Mounting Solar Panels

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Revolvor, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. Revolvor

    Revolvor Funster

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    Please can anyone advise if 4 x 250mm lengths of 50 x 50 x 2mm Aluminium angle will be suitable for securing a 100W Solar panel to my MH, or do I need a thicker section? (Will be bonded to roof with Sikaflex 512)

    I have read lots of posts about the merits (or otherwise) of riveting or bolting/screwing brackets to panels, but has anyone ever used these or similar to attach brackets to a solar panel?
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-M5-SEL...385822?hash=item541b4e8dde:g:XJoAAOSwPYZU-x4U
    Thanks, John
     
  2. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    i use plastic angle these days . just on the fronts and backs . stops any branches hooking them and lets fresh air go inunder and help cool them . bond with sika .to roof . few rivets to panels .
    mind i use enough angle to go right across the panel.
     
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  3. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Depending on the length of the panel you might want to put a couple of small supports in the centre of the long sides to prevent any flexing/movement, otherwise I'd do as vwalan says and just put 2 long strips at the front/rear (ie short sides).

    As for fastenings, I've never heard of 'self-clinch nuts' so can't comment I'm afraid.
     
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  4. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    Nutserts or self clinch nuts will only really work when you use the proper tool, and it isn't worth buying the proper tool. Ours cost about £70 from memory years ago

    Also, beware of the material! If you drill you panel on squeeze nuts eats up, you will probably get a reaction between the two different materials

    This will inevitably mean the nutsert will "spin" in the future if you did try to undo it

    The only way to guarantee avoiding this would be to use Monel which would be very expensive and would definitely need the right tool to insert into the panel

    Nuts and bolts or nuts and sets crews or rivets would be much cheaper lol
     
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  5. Revolvor

    Revolvor Funster

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    Thanks @vwalan for that – I had never thought of using plastic angle.
    Because of the various skylights on the roof, I actually plant to mount the solar panel transversely, although a lot of it will be protected from wind by the large central skylight. It will also help by moving the weight forward. I favour two brackets on each long side, to spread the load. I will also be left with enough roof space to fit further solar panels if necessary.

    Thanks Mel @Minxy Girl- see my comments above.

    Eddie, @eddievanbitz -Thank you. I suspected that use of those clinch nuts would entail the use of an expensive tool. I note your comments about dissimilar metals and corrosion. I am leaning towards rivets, having made sure that I can drill them out if I need to.

    Has anyone any thoughts about the 2mm section of Aluminium angle?

    John
     
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  6. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    When I fitted solar panels to my previous van I used 3 lengths of 150mm long ali angle on each side, 1 at each end and 1 in the middle. Fixed them onto the panel using 3 ali pop rivets each. Worked fine. The panels I have on my new van were fitted by the dealer and they used ali angle that looked about 40mm high and 100mm wide that ran across the full width of short end.
     
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  7. Revolvor

    Revolvor Funster

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