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Old 05-12-2020, 02:04 PM   #1
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Mounting large solar panels

I have three 340w solar panels. They are huge and heavy. All the brackets Iíve found online are listed for up to 150w panels. Can anyone suggest a place to buy brackets for larger panels?
Another question. Is it even worth thinking about tilting them? Each panel is about 82 inch long and 40 inch wide, more than 50 pounds.

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Old 05-12-2020, 02:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Elmix View Post
I have three 340w solar panels. They are huge and heavy. All the brackets Iíve found online are listed for up to 150w panels. Can anyone suggest a place to buy brackets for larger panels?

Probably places that sell residential or commercial PV panels would be a good starting place. Try Santansolar.com and/or altestore.com


Alternatively, if you can find the weight limit for the smaller brackets you've found already you could consider just using extra brackets to compensate for the heavier panels.
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Old 05-12-2020, 02:47 PM   #3
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Is it even worth thinking about tilting them? Each panel is about 82 inch long and 40 inch wide, more than 50 pounds.
My panels are similarly sized (305W), and I answered no to this question a couple days ago.

FWIW I mounted mine to strut, and they're up pretty high. Will probably install wind guards.
panels_mounting.jpg
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Old 05-12-2020, 04:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmix View Post
I have three 340w solar panels. They are huge and heavy. All the brackets Iíve found online are listed for up to 150w panels. Can anyone suggest a place to buy brackets for larger panels?
Another question. Is it even worth thinking about tilting them? Each panel is about 82 inch long and 40 inch wide, more than 50 pounds.
I've mounted 327 watt and 435 watt panels two ways - glued and riveted. Both holding up great (the glued going on six years).

Here are details on the riveted.

Here are details on the glued.

Tilting will most definitely increase production. With flat mounted panels in the SW, I typically see 80% of rated panel output during the summer, 60% in the winter. However; the time, weight, & expense of coming up with a tilting mechanism is not worth it to me - never mind babysitting them once you have the system. That said, I admire those that do create such a thing and understanding having limited roof space and needing to maximize solar collection.
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:09 PM   #5
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If you have large heavy panels, you'll probably need to make your own brackets for them. What is adequate on a house is rarely adequate at highway speeds - how many houses can do 65 MPH? Most ready-made brackets for PV panels are wholly inadequate for a moving vehicle.

The reason to have tilting panels is to maximize solar harvest in marginal conditions, such as in northerly latitudes, and/or in winter, and/or in less than perfectly sunny days. Those are the times that you want to squeeze every last amp of power from the panels, and even a simple longitudinal-axis tilting mount will significantly increase power production at times like that. This short article explains it better than I can: Optimum Tilt of Solar Panels The State data tables also show the actual gains for selected locations throughout the USA: https://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/pubs/redbook/ After I read just these two sources of data I was sold on the idea of a simple one-axis tilt for my bus, and I have no regrets doing it that way even though it was a lot of work to do so. I winter I anticipate my 2kW of tiltable panels will equal or exceed the output of a much larger fixed array; it will be nice at times like that to run my heatpump for some free heat!

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