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Old 06-16-2023, 12:01 PM   #1
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Brackets for mounting solar panels?

What kind of brackets have people used to mount their solar panels?
I'd like to install some kind of rail system to attach mine to, so I've got flexibility to move things if necessary.

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Old 06-16-2023, 12:58 PM   #2
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i removed some rivets on the curve and welded stainless steel nuts inside before insulating the inside. then just put bolts with o rings to seal them until i get my panels. then ill build off them as i really do not trust rivets or sheet metal screws
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Old 06-16-2023, 02:42 PM   #3
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I bought 40' aluminum strut and "L" brackets from Zoro along with some stainless hardware. I plan on being able to tilt my panels up from either side of the bus. I was almost universally poo-poo'd on my rotational tracking idea but tilting them is relatively straightforward.
Whatever you come up with, make it solid.
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Old 06-16-2023, 03:16 PM   #4
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I bought 40' aluminum strut and "L" brackets from Zoro along with some stainless hardware. I plan on being able to tilt my panels up from either side of the bus. I was almost universally poo-poo'd on my rotational tracking idea but tilting them is relatively straightforward.
Whatever you come up with, make it solid.
Yea I plan on being able to raise or lower the outside about 8 or 10 inches as it does help if your in the north in the winter.
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Old 06-16-2023, 03:21 PM   #5
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Bought 2 aluminum 2x1x.13x84 inch channels. Bolted the bottom edge through the hat channel with a 3/4 inch spacing to allow drainage on the roof. Set about 3 feet apart on the roof, where the panel recommended mounting holes line up. Used stainless 1/4 inch bolts with locking nuts and neoprene washers. Sealed with elastomeric caulk. The panels are then bolted through the top edge of channel with stainless bolts and lock nuts.
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Old 06-16-2023, 05:58 PM   #6
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That looks good
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Old 06-17-2023, 03:18 PM   #7
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Yeah, that's a clean looking setup.
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Old 06-17-2023, 06:42 PM   #8
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I used to drive over the road and seen many solar panels on the side of the road. looked like they had used double sided tape to put them on
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Old 06-17-2023, 08:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortbus PA View Post
What kind of brackets have people used to mount their solar panels?
I'd like to install some kind of rail system to attach mine to, so I've got flexibility to move things if necessary.
Here's an example of mine. I spent more on the mounting system than I did the panels and I've got 16 200w panels. My wallet hurts.



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Old 06-21-2023, 09:08 PM   #10
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I discourage stainless steel in applications with the potential for sheer-stress.
.
In a roof mount of photovoltaic panels, the mounts encounter sheer-stress in multiple directions simultaneously, continuously.
.
The way I learned it, a stainless steel bolt is barely equivalent to the cheapest grocery-store hardware -- Grade 2.
.
This may offer some suggestions:
http://www.boltdepot.com/fastener-in...el%20fasteners
.
Pertinent paragraph:
* "...due to their low carbon content, many stainless steel alloys cannot be hardened through heat treatment. Therefore, when compared to regular steel, the stainless alloys used in bolts are slightly stronger than an un-hardened (grade 2) steel but significantly weaker than hardened steel fasteners..."
.
* Rivets -- with barely a quarter-inch of grip, probably not.
* Sheet-metal screws -- with barely a sixteenth of an inch of grip, probably not.
* Going cheap on hardware -- probably not.
.
.
Suggestion:
* Use stouter mounts than you can imagine.
* On the inside of your roof (ceiling), back your bolts with an appropriate strip of metal (aluminum, steel) to spread the load.
* Inside, your bolts will be hidden by trim... install your bolts upside-down (screw 'UP'), screw your worshers and nuts outside so you can verify their existence.
.
Sometimes, stuff wanders away.
keyword -- double-side tape.
.
.
An aside:
If you are a shooter, you know you are responsible for everything downrange.
I think each vehicle operator is equally responsible for stuff going airborne off their vehicle.
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Old 06-21-2023, 09:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoore6856 View Post
I used to drive over the road and seen many solar panels on the side of the road. looked like they had used double sided tape to put them on
Those little 'L' brackets with a single tech screw on each corner is another favorite.
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Old 06-22-2023, 07:51 AM   #12
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Quote from above: * Inside, your bolts will be hidden by trim... install your bolts upside-down (screw 'UP'), screw your worshers and nuts outside so you can verify their existence.

I have used this technique for years on motorcycles, and other stuff that is mission critical, and I get called out for the aesthetics of it. If the other end of the bolt is hidden, this is about the only way to know that you have fasteners that are loosening up. I firmly support this approach. Put the nuts where you can see them.
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Old 06-22-2023, 08:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorchDog View Post
Quote from above: * Inside, your bolts will be hidden by trim... install your bolts upside-down (screw 'UP'), screw your worshers and nuts outside so you can verify their existence.

I have used this technique for years on motorcycles, and other stuff that is mission critical, and I get called out for the aesthetics of it. If the other end of the bolt is hidden, this is about the only way to know that you have fasteners that are loosening up. I firmly support this approach. Put the nuts where you can see them.
I was taught something similar when I was working in wind energy. We installed the tower assembly and turbine mounting bolts with the bolt head facing down. If a nut did come off, the bolt would drop and leave an empty hole which was easier to see with a visual (binocular) inspection from the ground.
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Old 06-22-2023, 11:03 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mmoore6856 View Post
I used to drive over the road and seen many solar panels on the side of the road. looked like they had used double sided tape to put them on
How many solar panels? Did you stop and examine them for double sided tape?

Grab yer popcorn, people.
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Old 06-22-2023, 04:35 PM   #15
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What I did
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Old 06-22-2023, 06:56 PM   #16
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I used the same 'stock' solar panel aluminum brackets and glued the brackets to the roof with VHB tape.
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Old 06-22-2023, 09:21 PM   #17
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I used 8020 like aluminium stock to make frames and mounted through to the hat channels using licking nuts washers and 3m 5200 smeared in the the mounting flange and bolts and nuts.
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Old 06-22-2023, 11:29 PM   #18
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How many solar panels? Did you stop and examine them for double sided tape?

Grab yer popcorn, people.
I’d be worried about a panel coming off and going through someone’s windshield or decapitating a motorcyclist.
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Old 06-22-2023, 11:35 PM   #19
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How many solar panels? Did you stop and examine them for double sided tape?

Grab yer popcorn, people.
Itís happened that flying solar panels have caused fatalities

https://www.wereldreizigers.nl/en/mo...x-glue-screws/
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Old 06-23-2023, 12:05 AM   #20
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I have a few bracket shapes set up in my CNC plasma table, so I cut them and bend them myself. The base is 3"x5", which gives me 15 square inches of surface area for bonding with 3M 5200. I also drill 2 1/4-inch holes, which are positioned to allow me to rivet the bracket into the flanges of a rib/hat channel. I've pull tested this to over 2000 pounds, so I'm pretty confident in them and haven't had a customer lose one yet.

Sometimes, I'll bolt the brackets directly to the panels. But I really like using the brackets to mount rails from IronRidge, which allow for easy mounting and panel changes/moves.
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