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Old 06-06-2021, 01:50 PM   #1
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Default My solar project

Finished mounting the 320w panel. Getting the mounts to match the roof angles exactly was a bit of a challenge but not too bad. They're 2.5"x2.5"x.250" 6061 aluminum held down with 3M RP62 VHB tape. The whole assy weighs just over 40 lbs. I still need to install another 12" mount on both ends with eye bots for a safety strap. It's a very solid set up. All stainless hardware with nyloc nuts. I'll add to this post as I get things done.





And here's the rest of the goodies

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Old 06-06-2021, 03:56 PM   #2
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Very beautiful, sir! I'll be very interested in seeing your safety strap design once it's installed. Ho much did the panel cost, if I could ask, and from where did you buy it?

- Jack
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Old 06-06-2021, 04:51 PM   #3
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Thanks Jack. I bought the new panel locally from a solar contractor, surplus from a commercial project. I've had it for a while, I think I paid around $100. It's an LG, part no. LG320N1C-G4
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Old 06-06-2021, 05:20 PM   #4
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Looks a great find!

Have you considered the advisability of putting more mounts along the sides? I know many people are now mounting panels with an air gap using the VHB tape, but I can't help but worry that just having mounts in the front and back are not enough.

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Old 06-06-2021, 05:34 PM   #5
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I'd be a lot more concerned with a full height trailer/RV but with this little Hi-Lo, this panel won't see anywhere near the wind load under tow behind my lifted F250 flatbed with an ATV loaded. But as I said in the OP, I plan to put 12" mounts on both ends as well and those will also have 5/16" eye bolts with 1" lashing straps holding those down. What I called "safety straps". Those will clip to the eye bolts on the panel mount and run down the side to the bottom rail of the top section where there will be another mount/eye bolt where everything will cinch up tight. Easy on and off.
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Old 06-06-2021, 11:36 PM   #6
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I think I understand how you intend to do that and it should work fine. DO you have an awning? If so, you'd have to release that side to use the awning, of course. But, as you say, it's easy on/off.

Another thought would be to run the front mount the full width of the solar panel to prevent airflow from getting under the panel when you are underway. You could still use sectioned mounts to match the curve of the roof, but just seal the gaps.

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Old 06-07-2021, 02:22 PM   #7
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Well done. Are you dumbing down the power down to 12v? the strongest panel i've found in 12v is 210w.
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Old 06-07-2021, 02:39 PM   #8
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guy, Renogy is one source that has larger capacity charge controllers. I've seen MPPT controllers there that handle up to 40 Amps (or 480 Watts at 12V). Correction, they have one that handles up to 100 Amps now.

But yes, he'd certainly have to run the output of that panel through a charge controller to reduce the voltage.

- Jack
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Old 06-07-2021, 02:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatguy View Post
Well done. Are you dumbing down the power down to 12v? the strongest panel i've found in 12v is 210w.
I'm not familiar with the term dumbing down in this context. This panel would be considered 24, nominal voltage being 33v. My charge controller will take any input up to 150v and convert it to whatever voltage the battery bank runs at, 12v or 24v. I'm currently running 12v sealed lead acid batteries batteries. When they die I plan to replace them with a 200ah 24v lithium battery and add some more panels. Hope that answers your question.
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Old 06-07-2021, 03:33 PM   #10
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I'm still learning on solar. I just thought when you had a 12v system you have to have a 12v volt panel unless you get a voltage regulator to convert from 24v or 48 v or (etc) to 12v. I didn't know that the newer charge controllers can do that!
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Old 06-07-2021, 03:47 PM   #11
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Any solar charge controller worth buying is "smart" that way. This is the one I have:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Edit: And you don't have to spend near as much as I did to get that same functionality. Plenty of perfectly good charge controllers for less $$
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Old 06-12-2021, 02:48 PM   #12
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Into the combiner box she goes...

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Old 06-12-2021, 03:50 PM   #13
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Nice! It's coming together beautifully, pjriss! I kind of wish I'd used a box something like that when I did mine, but, inserting the wires through the hole the TV antenna used seems to have held up fine.

I'll be interested on how well you think it works while camping. I know I'm totally happy with mine.

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Old 06-12-2021, 05:28 PM   #14
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I really like that box and gang block connector. As I add panels I can make all the series connections right there without all the spaghetti adaptors.

Oh here's what I came up with for side hold downs/safety straps.




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Old 06-12-2021, 06:00 PM   #15
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That looks secure as hell! AND, you aren't over the awning, so you can just leave it attached while camping. Nice work!

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