Diy fitting

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Patcherelli, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. Patcherelli

    Patcherelli Funster

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    Want to fit a 100w panel to the roof. I've read up on the technical stuff like controllers etc etc but cant seem to find anything on the actual practicalities.
    Is it screwed to the roof? I mean straight through the skin into whatever is underneath.
    Running the wire to the controller (do i drill a hole?etc etc.

    I've seen a couple of vids on you tube but still not confident.
    My main concern is causing leaks.

    Any ideas where i can get the advice, instructions?
     
  2. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

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    I have never fitted one but I am pretty sure you glue the panel brackets to the roof using Sikaflex or something similiar.

    The only hole you have is the power cable down to the controller and that is through a waterproof box.

    But I am sure that soon someone who actually knows what they are talking about will be on line soon. :xgrin:
     
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  3. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    Andy - Techno100 will be along at sometime. He produced an excellent document outlining what has to be done to fit a panel. Unfortunately I can't find it.
     
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  4. trophychap

    trophychap Funster

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    The above advice is correct. Fix the corner brackets by pop riveting on the corners of the solar panel, clean and roughen your roof where the brackets go then bond with Sikaflex adhesive. You will have to drill a hole for the cable gland in the roof usually in an overhead locker or cupboard and bond the cable gland to the roof in the same way as you fix the panel.

    Put plenty of sikaflex on the panel brackets so that you get a good layer between the brackets and the roof.
     
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  5. gillnphil

    gillnphil Funster

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    Sikaflex is the key. Clean all contact areas, and take your time. Hiding the wires is the hardest part. The sequence of connecting up to the controller is important, read the instructions.
    Its easy peasy really.
    Phil
     
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  6. Patcherelli

    Patcherelli Funster

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    Thanks. What is the roof actually made of?
    I have a vision of a wooden frame and some thin ply and some insulation somewhere in there.
     
  7. English Springer

    English Springer

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    Patcherlli, I've been thinking of fitting a panel also but find that there so many to choose from. What brand have you gone for and does anyone recommend any others?
     
  8. Popeye

    Popeye Funster

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  9. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    I too have been pondering the problems of water ingress after the fitting of solar panels to our MoHo, and after much research I've come to the conclusion that the safest place to alleviate the problem is to fit them under the van where the rain can't get to the fixings. :D

    This post was by the ever helpful Badknee.
     
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  10. trophychap

    trophychap Funster

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    What your roof is made of will depend on who manufactured your van! Our Pilote for example is a fiberglass composite roof others will be aluminium sandwich construction. Most are vacuum sandwich construction and are generally safe to walk on except for the overcab section if you have one. If in any doubt use a plank or some other sort of support to spread the load.
     
  11. ukbill

    ukbill Funster

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    i fitted mine by screwing to the roof self tap screws not to long and then loads of sealant i would never trust sealant on its own i bolted the roof brackets to the panel then i used 20mm plastic conduit (round white) to run my cables i needed to go across the roof i also put on a round conduit box for access fron the roof for the cables and everything was thoroughly seals and never had any leaks
     
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  12. Patcherelli

    Patcherelli Funster

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    Not decided on a make yet. Thats next step.

    Anyone?
     
  13. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I have seen people sucessfully just use SikaFlex and nothing else. When I was fitting mine I prefer to over engineer everything. SikaFlex and loads of self tappers.
    The hole was drilled then I used a pod like fitting with 2 cable entries. I don't like sticking 2 cables in one hole. I then used massive amounts of SikaFlex inside the fitting and around it.

    3 x 80 watt solar panels on the van roof for a couple of years now and it is the only part of the van that doesn't leak :xrofl:
     
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  14. martin1485

    martin1485 Funster

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    I just used Sikaflex to bond mine to the roof (no screws as in my opinion, that opens up water ingress possibilities). They are solid and have not given any problems whatsoever.

    When you drill through for the cables, I found that the conical shaped hole cutters were better than a big drill bit. I also made sure that a protective layer of paint was put onto the bared metal and I used rubber grommets to protect the cable from chafing on the metal.

    A set of electrician's fish rods were handy for getting the cable fed through on the inside and it may be prudent to triple check the cable entry points for any potential obstructions and existing cables to avoid before drilling.
     
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  15. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    no one has mentioned its best to decide where the cables are to enter the van and arrange the panel to keep the cable run as short as possible some vans have an electrical system that has terminals especially for solar connections in that case you would try and enter close to that other wise your probably looking for the best route to go to where you intend the controller to be and an easy run from that to your batteries
     
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  16. Baycott

    Baycott Funster

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    I was worried about water ingress too Badknee so I decided to put mine in the wardrobe so I don't have to drill any holes at all. :xrofl:
     
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  17. Taran_Las

    Taran_Las Funster

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    This is the thread I was thinking of. Hope it helps.
     
  18. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

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    I thought you just nailed them to the roof.

    Then again I have a Autotrail:xgrin:
     
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  19. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Oh man, what a good idea. No crawling under the MoHo while you fix 'em on, brilliant!
     
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  20. Badknee

    Badknee Funster

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    Yep, five nails would do it, one in each corner and one in the middle just to make sure. :xThumb:
     
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