Fitting portable panels on the roof

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by jetjem, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. jetjem

    jetjem Funster

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    Can't find a thread on this so hear goes.
    Last year I bought some portable aluminium cased folding solar panels 2x 50w. They simply clip to the leisure batteries and work well with their own regulator fitted.
    I have decided to save some hassle of constantly moving them and pinning them down on a windy day and nearly driving away with them attached. What I would like to know has anyone used these before fixed on the roof?
    I intend to hinge them down at one side, then remove the digital tv aerial and attach and use the movable pole to raise the panels for better positioning.
    Any comments ?
     
  2. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    I wouldn't bother with having them 'movable' as the gain IMV won't be that much and means you still have to 'tend' to them, rather than just let them get on with it. Just get some brackets and attach these to the panels then stick the whole lot on with Sikaflex, once you've drilled the hole for the cable and fed it through attach the ends permanently rather than using the crocodile clips - you may want to put in an 'in-line' fuse depending on your solar panels output.
     
  3. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Personally I would sell it as it is and buy a new panel
     
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  4. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Why? If the panels are a fair size and they work, it will be by far the cheapest option to fit them.
     
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  5. treetops1

    treetops1 Funster

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    Yes i agree with Andy ,not worth the grief trying to fix it ,sell it and get yourself a 100w panel or two ,easy to fit lol.
     
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  6. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    The folding one will have a cheap as chips controller stuck to the back, so I would start again with a rigid panel or two and a proper MPPT controller, keep the folding one to point at the sun in the winter when it is very low in the sky and the ones flat on the roof will be struggling.

    When we had a stand alone I usually ended up lending it to somebody on a rally as by then I had fitted 3 more to the roof.

    Martin
     
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  7. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    Same here... Sell that one..
    Start afresh with a new panel, measure the space you have and fit as big as you can go..
     
  8. jetjem

    jetjem Funster

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    Thanks, all good ideas and worth thinking about. They are good panels and yes probably cheap controller fitted. So might go down the route of fitting new better quality controller and maybe add another panel as well.
    In Spain for a while so time to have a think.

    So back to the drawing board.
     
  9. Neckender

    Neckender Funster

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    I removed the controller from my portable panels, and piggy backed on to the useless 30 watt that Auto sleepers had fitted through the Sargent control.

    John.
     
  10. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Because they arent designed for the stresses of permenant fixing.
    Wind and vibration wont do the panels any favours.
     
  11. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Not sure that I'd totally agree with that, after all they're meant to be left out in all weathers and being transported, but the OP will decide what's best for him.
     
  12. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I would sell and get a decent panel for a couple of reasons;
    1) the portable panels sell for more than a fixed panel.
    2) The charge controller should be located as close to the battery as possible not on the panel.
    3) The charge controller will be a cheap PWM jobby. get an MPPT model and install it properly.
    4) I find it best to fit solar panels along the short edge leaving the long edge free for air circulation. I don't think you could do this with a folding panel.

    The last one is just my personal preference.
     
  13. Neckender

    Neckender Funster

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    My folding panels were ordinary panels in standard aluminium frame fixed in the folding frame work, I drilled the rivets out discarded the folding frame.
    Then I fitted alloy brackets off ebay and sikafexed the whole lot on the roof the same as standard panels then linked the wiring through the 30 watt panel that was fitted, and it works very well.

    John.
     
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  14. jetjem

    jetjem Funster

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    I looked at the panels and they seem to be bonded onto the frame so best left in the frames. So it's use them or sell them. Definitely fit a good controller though.
    A guy staying on the Aire here, had a panel fail after just paying £750 in the UK, for 2 x 100s fully fitted. A new panel was shipped out and he fitted the replacement. Surprised to see a panel fail!
    We run a 2011 Chausson 04 and I can't find any wiring already in place to hook up with the van engine battery. Has anyone any idea if this exists ? If not I'll plan to only hook up to the leisure batteries.
    Again thanks for all the comments.
     
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