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Old 06-06-2013, 11:55 AM   #1
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Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

I recently purchased 6 Sharp 250W solar panels, about 40" x 64" each, and I'm trying to figure out how to mount them securely on my roof. I have a very curved roof near the edges, with about 30 feet x 8 feet area, minus a chimney and two hatches. I was thinking it would be best to have two rows, with the panels long-wise. One row doesn't quite fit.

Luckily the panels have screw holes on the underside, so I was going to get some aluminum angle iron and stainless steel nuts/bolts to make feet. The aluminum feet will be made from two pieces of angle that are cut and placed reverse to each (with a bolt) other to make a Z shape. The bolt will let it swivel at an arbitrary angle.

I was curious to see if anybody had success mounting their panels at optimal angles, maybe even adjustable angles per season. I'm trying to do this on the cheap.

I am going to stop by the hardware store and see what sort of "rails" they might have. I was going to take a thick flat piece of aluminum, drill a hole and have a large bolt go through from underside that will go through the Z-foot to secure. It just leaves the top end that I am unsure about because it needs to allow the angle to adjust as well. I may also be on the road so it would be helpful to allow for arbitrary angles depending on latitude and season.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:03 PM   #2
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

*Blink*

Dude. DUDE. That is wicked awesome.

*Scribbles this down to steal and modify*
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:14 PM   #3
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

You might want to check and see what HandyBob says about solar roof installs. If you are going to do solar. Please read his RV Battery Charging Puzzle before you do anything else. Read the whole website, then read it again. Good stuff there.

Do not misunderstand. I am not a huge fan of solar panels. Passive solar, yes. Photovoltaic cells, no. I believe they have a huge pollution footprint created during manufacture that they do not over come during their projected lifespan. Sorta like I have a problem with "clean" nuclear power and the lie that mercury filled compact fluorescent are better for the environment than incandescent bulbs. But that's not the issue here. Handy Bob's site is the best site that I have found for explaining solar and what you really need to set it up right. Solar panels just aren't for us. I do not feel the urge to baby sit battery banks etc. I like to park under trees for the shade. It's easier on the air conditioner. I have looked into solar power generation extensively. I know it's really not for us.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:38 PM   #4
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Here is how I did mine. They can be tilted up at different angles for different seasons. They can also be tilted forward instead of back, but not side to side. I lay them flat for driving.





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Old 06-06-2013, 10:42 PM   #5
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkieri
Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Mel
*Blink*

Dude. DUDE. That is wicked awesome.

*Scribbles this down to steal and modify*
Don't forget to thank Team WildBlue.....I'll tell your mom on you!
Yes, Herr Malkieri. I'll get started on my Thank You notes as soon as I have the Camper up and running. :P

Hey, Mum, since I'm stuck out here in the bloody Sahara without a tree in sight, can I put a couple of solar panels on my bus? The poor Camper will likely spend a lot of time in my Store's parkinglot since I'm gonna be brooooooke by the time I get it (I hate having to fix the tranny in the RV. Hate. It. If You Really Loved Me You Would Kill Me)
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:36 PM   #6
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Mel
...
Hey, Mum, since I'm stuck out here in the bloody Sahara without a tree in sight, can I put a couple of solar panels on my bus? The poor Camper will likely spend a lot of time in my Store's parkinglot since I'm gonna be brooooooke by the time I get it (I hate having to fix the tranny in the RV. Hate. It. If You Really Loved Me You Would Kill Me)
I don't care what you do with your bus. Just don't expect us to drive from TX to fix what you broke! My goal is to win the Powerball and this this dust bowl in a cloud of... you know!

It's supposed to be over 100F all next week. What lunatics idea was it to come out here? And why did we listen to said nutcase?

Leave the tranny in the Class C alone.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:07 PM   #7
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Photovoltaic cells, no. I believe they have a huge pollution footprint created during manufacture that they do not over come during their projected lifespan.
Storage batteries have the same problem. You never get as much power out of solar panels or batteries as it took to build them so they'll never be viable for grid storage. Next generation batteries us lots of rare elements that are difficult or impossible to recycle. For RV's they're quite useful. Not very efficient, but useful.

Back on topic, I also like your panel brackets. Inexpensive, simple and effective.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:11 PM   #8
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
It's supposed to be over 100F all next week. What lunatics idea was it to come out here? And why did we listen to said nutcase?
I believe it was yours. Something about maybe-the-change-in-scenery-would-be-good-for-me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Leave the tranny in the Class C alone.
I have a two-month timeline (possibly less) to get out of this backyard, I can't leave it alone.

