Electrical Systems, Charging and Solar Electrical components and wiring, batteries, charging systems, generators and solar topics.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:34 PM   #1
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Default My 400 Watt solar set up

Just finished my 400 watt solar install. Before Christmas renogy on amazon had an amazing deal on the Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Off Grid Solar Premium Kit. So me and a neighbor each got one. I have a neighbor who works at a sheet metal shop so i had him cut me 8=34x2 aluminum rails to mount the panels too then 3m tape to stick them down. only thing left to do is install my 1 1/2 S.S. strap across the rails under the panels as a safety and finish up with some EternaBond tape.
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:37 PM   #2
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more pics of solar
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:39 PM   #3
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more pictures
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:42 PM   #4
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more solar pictures
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Old 01-26-2020, 07:46 PM   #5
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once again, and 2- 100 watt panels serial x 2, then the 2 pairs wired parallel
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Old 01-26-2020, 08:26 PM   #6
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That looks great! Thanks for sharing. I was searching for ideas and this one is solid.
Where are you in LB and can you do mine ��
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Old 01-27-2020, 10:07 AM   #7
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VERY pretty work, f4mnect! It's a very neat installation.

I have two concerns, that I think you should keep an eye on. Since the panels are mounted above the roof, there will be airflow under them when you are underway. This can cause lifting on those panels and I'm not sure the double-stick tape is up to the job of holding them down. Check that mounting frequently and if you see any loosening, you'll need to do something to prevent loss.

I know the charge controller needs ventilation to work properly. I wonder if it may get too hot under the couch where you have it? Again, this is something I'd keep an eye on until you verify it's OK where it is.

I hope you see my remarks as "constructive". I LOVE the way you did this and hope it works well for you.

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Old 01-27-2020, 11:14 AM   #8
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Valid points that were looked deep into while planing this out, tape I'm using very strong 3m vhb, think it's 16lbs per sq inch... At work right now, 2-34 x 2 rails on each 136 sq inch's each panel, liquid nails extream construction adhesive, around all rails after stuck down, eternal bond taped all rails together and to roof. 1 1/2 S. S. Strap as a safety across all 4 and they will be checked often. The controller is in a enclosed area but that area is not air tight, back of controller completely open and if needed fans or ventilation easy on side or bottom of trailer. Plus we do not camp when it's hot. If we think we will need ac, we don't go. Hope that answers your points.
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Old 01-27-2020, 05:09 PM   #9
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Sounds you've given it all good consideration! We'll be interested in how well you find it works. I know I'm very happy with my solar panels.

- Jack
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:15 PM   #10
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its been very overcast since i installed them, today 1st sunny day. 250 ah battery capacity. this morning before i left for work 1st pic, 2nd pic when i got home. looks like there doing there job
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:01 AM   #11
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Sure a Great looking JOB...
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:20 AM   #12
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Thank you very much, we will see how it does. 1st trip Feb 14th - 17th
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:27 AM   #13
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Great idea!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the plywood under the aluminum roof is very thin. Not much holding power for screws. And I'm not thrilled screwing into the aluminum roof framework for fear of weakening it. Not sure how to even locate the framework through the aluminum roof. I doubt stud finders would work.

Could you share with us the model of the 3M VHB tape you used. Looking at the 3M web site, there appears to be a number of VHB variations.
Since the roof is textured, do you feel tape adhesive got down into the nooks & crannies for an adequate bond?
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:46 AM   #14
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I use 5952 vhb, I sure hope it did, but that's the reason I added the 34x2 rails. To increase the surface area of contact, spent 2 hours precleaning the roof and added the construction adhesive and eternal bond tape after the fact. We shall see but I also added a 1 1/2 S. S. safety strap over rails and under panels. So even if one comes loose there not going anywhere
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:14 PM   #15
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I don't see the safety strap in your pictures. Is that mounted crosswise over all the rails near the front to keep a single one from lifting? And how is that attached?
I'll be anxious to hear how it works on the road. I'm seriously considering this project.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:24 PM   #16
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Not attached yet, being made. Screwed in on each side on rail where screws already are. Then ran tight and screwed to each solar panel rail, then eternal bond tape
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:37 PM   #17
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I like your safety strap idea. Are you concerned about galvanic corrosion between the stainless steel strap and the aluminum rails.
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Old 01-30-2020, 02:05 PM   #18
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No eternal bond tape below and on top, if I get any, won't be a issue
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:49 PM   #19
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safety strap 22 Gage S.S.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:51 PM   #20
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safety strap
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