, wires run above the sliding door and down the b-pillar to the controller and one house battery under the copilot seat. Second house battery under the left aft cabin floor per LTV. I think the wind load on the panel is light, due to the windshield and forehead profile.
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:36 AM   #16
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Default Re: T1N Roof Solar Panel Install Successes / Issues

For anyone who may have been following this, I have my panel installed on the roof.

I have described the install here:

https://sites.google.com/site/marksrvmods/

and here:

https://sites.google.com/site/marksr...-solar-install

and described battery cable wiring here:

https://sites.google.com/site/marksr...battery-wiring

Regards,

Mark
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:40 PM   #17
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Default Re: T1N Roof Solar Panel Install Successes / Issues

Iím getting ready to install my one solar panel. Like matklg and patkgt Iíve got limited room on my 2005 Vista Cruiser 2500. Iím going to put the panel in the same location and theirs. I went with the Hightec 200w. Will probably use the stock brackets or rvsolarstore linked above. I like the style with two separate parts so if panel needs to be removed then you donít need to remove entire bracket from roof (like the Renogy style where bolt is under the panel with no access). I really like the idea of using 3M tape WITH two sheet metal screws. What size screw did you use? Also I plan to buy a roll of eternabond tape and lap seal. Should I use both the 3M and eternabond under footpad? Or would this degrade the strength of the 3M tape? Better to used just the 3M between footpad and metal roof? I just cannot bring myself to mount a 30-ish lb object traveling at 70mph with tape only. I know itís worked for others but for piece of mind I will be using the screws also.
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Old 07-31-2019, 07:14 PM   #18
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Default Re: T1N Roof Solar Panel Install Successes / Issues

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Iím getting ready to install my one solar panel. Like matklg and patkgt Iíve got limited room on my 2005 Vista Cruiser 2500. Iím going to put the panel in the same location and theirs. I went with the Hightec 200w. Will probably use the stock brackets or rvsolarstore linked above. I like the style with two separate parts so if panel needs to be removed then you donít need to remove entire bracket from roof (like the Renogy style where bolt is under the panel with no access). I really like the idea of using 3M tape WITH two sheet metal screws. What size screw did you use? Also I plan to buy a roll of eternabond tape and lap seal. Should I use both the 3M and eternabond under footpad? Or would this degrade the strength of the 3M tape? Better to used just the 3M between footpad and metal roof? I just cannot bring myself to mount a 30-ish lb object traveling at 70mph with tape only. I know itís worked for others but for piece of mind I will be using the screws also.
As far as I know, the VHB tape is the stickyest there is. I would not mix it with eternabond. How about using the VHB between the footpad and the roof and the eternabond over the top to keep water out?

All the screws are installed, so I can't tell you what size they were. I chose the largest stainless steel screw with a hex head that fit in the holes in the bracket, about 1/4" long or less as you don't hold onto anything but the first layer of sheet metal. Then I took a piece of scrap sheet metal and drilled various hole sizes to see which fit the screws the best so they held and did not strip out, but weren't too small to fit either.

The two piece bracket made it a lot easier to install with easier access to all the fasteners. Use a jam nut or Nylock on the vertical fasteners to the panel.

The Hightec 200W is my choice if I were going new. I had two panels just sitting in the garage the same size, so I used one of them.

Best of luck.

Regards,

Mark
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:15 PM   #19
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Default Re: T1N Roof Solar Panel Install Successes / Issues

Thanks Mark,

Hereís the brackets from Hightec that Iím going with. $40 is a bit steep but itís all just one kit ready to go!! No drilling new holes in the panel frame! And I guess they do come with 3M VHB already installed. ó BONUS. You had any issues with your sheet metal screws vibrating loose over time? Did you use the dicor on threads before you tighten down?

https://www.continuousresources.com/...hoCf2wQAvD_BwE

I appreciate the advise.
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:22 PM   #20
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Default Re: T1N Roof Solar Panel Install Successes / Issues

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Thanks Mark,

Here’s the brackets from Hightec that I’m going with. $40 is a bit steep but it’s all just one kit ready to go!! No drilling new holes in the panel frame! And I guess they do come with 3M VHB already installed. — BONUS. You had any issues with your sheet metal screws vibrating loose over time? Did you use the dicor on threads before you tighten down?

https://www.continuousresources.com/...hoCf2wQAvD_BwE

I appreciate the advise.
I drilled holes in the brackets for the screws. The VHB tape sort of glommed around the holes, helping to seal the screws and sticky enough to keep them in place. I also made those a tight fit. They were quite tight in the roof. Then at the end I added the Dicor to double seal everything into place. Single sided eternabond should do the same thing and probably would be prettier.

Those brackets from Hightech are interesting. They look like they use two lock washers, an interesting concept. One split type lockwasher just does not work under vibration. Jam nuts and Nylocks do and safety wire is even better.

Nothing has come loose yet in about 5000 miles. Some of it was on really rough forest roads.

Regards,

Mark
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