Also, too late, I fixed it. Please be massively proud of me because while my mood is riding high, my confidence is in the toilet (due to Housemate up and leaving me here by my onesy with a vegetarian that keeps riding my butt about my meat-heavy way of eating, he wants to drop his house into foreclosure, hence the timeline).
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:13 AM   #9
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Mel
Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
It's supposed to be over 100F all next week. What lunatics idea was it to come out here? And why did we listen to said nutcase?
I believe it was yours. Something about maybe-the-change-in-scenery-would-be-good-for-me.
I believe it was YOUR sibling who insisted we bring you out here. MY PLAN was to head to L A (Lower Alabama) and figure out what to do from there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Mel
Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Leave the tranny in the Class C alone.
I have a two-month timeline (possibly less) to get out of this backyard, I can't leave it alone.

Also, too late, I fixed it.
I thought you were working on Claudia's tranny. As for moving.... MOVE BACK INTO THE CAMPGROUND YOU CHEAPSKATE!
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:24 AM   #10
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by roach711
Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Photovoltaic cells, no. I believe they have a huge pollution footprint created during manufacture that they do not over come during their projected lifespan.
Storage batteries have the same problem. You never get as much power out of solar panels or batteries as it took to build them so they'll never be viable for grid storage.
I also have a problem with vintage technology batteries used as storage. Until a good, inexpensive,low impact alternative is widely manufactured, no energy production method that requires a storage unit will be feasible.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:52 AM   #11
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
I believe it was YOUR sibling who insisted we bring you out here. MY PLAN was to head to L A (Lower Alabama) and figure out what to do from there.
Here's a plan; We Kill The Batrman. I mean, we blame my Sister. I'm moving to L.A. Looking at Fairhope or northern Mobile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
I thought you were working on Claudia's tranny. As for moving.... MOVE BACK INTO THE CAMPGROUND YOU CHEAPSKATE!
I'm moving back into the 'Grounds quick as I can. I'm not about to be in another yard again, I'll starve and walk first. This is bloody ridiculous.



ETA: Fixed tags.
ETA Part Duex: Gah, did I say Sweet Water? I meant Fairhope. Sweet Water is WAY too far north.
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:05 PM   #12
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof


Crap, I missed a lot in just three days......at first the Tranny I thought was a person that needed "fixin"; thank god I read all of the post's and didn't speed read
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:57 PM   #13
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil

Crap, I missed a lot in just three days......at first the Tranny I thought was a person that needed "fixin"; thank god I read all of the post's and didn't speed read
That would be the guy(?) Who owns the house who's yard she's staying in.
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:51 PM   #14
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

SURPRISE!!!

I just thought my mind was....blurry...ugh...nope

I reckon not
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:24 PM   #15
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Just got to keep up. This is "normal" for us.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:39 PM   #16
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyrkin
Here is how I did mine. They can be tilted up at different angles for different seasons. They can also be tilted forward instead of back, but not side to side. I lay them flat for driving.






.. if you move them further apart to get that front one out of the shadow of the rear one you will get much better performance out of your solar setup .. most panels virtually shut down with even minimal shade or shadows blocking them ..
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:28 AM   #17
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil

Crap, I missed a lot in just three days......at first the Tranny I thought was a person that needed "fixin"; thank god I read all of the post's and didn't speed read
That would be the guy(?) Who owns the house who's yard she's staying in.
Yup! My Housemate (the one that owns the house) is MtF. This is really normal for me, people like hir tend to flock to me for some reason.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RevBill
most panels virtually shut down with even minimal shade or shadows blocking them ..
I read about that, the minimal shade thing. My question is what's the difference between the Panels that Herr Malkieri has and the Panels that Herr Gyrkin has? Besides the style, is one type preferable? Which one would function better in shade vs the Sahara Sun I have currently melting my brain?

So much to learn! Gah!
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:43 AM   #18
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by RevBill
.. if you move them further apart to get that front one out of the shadow of the rear one you will get much better performance out of your solar setup .. most panels virtually shut down with even minimal shade or shadows blocking them ..
In the middle of the winter when the sun is the lowest that is an issue, but the rest of the year it's not. In the winter the solar panels are only used to trickle charge the batteries since I'm not using it, so it's not an issue. Thanks for the tip none-the-less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Mel
My question is what's the difference between the Panels that Herr Malkieri has and the Panels that Herr Gyrkin has? Besides the style, is one type preferable? Which one would function better in shade vs the Sahara Sun I have currently melting my brain?
While I don't have an answer to your question I can tell you where mine came from. They came off a railroad application. They had several bullet holes through them and needed some repair. A friend who works for the railroad gave them to me. It's hard to argue with free.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:40 AM   #19
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyrkin
Quote:
Originally Posted by RevBill
They came off a railroad application. They had several bullet holes through them and needed some repair. A friend who works for the railroad gave them to me. It's hard to argue with free.
OOoooooooh, my mate's big brother works for a Railway outside of Wolverhampton. Kinda doubt he could send me the cells, though, dunno how UK cells would line up with US power hauls (...something ELSE to research for grins and giggles! WHEEEE~!).

But, yeah, can't argue with free!
(Well, ya could, but then it really depends on what's free...)
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:35 AM   #20
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Re: Mounting/securing solar panels on roof

And don't forget that when ambient temps climb too high, the PV panels start shutting down.
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