Solar Panel Fixing

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by drago35uk, May 21, 2011.

  1. drago35uk

    drago35uk Funster

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    I have just bought a solar panel etc but am slightly nervous about the sikaflex only method of fixing. Is this the norm and if so do I use 221,252 or 512? Tales of "no it's fine" most welcome.
    The electrical side isn't a problem as I'm an Electrical Engineer :BigGrin:
     
  2. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    I too would feel nervous about that method, on some vans, IE my Swift, there is a top layer of aluminium that is only attached where there through fitting on the roof, so is is not bonded to the body of the roof.

    My thoughts are that as you drive over bumps is the weight of the panel/s lifting and flexing the aluminium top skin.

    On my own van I have a roof rack that is screwed into the body of the roof and the panels are mechanically attached to that, I also have a hinged fitting so the the panel can be lifted to collect more of the suns energy

    However there must be hundreds if not thousands of vans with stick on panels and I have nor heard of any problems.

    Doug...
     
  3. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Have had panels stuck on my RV for about 6 years without problems.

    Have even heard that they stick car body panels on with the stuff so must be OK.

    Would NEVER drill a hole in the roof of a camper for any reason.
     
  4. keith

    keith Funster

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    The motorhome builders drill holes in the roof all the time, TV ariel, roof vents, air con, roof bars etc.

    I used both when fixing solar panels, Sikaflex then screws as well covering the heads with more sikaflex. Just coming up to 4 years in all climates and no problems.
     
  5. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    Funny you say that Keith, my van is 9 years old and (touch wood) is not showing any problems with the roof rack, it was fitted by the previous owner and I don't know what was used to bond the brackets so I have been thinking of going around the brackets and screw heads with sikaflex.

    When I was into building boats I used sikaflex on all deck and hull fitting and there was never any problems.

    Doug...
     
  6. 1Oll

    1Oll Read Only Funster

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    Solar Panel fixing.

    Bought two 100w solar panels a couple of weeks ago, spent some hours over the last couple of days running wires inside and reading about fixing them on the roof. I was going to use a Sikaflex type adhesive with a few s/s self tappers, similar to my Oyster Satellite. Have spent a while researching this and have read that it's best to have an air gap under the panels as they are less efficient when hot. I also had a good read about cable thickness. Voltage drop with thinner wires is considerable, I am using 4mm squ. Cable. With an MPPT controller for, I hope, maximum efficiency. Don't just look at the cable rating or ask a normal electrician. Regarding the fixing I think I am going to use angled aluminium, leaving an inch air gap, with s/s self tappers(to roof) and s/s bolts (to panel) and of course Sikaflex type adhesive.
    A good site for info is: http://hobohome.com/news/?p=581
    http://hobohome.com/news/?p=491
    Brian.
     
  7. artona

    artona

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    No problem with drilling holes in my opinion but make sure you fill the holes with sikaflex as you screw the screws in for the final time and then put a good blob over the screw head afterwards. A couple of weeks later pop up and check all is ok

    stew
     
  8. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    The Pro's fitted mine and it's slikafix and nothing else. Fitted on to Brackets, Brackets silkafixed to the roof. I have a camos dome, and yes that's silkafixed to the roof as well via fixing brackets.

    They glue aircraft wings on some craft on nowadays,

    Like you I was scared at first, but trust me, if done properly it wont move.:RollEyes:
     
  9. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    Ah! but you have to ask yourself, are the "Pro's" using Sikaflex because its superior or because it easier and quicker. Don't get me wrong, I don't disagree with the use of Sikaflex if its compatible with the job in hand. but I question why its being used by the "Pro's".

    In the case of my own motor home I would not use it for sticking down solar panels without the use of screws, because of the roof construction.

    Doug...
     
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  10. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Ok Doug, I take your point, but here is the conversation I had with Road pro.

    I purchased a camos dome second hand. I rang and asked if they would be able to give me any info on the fitting of it. They said I needed 4 new feet for the dome. I said Ok, does it come with Screws? they said no it comes with slikaflex. I argued and told them this is ridiculous and it would surely fall off. They said it would not, and that for a number of years they have been fitting and using silkaflex and are yet to loose one. I was going to use it and like you say, plug and screw it on as well but thought what the hec I will do as they say.
    Result,
    2 years in place, never moved an inch, and I would challenge anyone to go on to my roof and remove it by brute strength alone without tools, same with my Solar.
    It wont come off.

    I have even heard of Bike racks being fitted by dealers this way, however, I remain unconvinced about that, but on the roof, job done...

    I would love to know how it works. :thumb:
     
  11. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    All Agreed, but due to the construction of my roof, I would not use that system.

    Doug...
     
  12. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Im curious now, what is your roof construction? is it GRP or something else?
     
  13. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    If its an aluminium type it could well have a sheet just fixed at front,back and edeges no adhesive anywhere alse so sikaflexing a panel on would at the very least distort the roof panel maybe rip it of worse case:Eeek:
    as with RVs the rubber membrane has very little glue under it so screw and glue is the order of the day:thumb:
    Roof construction is alway a major factoe when fixing anything
     
  14. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    The roof has a final covering of aluminium sheet that is not bonded to the roof (except at the edges and where any fitting pass through, the aluminium sheet is flexible and moves in the wind, (when its very cold you can hear it like a Rolf Harris wobble board).

    My motor home is a Swift Suntor 630g.

    Doug...
     
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